Theresa and Gail became good friends in business college. Qualified typists, they applied for an opening in a large corporation and both were hired the same day. They were delighted to be working in the same area and having their lunch breaks together.
A week after they started work Theresa asked her friend, “How are you liking your new boss? Do you find him easy to get along with?”
“He’s okay, I guess,” said Gail. “But in some ways I find him pretty narrow-minded. He can be quite a control freak, too.”
“Really?” Theresa’s eyes popped open. “I’ve met him a few times and I sure wouldn’t have guessed. Narrow minded like how?”
“Well, according to him there’s only one way to spell a word and that’s his way. He checks every letter before I send it off and if I’ve spelled some words any different than what he thinks, he gets in a snit and insists I retype the whole thing.” She rolled her eyes. “I can just hear him now, rattling on about “i before e except after c.” And yesterday he made me change ‘pertanes’ to ‘p-e-r-t-a-i-n-s’— as if there can only be one way to spell it.”
Theresa sighed. “Gail, we need to talk. What are you doing after work?”
In response toJudy Dykstra-Brown’s poem using oodles of impressive words, I offer the experience of Ben Franklin, an episode that led to deep contrition, when he tried to show himself wise. My apologies if you’ve read this before.
At one point in Ben Franklin’s youth he became enchanted with impressive-sounding words. One day he told his mother, “I’ve imbibed an acephalous mollusc.”
She gasped. Thinking he’d eaten some poison she promptly dosed him with a foul-tasting concoction that made him vomit. The poor boy retched for hours. Once his stomach was settled again, he told his mother all he’d done was eaten an oyster.
“You naughty boy, scaring the wits out of me like that!” And she gave him a good thrashing.
He says this experience cured him of his liking for pomposity; that day he decided he’d never again use fancy words when simple ones would do.
As part of my Friday Fictioneers tales I’ve been posting a story about two cousins from Moose Knee who take a tour of Florida. It’s supposed to be a great time of year to go, but their plans have been derailed by the weather. In case you’re interested, here are the links to the three segments I’ve posted so far: