It’s true. Wee all make misteaks! (Some of us, with more regularity than others.)
I learned a long time ago to admit my mistakes. I’m very good at it. I’ve had a lot of practice.
The last time I accidentally made a GOOD decision was in the ninth grade, when I accidentally signed up for typing class, instead of taking Latin, as had been recommended by my counselor. Oops. (But since I’ve pretty much spent the last 40 years typing words for a living, that mistake turned out okay.)
The earliest mistake I can remember is when I fell out of the car at four years old. I opened the door while the car was zooming down the highway. Oops!
The next few years were chock full of mistakes (and when I say “the next few” I actually mean “the next 51”.) A few stand out:
--The brushed suede tuxedo I wore to the prom in high school. Oops!
--Completely forgetting to go to any classes for an entire semester and flunking out of college my sophomore year. Oops!
--Forgetting to put anti-freeze in the 1954 Chevy. Oops!
--At 18 years old, casting half of my first-ever vote for Agnew. Oops!
--Selling my old Mustang convertible for $200. Oops!
--Forgetting to keep oil in the 1966 Ford Falcon. Oops!
--Forgetting where I left the used station wagon I had bought a month earlier, and never seeing it again. Oops!
--Leaving my little sister at a rest-stop on the Interstate Highway in Florida, and not missing her until about 60 miles later. Oops!
--Every time I have ever tried to cut my own hair or trim my own beard. Oops!
In my defense, during the same half-century I was making these mistakes, there were lots of other mistakes happening that I had absolutely nothing to do with. For instance,
--Leisure suits, Oops!
--Milli Vanilli. Oops!
--Pet Rocks. Oops!
--Windows Vista. Oops!
--“Yummy, Yummy, Yummy”. Oops!
--Giving the Nobel Prize to Al Gore. Oops!
You will notice a lot of my mistakes have involved cars. Automotive mistakes are certainly among my top categories of mistakes. That’s because I know very little about cars. This is unfortunate, because a speeding automobile is one of the worst places to make a mistake. Recognizing my tendency to make mistakes, and my total lack of understanding of all things mechanical, I have taken steps to drastically reduce my car-related mistakes. I now drive 35 MPH everywhere I go, and my mistakes cause less damage.
To try to curb my other mistakes, I’ve categorized them into groups, and come to a major realization: I make more mistakes doing the things I do more often, and fewer doing the things I do less often. For instance, I make fewer mistakes during gardening, home repairs, aerobics, cooking, etc., because I don’t do ‘em much. (Actually, I do cook occasionally, which usually results in multiple mistakes… but I don’t even count mistakes with food. I figure that’s what ketchup is for!)
My most frequent mistake categories include
a) dressing myself, because I do it every day, which provides a lot of opportunities for errors. Oops!
b) listening and/or remembering: major goof-ups, multiple times per day. Oops!
c) Nigerian princes I met on the Internet! They are SO convincing. Oops!
d) song lyric mistakes, which occur every time I try to sing. (I have actually developed a method of hiding those mistakes, using a combination of humming and mumbling. It’s like ketchup for lyrics. Note: Yodeling does NOT work; it tends instead to accentuate the mistake. Oops!)
e) social graces; CRIPES!!!
f) Business and finance; you know, stuff like banking, investing, paying taxes, saving money, making profit. Oops! Oops! Oops! Uh Oh! Oops!
To top it off, I’m in the newspaper business. Each and every week, I publish pages and pages of words -- somewhere between an estimated 150,000 to 250,000 words each week… which means 150,000 to 250,000 chances for typographical errors each week. Oops!!!!
As I said earlier, I learned a long time ago to admit my mistakes. Last week was one of those mistakes, as it happens.
An advertisement contained a very minor error: There was nobody selling BBQ Porn for Labor Day.