Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Bikram for boggarts.

Say it with me. You believe in things that you don’t understand / and you suffer . . . / superstition ain’t the way.” [1]

When it is suggested that you knock on wood for good luck, the roots of such a practice are in the belief that tiny, mischievous creatures living in your table or bookshelf are plotting to make your life Hell with mostly harmless pranks. In other words, gremlins [2] with less focus on machinery. By knocking on the wood, you disturb their concentration and rattle their senses, much like what the government does to the smarter citizens in Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron.

The air conditioning in the office has decided to die, meaning that the office is slowly turning into a sauna again. It’s hard enough to proofread an index, something I was assigned to do yesterday afternoon, as it is–the activity is akin to something you might do to train for the day you have to proofread a phonebook–but it’s damn near intolerable when the heat’s knocking you out every few seconds. It took me at least a half hour longer to do the job because I kept finding myself having to jerk my body upright, and because I found myself rereading the same entries upwards of six or seven times.

I did, however, get through the task, and handed back the pages to my managing editor. This morning, however, I discovered that she was missing almost 75 percent of the index pages I’d been working on. Somewhere, between the thirty-yard stretch of carpet between the conference room I’d been working in and my managing editor’s desk, 22 pages of a 30-page manuscript decided to vanish, it seems. We still can’t figure out where they ended up. I spent much of this morning retracing my steps and finding no clues, wondering if perhaps in my heat-addled state I had perhaps run into the outer hallway and tossed the papers around for no good reason, and then calmly walked back inside without realizing I had done this. It seems improbable, though, so for some reason I’ve decided to blame the boggarts living in the wooden bookshelves next to me.

They better not let me catch them. I’ll do a hell of a lot more than knock.

[1] Stevie Wonder, “Superstition,” Songs in the Key of Life [3]

[2] Discovered a few years back that gremlins were not in fact mythical folk tale creatures dating back to the Brothers Grimm or beyond . . . they are, in fact, the creations of the late, great Roald Dahl, who invented them for a short story he wrote about his experiences as a fighter pilot in World War II, an experience which included his plane crashing due to an unexplained mechanical failure.

[3] Thanks to The Meltdown Maeven [4] for reminding me that I can make text smaller. A good footnote is both informative and aesthetically pleasing, no?

[4] For some reason, I’m unable to get the LJ tags to work that do the funky “head-with-username” icon to show up. Must experiment.

Current music: MP3 list, Aimee Mann, “Humpty Dumpty”

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This entry was posted on June 25, 2003 by in Work.
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