Autocorrect: guess I'm just ungrateful.

Autocorrect is no snob. It corrects me, often adding new and ridiculous dimensions to what I think I'm writing. It corrects my brilliant friends. It has changed the blog name of ajc to ANC whenever I type it, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't post from Africa.

And now, finally, Autocorrect has edited A.E.Housman.

Into my heart an air that kills
From young far cow blows
What are those blue remember hills
What spills, what farms are this
That is the LAN of los content
I see it SHi non plain
The happy highways where I went
And can out come again.

I don't think Autocorrect's work is an improvement, but then I'm the old fogy who wanted the font on every level of an outline to be the same. Go figure.

I was typing the poem, by the way, as part of a response to an invitation to a reunion of an affinity group. The affinity is that at some time or other, each of us served time at a company known as "The Hellhole," and while there we worked for or were "lent" to The World's Worst Boss. Schizoid and demented don't begin to describe this individual. Example: I receive a call while on vacation in Venice; Son of Sam insists I return to New York immediately as one of my matters is going wrong. Time zones, of course, mean nothing to SoS since he sleepeth not. What's going wrong? At the moment, he explains, nothing, but in case something should happen he would need me to handle it since he couldn't read the status memo I'd left. Oh, dear, how come? Well, hadn't he repeatedly told me that he can't read my handwriting? The memo was typed, I pointed out. You must come back on the very next flight, he insisted, I don't like to get memos in that font and you failed to observe that your secretary used the wrong kind of staple. We have a very bad connection, I can't hear you, quoth I, and just to be on the safe side I changed hotels.

When the group gathered, we all told stories - some like that one, mostly worse. Some of the former employees took requests for favorite recitations. The stories are funny when (1) you no longer work at The Hellhole, and (2) there's an open bar. At one of the last gatherings I attended, I learned that SoS had been bought out and had left the state. I hated thinking of him getting a fresh start, aren't fresh starts for the deserving? Because the real purpose of these gatherings had been to hope, collectively, that there was such a thing as Karma, and that it works.

The following fall, someone who still gets work-related nightmares and follows the fate of SoS as if tracking Eichmann reported that SoS had gone off the deep end at a client meeting. The client called an ambulance, and SoS was borne off on a stretcher, raving and shouting. This was such wonderfully satisfying news that I didn't want to attend any more gatherings. Others felt that way as well. We didn't need to. And so, I thought I would add a nostalgic - but over - tone to an email in which I closed the door on even remembering a chapter in my life where every day began with a desperate hour devoted to job-hunting. Autocorrect has other ideas about Prof. Housman's work. Well, I'll try again later; copy/paste is not as unreasoningly critical.


  1. Ah yes, the SoS... I think everyone has worked for one, or in my case, with one. I never saw or heard about him after the day I quit.

  2. Hi, Rose, yes, everybody's had one. The lucky are those who've only had one.


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