Ned and I were out the other night on the roof of a pub near his house, and this guy next to us was holding court, telling a whole gaggle of people about his trip to Spain and the bullfights and how cool Spain was and also Spain Spain senoritas Spain. He was STANDING to deliver his story, and we watched his friends' smiles go from amusement to pain to agony as the story never ended.
"You know who that guy's never read? Hemingway," said Ned.
We groused about how Bad Storyteller Guy got to go to Spain and we never have. "I'd like to go to the bullfights, just like Hemingway," Ned said.
"I don't think I could," I said, thinking of the poor bull getting stabbed or whatever they do to bulls there. "I'm always happy when you read about bulls goring those idiots who run with them."
Ned pondered this. "Even though this makes us a couple of pussies, I have to agree with you," he said. "I couldn't watch a bull get hurt. Maybe we could go and be all Team Bull. We could sit with the bull's family in the stands, wear bull horns."
"GO BULL!" I yelled.
In other news, I promise you that guy is still up there, telling his Spain stories to an empty roof.
Recently, I proofread something that divided the country up by region.
The thing I was proofreading was all, "Here's info about our company from the west side of the country." And then they'd tell you stuff about what was happening in California, or Nevada or whatever. As I was moseying along with this info, I discovered they'd listed West Virginia in the "western" section of the story.
Oh, nothing gets a proofreader more excited than a mistake like that. So on each page, there'd be a map of the United States with no states listed, just shaded areas referring to each region. I convinced myself I'd found a million geographical errors after that thrilling West Virginia one. Oh, I was smug.
"The map that shades the central portion of the U.S. does not include Louisiana," I wrote in my snooty red pen," yet your story mentions Louisiana right here. PLEASE SHADE LOUISIANA OR MOVE THE MENTION TO THE CORRECT REGION!" I fumed.
Then I turned the job in. "Yeah, June. That was a great catch with the West Virginia thing," they told me, "but the part where you said Louisiana wasn't shaded? It was. Same with Iowa. And Ohio. And Montana. In fact, all the other states you said weren't shaded in fact were."
Could YOU look at a shaded map and accurately depict which states were marked off? COULD you? For example, name the states up there that are gray. All of them.
I told this story to Ned, who immediately rustled up a blank map of the U.S. and started pointing at everything. "There's Oregon, there's Wyoming, there's Louisiana--I can't believe you can't find Louisiana on a map. It's one of the easier ones because it has a squiggly line," he said.
Guess who I am over? Did you HONESTLY know that about Louisiana? Did you? I told Ned that I'll bet three-fourths of people can't pick out all the lower 48 states on a map and he said he thought MOST people COULD.
Of course, the moral of the story is if one is PROOFREADING something, one might want to, oh, I don't know, MAKE SURE when they say something is wrong that it's really wrong. Whatever.
Somehow Ned and I got into a disussion about bad beer, and when was the last time we'd ever sat around drinking beer from an actual pitcher. My guess was sometime in 1989 and then never again. "But I DO have a picture of me and all my '90s friends with, like, 80 bottles of Budweiser around us. It's quite the ratio," I said.
And then I found it. And sent it to him. "I love that choker," he said. "Which of these dudes were you dating?" Sad answer: both of them. And that's my ex-best-friend Esmerelda back there being blonde. We are still friends, we just aren't BEST friends any more. And there's my friend Hometown Horselady, who lives in my home town and owns horses. I know! You'd have never guessed from her commentor name. Anyway, what I'd like to know is why all the beer seems to be right in front of ME like poker chips or something.
I also noted that there are very few pictures of me from the '90s where I am not holding a drink of some kind.
Or, oddly, on all fours in front of one. (Q: Which of these dudes did you date? A: Both of them. Yes, again. Shut up.)
I guess that's all I have to tell you, but this was deep and I'm glad we had this time together. I gotta slip on my velvet bodysuit and get to the bar.