Don’t be too hasty, now, Mr. Editor. I know you’ve had an uncomfortable morning, so you may not, at first, enjoy the story as it is laid out in front of you on this crisp, white typewritten paper. The author doesn’t know I’m appealing to you directly, but if her story is just tossed away on top of your rather large-I’m assuming-pile of discards, will that make the events that happened any less real? I should nope to say not. What happened is very real, as real as the author’s imagination. I would like to think her story as she has so laboriously created, is not unlike your morning.
To be fair, though, the author can be very capricious. Ten times, or has it been twenty, that woman has changed the facts. I’m astonished. Was it your dog that tore your morning newspaper to shreds or was it the neighbor’s dog? Then, suddenly, it wasn’t a dog at all; it was split coffee that obliterated the morning headlines. I am beginning to wonder if you really do have a dog. Then there is your live-in girlfriend. At first, you argued with her about her carelessness, but then with a swift tap of the delete button and a few quick key strokes, your girlfriend turned into your wife and the argument became complaints about your late night hours away from home. You said you were working. This made me wonder, is there a girlfriend hiding in the wings after all? And just as I was becoming comfortable with that scenario, the impulsive author decided that you two just squabbled about your irritating habit of leaving your shoes all over the house. You really must try being more accommodating to your wife’s needs.
As I remember, when you were dressing this morning, the cat leapt up to attack the ends of your tie as you were knotting it. It left a long deep scratch across your arm. I bet that hurt. You became very angry and yelled at the cat as it scampered out of your room. The scratch is still there isn’t it? Oh, I forgot. The author used the delete button on that too and all you really did was to change ties and tickle the kitty behind its ears.
As I mentioned before, the newspaper became unreadable so you turned on the television to get the morning news. There was talk of the inevitable political squabbles, a burglary at the local quick stop, and an attempted murder. No, wait, was it was a real murder? I need to check the facts again. That’s right, the author changed it back to just an attempted murder. The wife brained her husband with a frying pan. That made you think, didn’t it? Was your argument with your wife just about shoes or was it about something more serious?
Before you had a chance to eat your breakfast your telephone rang. I can’t begin to count how many times the author rewrote that scene. At first, it was your ex-wife who called, than it became your mother who complained about not ever seeing you, but then it was just an old buddy of yours who wanted you to go to go out with him this evening. After so many changes, I’ve become quite confused and I must admit, the various conversations all became quite boring and this time, I’m happy to say, the delete button was freely used. Finally, the author decided on the facts of the morning, and after all of her hard work, it seems there was no phone call after all. Such a shame. If I had been writing the story, I would have kept your mother in it, although I would have spiced up that conversation to have your mother say something like, “Did you see the news? A woman took a frying pan to her husband’s head this morning. Do you have any idea who that woman was?” I believe that would leave the reader in suspense.
I was beginning to worry that the author would never decide on a simple theme. White paper without words is even more boring than those deleted conversations. Oh my, I do wish people would make up their imaginative mind.
Finally, you were ready for breakfast. Your wife placed a bowl of oatmeal in front of you, telling you that it would lower your cholesterol. Naturally, you would have preferred fried eggs and sausage links. You said something of that nature to her didn’t you, in not such a very pleasant voice. You need to be a tad more tactful. She is, after all, just worried about your health and the rattling of all those pans and slamming of the cabinet doors didn’t improve either one of your tempers. In the end, you left the house without any breakfast.
Now, here you are, at work, reading manuscripts on an empty stomach and in a foul mood. (A side note here, I do try not to take offense when your profession so casually refer to us as just ‘mss’ and we’re not even capitalized!) Arguments and lack of nourishment certainly do not contribute to a positive attitude for reading enjoyment. Neither does that rather large lump on the side of your head.