Collate

Collate: (v) to collect and combine in proper order

I do not judge my life by my successes, but rather, by the ease involved in achieving them.

I will tell you quite bluntly that success loses much of its excitement and is greatly diminished by finding yourself bogged down in chores. 

I had an idea.

I was in my early twenties and had written a book. I was so damned impressed with myself. I struggled to let people know that I had written a book, so they could grant me adequate praise.

I was impatient. I didn’t want to just write a book, I wanted to print a book and put it in people’s hands, observing them gasp with amazement.

This was before desktop publishing was a common practice. At my disposal were printed sheets which had been typed–and a Xerox machine.

I decided to ask one of my friends to retype the document so it would be as clean and crisp-looking as possible (though I don’t know what clean and crisp
means.)

This was my first mistake.

This lovely lady was obviously going through some sort of mental disruption, and ended up misspelling hundreds of words, which I did not catch because I decided it would be petty to proofread it.

So not only did I have a faulty original, I used a Xerox printer which probably belonged in a college dorm room, and demanded it do the job of an industrial one.

Not only did it refuse, it was rather snotty about it.

Mistake two: after the first fifty pages, the ink cartridge started to fade.

And finally, making sure that I had three mistakes to “uncharm” me, I collated by myself.

So when it came time to have the book fastened together (with staples) and I handed it off to a friend, within three seconds she was giggling.

On page five alone, the word “the” had been misspelled four times in five different ways. (I don’t know how that’s even possible.)

It was also humorous to her that the pages were so faded that she needed a magnifying glass to read them.

And to add insult to depravity, I collated incorrectly, so page 7 followed 5, then 10, then 17…

So I decided that the only way I would be able to offer this book was to put a disclaimer sheet with each and every sale:

  • See how many mistakes you can find!
  • Did you need a magnifying glass to read this, or are your eyes really good?
  • Even though it was an experiment, did you like jumping all over the book to find out what the next page was going to be?

It was one of the saddest days in my life when I had to take all the project–all the paper–all the effort–and toss it in a trashcan.

There is a reason that we leave it to the experts to collate.

After all, it isn’t just some Random House…

 

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Bastion

Bastion (n) an institution, place, or person strongly defending or upholding particular principlesDictionary B

I have been invited, from time to time, to pontificate on the issue of parenting.

I suppose I receive the requests because people have looked at my children and deemed them to be acceptable human citizens.

I never accept these opportunities.

Why? Because I have no idea how to parent.

Any good parent will tell you that somehow or another, they lucked their way into ending up with decent children. It could have easily gone the other way.

Children are not born bad, but one bout with narcotics can make them look like they are hell’s spawn.

So truthfully, there is really only one bastion for the human spirit. Without this particular quality, everything we do is overwrought, inconsistent, and foolish.

The only hope for the human race is humility.

I don’t care if it’s popular or not; I do not check the polls to find out if it’s favored by the masses.

Whenever I promise to do anything in my life, I always follow it with a disclaimer.

Sometimes I say the old-fashioned, “God willing.”

On other occasions, I warn people that the success of what I allege is dependent on my limited ability.

But human beings, without the bastion of humility, are similar to dogs … who think they own the master’s bed. 

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Antelope

dictionary with letter A

Antelope: (n) a swift-running deerlike ruminant with smooth hair and upward pointing horns, native to Africa and Asia.

Another childhood myth, shattered before my eyes: I now realize the improbability of deer and antelope playing together.

I’ve sung the song. I’ve not only sung the song, I have intoned it with complete confidence.

Home, home on the range

Where the deer and the antelope play

And now, unless this “home on the range” is somewhere in the Serengeti, and some deer got transferred there, the likelihood of such a playtime is miniscule.

Why do they do that to us? Why isn’t there a disclaimer at the beginning of this song that says, “Locales for creatures are greatly exaggerated.”

Did they think that “where the deer and the buffalo play” would have been out of the question?

And just for the record, I’m not so sure antelope would want to play with deer. I think with the presence of those little horns on the top, the antelope would feel superior and would think they were slumming it by playing with the deer clan.

Of course, maybe there is no bigotry in the animal kingdom. Basically they don’t shun one another. If there’s some form of displeasure, they usually just eat each other.

Maybe that’s what we should do. Rather than telling prejudiced jokes, we should just turn cannibal and be more obvious. Of course, I jest.

Similar to the dude who wrote Home on the Range.

 

 

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