On the other hand, sometimes people just send me books out of the blue, with no strings attached. When these people go to heaven, not only will they sit at the right hand of God, it'll be on a really comfy leather recliner with a built-in massager. One such person is Maggie Mason, owner and proprietor of two of my daily internet stops, Mighty Girl and Mighty Goods.
I ordered one of these t-shirts (scroll down -- it's worth it) from Mighty Girl for a friend's birthday, and Maggie kindly threw in a copy of her new book, No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog. It's chockablock (that's right -- I said "chockablock") with nifty little idea-generators for those days when you have nothing to say, but you still desperately want to say something. Not that that's ever happened to me.
Still, in the spirit of... well, I don't know what... I decided to give one of the book's tips a whirl. In Idea #2, Maggie writes:
All readers need an occasional dose of schadenfreude, so fess up. How do you fail? Do you consistently kill plants? Keep getting fired? Always take the last cookie? That's the stuff, friends. To err is human, but to share? Divine.So that's what you people want, huh? It's not enough that I tell you I've peed my pants or that I've read, and enjoyed, many pages of Nicole Richie's first novel?
You want schadenfreude, I'll give you schadenfreude. But first, maybe I'll just write schadenfreude a few more times, till it totally loses all meaning.
Er, anyway. If you asked me to tell you the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to me, I'd be hard-pressed to choose just one story. My life has been nothing if not a cornucopia of small humiliations. But one episode does leap to mind in front of the myriad others:
I used to read covertly in class all the time, and I was always catching shit for it. Which didn't make me stop, of course, but it did make me try harder not to get caught. Once, during my grade five science class, I was reading away -- Anne of Green Gables, if you're wondering -- when I heard the teacher ask the class a question: "Something-something-something green matter?" Now, two things you need to know:
- We'd been studying photosynthesis, and our textbook description for chlorophyll was "something-something green matter something-something."
- I was a terrible keener. I'm not proud of it, but there you go.
Well, it turns out that the teacher had asked everyone if they knew what the term "GREY matter" meant. As you know -- and as I now also know -- grey matter does not have any role in the process by which plants convert sunlight into food. So you can imagine my consternation and humiliation when everyone, including the teacher, burst into uncontrollable laughter for about seven hours. They were right to do so, but it BURNED, I tell you.
Your turn, o wise children of the internet.