Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hubris (In the Third Person--Mostly)

The woman, all one hundred and six pounds of her, balled up her lumpy-knuckled fist, raised it to the sky and declared, “I’m so sick of making ‘A’s. They don’t mean anything. If I make one more ‘A’ I’ll scream.”

Sherwood—oops, I mean, her husband. Her husband (who just so happened to be named Sherwood like my husband) looked at his wife and grunted. He was used to her dramatic gestures of cosmic defiance.

“You know God has ears and can hear you, right?” he said.

I didn’t care, and the woman didn’t care either.

Heaven’s angels, well known for their writing of the Book of Life and use of sticky notes, wrote down the goofy declaration word for word. Served me right. Served that lumpy-knuckled woman right too. Heaven, always on the lookout for kooky talk and hubris, got right on the case.

Not two weeks later in Major English Writings I, a college class of her own choosing, the woman with the big knuckles and bigger mouth took my first quiz for me. I wish.
Well, whoever took the quiz, she stunk at it, and the woman (who could be me) made her first ‘C’ since I was a sophomore in high school. And I made that ‘C’ in Algebra, which is a subject that should be counted as a foreign language. The only way I can see Algebra being helpful in my day-to-day life is if I, or that other woman, got teleported back to ancient Egypt, the Nile flooded, and my back yard disappeared under a ton of mud and hippopotami. Then I might use Algebra to calculate where the chain link fence used to be.

So I—strike that—she. So she got a ‘C.’

Her children were shocked.

Her husband grunted.

Her dogs demanded to go on a walk.

Heaven smiled and a couple of angels high-fived.

And the Canterbury Tales written in Middle English continued to give her a big, fat headache and make my eyes cross.

So let this be a lesson to us all; if you’re going to shoot your big mouth off, make sure you whisper and that other person, who could be you, does too.

Linda (Just Kidding) Zern


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