Friday, August 8, 2008

Oops, I Did It Again...Well, Not Me, or Britney for That Matter, But...

I know that journalism is a fast-paced business—you’re under the gun to type up stories every day, sometimes several times a day with there being so much to report on like the new Bigfoot discovery—so spelling errors are bound to roll into the ink now and then. When I worked in advertising, I made a mistake on a 2-color brochure I designed. Somewhere along the line, my client's phone number changed into a copy of the blue I chose, so it looked fine on the screen, but it didn't print on the Pantone plates. I didn't notice it wasn't there. They noticed. I fixed it and had it printed again.

But, even with the super sonic speed of the newspaper business in mind, these blunders I'm about to mention seem inexcusable to me, but also quite laughable, and I do love to laugh.

Yesterday, a book review in the Sunday paper caught my eye and jarred me out of my Red Sox loss stooper. It was for the novel, Good People, which is a "yarn"—something I hope my works are never called—of a Chicago couple, who find money in their dead tenant’s apartment and decide to keep it for themselves. Now the reviewer, Bruce Something—hmmm, wonder why I have Hurst in my head ;) —basically wrote that this couple discovers said money in the kitchen when the woman grabs a sack of flower to smother a grease fire. Did you catch that? Flower as opposed to FLOUR. And I’m also a little curious about this sack. Can you still get those? Cuz the Piggly Wiggly was clear out last I checked. I can only find those paper bundles that end up exploding in your kitchen, giving you an instant White Christmas smack in the middle of July when you're trying to make brownies from scratch.

Anyway, in Good People, this couple empties out other canisters and boxes of food in the kitchen, finding almost $400,000 total. They clean up the mess, call 9-1-1 and act as though the money never existed. Unbeknownst to them, the old tenant was involved in a robbery during a drug deal, and of course, the partners he stiffed want their money, the drug dealers want their drugs, and the cops find the couple suspicious, so the conflicts press in.

Bruce explains so eloquently that this couple has to grapple with two sets of bag guys. Hmmm. Now I’m really intrigued. Were they paper or plastic? Bag guys? That’s something I’ve never seen in fiction. I’m gonna have to go and check out the book now, to see if the author used flower as opposed to flour, and if bag guys are as scary as I envision them. Walking talking objects that should remain inanimate really freak me out like the Kool-Aid man, Fruit of the Loom guys and even M&Ms, and most especially Chips Ahoy cookies! I really don't want my food, beverages or underwear talking to me. Sorry, but that's just me. Seriously. Stop it. It's creepy. The talking apple in the Applebees commercial really confused my two-year-old daughter. And definitely get rid of chilling mascots like the Burger King King, the most horrible horror of all nightmares. Evil should not be a part of any value meal!!! Bag guys now? Sheesh. Freaky. Those plastic ones really can be deadly. Keep them away from small children.

Kay. Got it. Well, his error-ridden coverage worked. I'm gonna go check out the book, and I can honestly say I wouldn't have without those glitches, which were kind of funny but scary at the same time.

I seriously hope my work doesn’t have or retain glaring errors like that, giving readers cereal killers, break tampering [would totally suck at the office] and ghostly allusions to worry about. Sometimes even though countless eyes have read, critiqued and edited a work to death, it’s the guy eating Doritos in his favorite armchair at home with his cat in his lap, who catches that cows have UDDERS not UTTERS but it’s too late for revision cuz it’s in print. Please don't let that happen to me. Welll, bak too editting and wryting I go.

~Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.

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