Mr. Barbecue-Smith

I had a bad week. Which is to say, I had a fine week, except I walked around all the time with my jaw clenched a good deal tighter than usual. It was an anxious, sleepless panorama that culminated in a phantasmagoric Thursday that distinguished itself four main ways.

1) I was a jerk all day. Sorry, all.

2) 9:03 a.m. -- in class, I said, "...brought off, if you will..." in regards to Emily Dickinson having an orgasm.

3) 2:36 p.m. -- in class, I said, "...somebody who likes to get down with virgins..." in regards to a character in Mansfield Park.

4) 5:25 p.m. -- I asked my first question at an academic talk, and I got the bomb dropped on me. "How much sympathy does your position have for a group of key texts?" I stammered, lamb-meek.

Flummoxed, he paced around the podium and started explaining. Then he stopped himself and said, "Anyone who's read my work knows..." Everybody in the room went "OOOOOOOOH!"

In fairness me, it wasn't as bad as all that, because then he said, "...Wordsworth keeps popping up." In fairness to him, I most certainly haven't read his work. Are academics allowed to say that? As if anybody reads their work.

Then somebody gave me a free case of beer and I got wasted on zero sleep, and now I'm waking up at like 8 at night. I just wrote an alarmingly alliterative response paper that included the phrase "maintain the legerdemain," and I'm feeling way too self-referential to be of any good to anybody.

This will be the best November yet.

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