Must Metriculate

May 3, 1996

Folks, Friday has come around again and it’s now the monsoon season.

We all know what that means, don’t we? It means it’s time for students all over the place, from kindergarten to college, to graduate. I’d like to say congratulations to all students out there, and I hope whatever plans you’ve made work out perfectly. If they don’t, just remember that the best laid plans of mice and men…uh…are…I can’t remember the rest. I think it’s something to do with cheese. For those of you who are departing, let me leave you with some real words of wisdom which I saw emblazoned on a water tower in white letters three feet high: DEFY MEDOCRITY. Defy medocrity. Right. I’m trying really hard to imagine the person who would climb forty feet in the air with several gallons of paint and who couldn’t bother to take a dictionary. Or even a piece of paper with the correct spelling. And it’s not like it would have been that hard to fix. It’s not as if this person were Michelangelo standing back to look at the Sistine Chapel and saying, "Damn, I forgot to paint God." No, a vertical line wouldn’t have been hard to insert, and it really says something about the artist (and I do use that term loosely) who couldn’t even be bothered to go back and fix a mistake like that.

Maybe I’m missing something, though. Maybe it was done intentionally–one of those flubs that’s done to catch people’s attention. Maybe the artist knew that people like me would rant on about spelling and other petty aspects of the work, rather than focusing on the real message. Maybe what the artist was trying to say was, Mispelling is a sign of gratness.

Enjoy this week’s snippet. As we say on our little island in the Indian Ocean, You can keep a dog, but fiberglass is bad for your teeth. That’s not right…let me go get my dictionary…

Actual headlines from various newspapers

1. Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers
2. Milk drinkers are turning to powder
3. Safety experts say school bus passengers should be belted
4. Quarter of a million Chinese live on water
5. Farmer Bill dies in House
6. Iraqi head seeks arms
7. Queen Mary having bottom scraped
8. Panda mating fails – veterinarian takes over
9. NJ judge to rule on nude beach
10. Childs stool great for use in garden
11. Dr. Ruth to talk about sex with newspaper editors
12. Soviet virgin lands short of goal again
13. Organ festival ends in smashing climax
14. Eye drops off shelf
15. Squad helps dog bite victim
16. Dealers will hear car talk at noon
17. Enraged cow injures farmer with ax
18. Lawmen from Mexico barbecue guests
19. Miners refuse to work after death
20. Two Soviet ships collide – one dies
21. Two sisters reunite after eighteen years at checkout counter
22. Never withhold herpes from loved one
23. Nicaragua sets goal to wipe out literacy
24. Drunk drivers paid $1,000 in 1984
25. Autos killing 110 a day – let’s resolve to do better
26. If stike isn’t settled quickly it may last a while
27. War dims hope for peace
28. Smokers are productive, but death cuts efficiency
29. Cold wave linked to temperatures
30. Child’s death ruins couple’s holiday
31. Blind woman gets new kidney from daughter she hasn’t seen in years
32. Man is fatally slain
33. Something went wrong in jet crash, experts say
34. Death causes loneliness, feeling of isolation

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