Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, March 10, 2006

Confession Time

It's Either This Or Posting Nekkid Pics Of Myself...

There's been some not-so-discreet whispering here and there that some folks don't give the whole story about themselves on their blogs. Ain't that da troot!

For this blog, the fact that I post under a pseudonym ought to be a big farkin' clue that I'm not lifting my skirts all the way up. There's enough hyenas online without making it easy for them to grab a mouthful of your nethers and scamper off with 'em, leaving you twisting and grabbing at your trailing innards in a futile attempt to retain some portion of your dignity. Oh, I also work for The Man, and retaining some shred of deniability about who I am is a must.

Nevertheless, the wimmenfolx seem to like it when you're open and honest about yourself. I've already run off one or two regulars due to one indiscretion or another, so I'll probably scare off the rest with this little tidbit of truthfulness.

Here's the thing. I've got this problem. Had it since childhood. It's one of those things that could probably be corrected if I invested a great deal of time and effort, but I know myself well enough to realize that making that effort just won't happen.

It's really embarassing, so I try to hide it as best I can. Most of my social interaction is done via web or phone, where this problem doesn't matter hardly at all. Some of y'all been dropping by here for months, but only a handful have a clue of my secret shame.

Hell, there's no way to candycoat it, so I'll just say it.

My handwriting *sucks*.

No, it goes beyond sucks. It's like giving a wall-eyed microcephalic gibbon a Marks-A-Lot and having him attempt Pitman shorthand. Calling it chicken scratching does a disservice to normal chickens. It's more like the tracks of spastic meth-addicted chickens who've had their little toes caught in an electric pencil sharpener.

My handwriting's so bad that if I jot something down on a notepad, after a week or so of having the phone call fade in my memory, there's a better than even chance that when I go back to transcribe my notes into the database, I myself won't even catch every letter, meaning that I get people's names wrong and put down the wrong addresses. Numbers aren't so bad. My cursive script is cramped and ugly, but basically legible, but I never, ever write in cursive. Haven't since I took my last essay test in college 10 years ago.

See, every job I've had since then used a computer as the primary method of communication. There's just no need for writing things out by hand very often.

When I do, though, it verges on the physically painful to know others are gonna read it. I sent out a few thank-you notes recently, and I just cringed to the core of my soul knowing that people were gonna see my childish scribblings and (whether they realize it or not) make judgements about my character based on how I represent myself through pen & ink. Still, it's bad form to include a printed message inside a card, IMHO, and failing to send thank you notes when they're warranted ought to be a flogging offense.

When my friend Flygirl was living overseas, I used to send her these long typed letters, claiming that I didn't handwrite 'em because my typing was faster than my writing. That statement was true, but it was just not the whole truth. I used to get back these handwritten letters, and the difference between my typewritten tomes and her handwritten letters was like the difference between listening to Mozart over a portable AM radio versus sitting in the recital hall. Sure, you're transferring the basic information, but you're leaving out the soul.

I suppose if I was of the liberal ilk, I would blame the public schools for my lack of legible handwriting instead of owning up to the reality that it's my lack of effort in improving my handwriting that's truly to blame. Pointing fingers outward is always easier than pointing them at yourself.

When I transferred to the elementary school up in Indiana during our 3 year exile in the Frozen Wastelands, they had begun teaching cursive script back in second grade. That was a 3rd grade class down here, so I was already a year behind. My print script, none too good even back then, was quickly jettisoned as I was forced through a crash course in cursive. Neither one improved to better than "C" level, and as time passed, I spent more and more time behind a typewriter/word processor, then a computer.

Fast forward to today, and I'm pushing 38 and still writing like I'm 8. Oh, I've made stabs at trying to improve. I bought a book on calligraphy. If you ask me to write something on a whiteboard or an easel pad, it'll look OK, 'cause I've got plenty of room to work with. Once I get down to 8 1/2 x 11, though, look out! There's just so many other things in my liife that seem need to take precedence. I'm not the most patient person in the world to begin with, and I honestly think I'd rather pull my own teeth with rusty pliers that sit down and carefully practice my print and cursive alphabets over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

No, this shame's likely going with me to my grave. I suppose it could be worse. I could be a secret straight-party voter...