In case anyone was worried sick, my presentation went fine. I had to present to the rest of the creatives–that’s what they call us: “creatives.” I had to show the rest of the CREATIVES why copy editing is necessary and why it takes so damn long.
We copy editors get a lot of, “Can you look at this real quick?” which is just exactly the opposite of what we do, so no. We can’t.
For the presentation, I wrote The World’s Worst Paragraph, with every error, every fact you have to research, every is-this-written-in-the-client’s-voice issue, and all the first person/third person woes you can imagine, to show how just one paragraph might take us two hours to complete.
“Can you look at this real fast? Just do a quick read.” Madre de Dios.
Anyway, it went well, and people laughed, which was my goal. I even used Oprah’s “A new day is ON THE HORIZON” line, so yay. Everyone needs more Oprah impreshes.
I also forced all the other copy editors, or CEs, and we’re called amongst the CREATIVES, to wear black and red, the official colors of copy editing. Behold The Poet, who even threw in her bunny socks.
The Poet is going to the opera, as opposed to the Oprah, this Friday. They stream New York operas to the movie theater, and you can buy a ticket for nine hundred dollars and watch at the movies. I’d expressed interest in it, but in a stunning display of How We Both Are, I can’t join The Fancy Cello-Playing Poet this weekend, because that day I have drag queen bingo.
In other news, I have this one cat named Steely Dan.
Have you heard about him? For he is ridiculous.
So far this year, it’s been damn cold. Un-The-South-y cold. And the only good part of that is that my wandering Jew stays home.
Steely Dan is not, in fact, a Jew. I always thought Francis might be. Edsel sure is. Steely Dan is all Presbyterian. Maybe working-class Catholic. With zero guilt.
Anyway, he’s been home a lot due to the cold, playing with that giant computer box that he enjoys so much that I’m loath to put it away, and fetching his mice till they all disappear and I have to go buy new ones. It’s lovely having him here, like a wayward husband who has a broken collarbone and has to stay in or something.
The point is, he chews. He chews clothes. He’s a clothes chewer. I’ve never had a cat who did this, but I’ve had other cats who left their mother too soon (See: Jewish Francis) and developed other odd allegedly soothing habits. Fran liked to chew plastic, and also paw euphorically at it while swinging his head from side to side like Stevie Wonder. He’d even eat plastic.
You’ve no idea how many times that cat swished into a room with dry cleaner bags half out his ass. Well. Like, twice. After that we got rid of all dry cleaner bags as soon as they got to the house. Remember when we all had to dry clean everything?
Have I ever told you the “Hello, Garden?” story? It involves doing an impression of an Asian accent, after all that yesterday.
…Actually, there used to be a punchline to this story, but now so many years have passed that I can’t remember it. Still, I used to live in Seattle near this place called Ace Cleaner, which was technically Ace Cleaners but they’d always call themselves Ace Cleaner when they called. And called they did, as I was never getting my clothes once they were ready. Because cost.
As a busy important receptionist at the time, a welcome addition to my wealthy existence was having to dry clean business clothes, which I had to wear every day. I can wear jeans to work now, and it’s funny to think of the long purple blazers over long black skirts because hello ’90s, and also the black hose hose hose out my ass like Fran’s dry cleaner bags. So many pair of hose. We MAY have had casual Friday, but I don’t think so.
Anyway, I was forever taking stuff to Ace Cleaner and then getting the fairly annoyed call. “Hello, Garden. This Ace Cleaner. Your clothes are ready” answering machine message. Because hello ’90s.
They always called me by my last name, but slightly mispronounced. And then I’d go there and just pick up one item, as it was all I could afford. I’m certain I wasn’t annoying at all.
I think they paid me $21,000 a year at that job, and insisted I wear fancy clothes that needed to be dry cleaned. What a rip. They DID pay for my bus card every month, though, so that’s good.
Oh my god, anyway.
So of course we don’t KNOW what tragedy befell Steely Dan’s motherless self, but we DO know that those two adorable gay college students saw a teensy, barely able to walk yet, barely legal all nude Steely Dan was toddling up the sidewalk in the rain two summers ago. So he left mom at a young age for sure, and thank heavens those boys took him in and cared for him, not knowing he’d grow up to be a panther with commitment issues.
So, whether it’s because his mom left too soon or he’s just a dick, Steely Dan eats clothes, a realization it took me awhile to have. I was all Ace Cleaner with my “just one” item of clothing suddenly having holes a’plenty, and I’d be all, that damn dryer.
That damn moth.
That damn hole punch I got stuck in and forgot.
Eventually I figured it out. I may have actually seen him ecstatically chewing chonies or whatever, but in general he tends to do his clothes chaw when I’m not around. It’s a private moment for The Dan.
So at this point, I’ve Anne Franked my clothes to the Nth degree. I hide the laundry baskets in the spare-room closet with the real door. Yes, he can open doors, but he hasn’t figured out that particular door contains a clothing smorgasbord yet.
I also keep my bedroom door shut AND a spare medicine cabinet–something we all have–shoved against the doors to the closet in there, as they are swingy, hello-I’m-in-a-Western double doors with no knob, for some reason.
Every once in awhile I’ll nap with the bedroom door open and I’ve heard from time to time a soft shove, and there SD will be, just starting to move the damn medicine cabinet to get to his closet.
Because the thing is, see, he loves my bedroom. It’s his home. It’s where he spent his childhood.
When he was a kitten, I kept him back in that room a lot. His canned kitten food was presented to him there, and while he ate, I had to shut the door so Edsel wouldn’t burst over and eat all the kitten food.
Then, unlike other kittens who’ve resided in my room, he was content to leap onto the rocking chair and just hang out alone rather than find a way to get back to all of us in the rest of the house. We matter little to SD, in the grand scheme. And now his goal in life is to reside in his old room, maybe casually meander to the food fest that is behind my swinging Western door closet.
So I’ve been careful to not let him have more clothes to eat, and I’ve even given him a whole SD Chewing Shirt that he’d already ruined. One month my Stitch Fix came, and I left it all in the box, and he got in there and helped himself to a whole shirt that I had to then buy already ruined.
So after I fed him poison razor blades and ran him over repeatedly with the car and he sprang back to life like the Friday the 13th guy, I gave him the damn shirt to chew at his leisure.
News flash: All the time, every moment, is Steely Dan’s leisure.
THE POINT IS, somehow this week, I left out ONE SOCK, one of my new soft Christmas socks with the rubbery stuff on the bottom so I don’t slide, and I discovered SD’s assigned shirt that he’d LEFT ALONE, next to my NEW SOCK chewed to bits.
And that is why I drink.
P.S. My new computer has new effects on its webcam, a feature I’ve been wanting to show you and forget to show you. You know how I am. See above.