Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"Not So Fast, Braggy Boy"

I know blogs get comments.  I receive a few myself sometimes.  But, by far, the easiest part of blog writing is that there is nobody sitting beside me, calling me on my uncensored ramblings, no adversarial sounding board to say,

“Yeah, that didn’t quite happen the way you described it.”
“You seem have excluded certain obvious contradictory examples.”

“That’s just plain nonsense.”


“That’s sick!

Challenges of that nature. 

There is no keeping-one-honest mechanism in the blog-writing apparatus.  I just rattle away at my computer and my unedited blathering flies out into the cyberspatial ether.  Once in a while, I will blow the whistle on myself by including acknowledging reactions to my unchallenged assertions via the interjections of “Italics Man” or “Blue Writing Man” and at least on one occasion, Blue Writing Italics Man.” 

I include these remonstrative interjections at times when I can simply no longer tolerate myself, and I require somebody, if only a self-fabricated “somebody”, to remedially take me to task.  (Other than my readers, many of whom I can imagine needing ocular rehabilitation, suffering from a dangerous excess of “Rolling of the Eyes.”) 

It is not that I don’t believe what I’m saying.  Why else would I say it?  It’s just that leaving my assertions uncontested sometimes stretches my capacity for self-delusion to a degree I cannot, in good conscience, allow to stand, meaning that though I will not back away from my assertions, I will admittedly acknowledge that many, most or possibly all of them are seriously open to dispute.

But that’s only when I notice such excesses.  There have quite likely been numerous occasions where I dished out my highly questionable perspectives without raising a skeptical eyebrow, because I was unaware just how far out on a limb I had actually ventured.  So even this exonerating assertion is not immune to qualification.  It is not that I let stuff go; it’s that, on those occasions, I am totally oblivious to how ridiculous it sounds.

This limitation to my purported self-oversight returned to mind after yesterday writing, in my most self-congratulatory manner, in a blog post called “In”, that I democratically “treated everybody the same.” 

It took a day to remind myself that this lofty assertion is not entirely factual.  As a gesture of self-purification, or if that’s too out-in-the-deserty, simply fessing up to my dishonesties, I find it necessary to correct the record with this contradicting recollection.

We were attending a play at an outdoor amphitheater, when, while we were heading for our seats, a woman cradling a baby called out my name.  I turned to her, offering my always-endearing reaction, indicating “I have no idea who you are.”  I may actually have literally professed, in a mistaken expression of salvaging disingenuousness, “I have no idea who you are.”

The woman kindly reminded me that, maybe a decade and half or so earlier, she had served on the production staff of a series I had created and Executive Produced called Best of the West.

It is always an uncomfortable moment when somebody recognizes me and I am unable reciprocate.  I invariably cover with “concerned chatter”, as I did this time, asking the woman how she’s doing, and in this case the name and age of her baby.  (Which I assiduously kept “gender neutral” because with some babies it is not easy to tell and, having already dug myself a hole, I did not want to sink any further by saying “What’s his name?” and hearing back “Amanda.”) 

Finally, I completed what I believed was an acceptable effort at placating the bruised feelings of a woman I had obliterated from my memory, and we departed for our seats.  All through the show, however, my dismissal of her existence continued to haunt me, feeling naggingly uncertain that my cursory ingratiations had satisfactorily settled the bill.

When the play ended, I deliberately made my way back to where the woman was sitting, hoping to cap off the encounter with a spontaneous gesture of demonstrated interest, so that she could go home happy, and I could go home guilt-free.

“What exactly did you do on Best of the West?” I inquired in my most ingratiating timbre.

To which the woman replied,

“I was your Personal Assistant.”

“I treated everybody the same”?

Sorry, not that time.
Happy Canada Day!  I am not legally you anymore.  But a big part of me - the way I think, the way I feel about things, the way I behave - still pure, unadulterated Canadian.  And I couldn't be happier about that.

In the category of "Character Underpinnings" if nothing else - and there is something else, hockey - Canada is arguably at least among the greatest countries in the world.

Thanks for the sensible grounding, Canada.  I'd have been nowhere without it.

I just wrote "And you know what?  It's okay to brag.  At least one day a year."  But I took it out.

It sounds way too American.

1 comment:

Andy Andy Diefenbaker said...

Funny story - your very own personal assistant. But I guess that means you were none too personal and, perhaps, her assists did not lead to anything memorable. Or it's just a reminder of the fragility of our memories.

Happy Canada Day! Were there any special functions held in Santa Monica by all the Canadian ex-pats in your neighborhood?