Last night, I had a complete epiphany. The ending of my book just came to me, as in a dream or, in J.K. Rowling's case, after reading the Cliff's Notes on every fantasy writer and expert on Celtic mythology who ever lived. And I intend to give this beautiful inspiration the same careful treatment as Rowling gave the entire collected works of JRR Tolkien.
Picture it: The Plucky Girl Detective has finally captured the bad guy, and it's time to reveal just who it is that's been dressing up like Boy George and terrorizing local karaoke bars. Reaching up and ripping off his false eyelashes, PGD exposes the perpetrator as none other than HANK, the homophobic owner of the sports memorabilia store and rabid fan of Culture Club, an irreconcilable paradox that has driven him insane and led to his life of crime, really bad singing, which in my book is a capital offense.
While I don't know how the other 22,000-plus words will go, I am now going to tell you the last 17 words of the story. (spoiler alert)
Hands tied behind his back, he'll glower at the Plucky Girl Detective and all the patrons of Klyde's Kooky Karaoke Klub, and he'll say:
"I'd have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for that meddling 240 pound bouncer."
See? JK and me. We're practically twins.
16: I am thankful for strategic dishonesty. On the whole, I'd rather not be lied to. The problem isn't just the deceit. It's that no one ever gets it quite right. Either they're too good at it or not good enough, and either way I just don't have time to coach them. Take a class, people.
However, there are a few liars in my life whom I worship, and who I hope will never, ever learn to tell the truth.
One is my scale, who winks at me every morning and tells me I weigh six to eight pounds less than every other scale on the earth thinks I weigh. Who knows? Maybe gravity just pulls a little less ambitiously in my bathroom, but I have convinced myself that mine is the only accurate scale in the world. Those super-sensitive scales they use to weigh atoms and stuff? Please. They're just guessing.
Another is Calvin Klein and his skinny jeans. I'm not sure what he hopes to gain by telling me that I'm a size 14, but since he is apparently in cahoots with my bathroom scale, I've decided to leave the master planning to them. I don't have to understand all of life's mysteries.
The last group is composed of those delightful people who, machete in hand, regularly hack their way through my front door and clear a path to the couch. Visiting teachers, piano student parents, Jehovah's Witnesses - they all have somehow developed the almost super-human ability to look me right in the eye and say, "Oh, pshaw, your house looks just fine. Seriously, you should see ours."
We both know the only way these good souls' houses could look worse than mine is if they lived in the middle of an artillery range, but still, there they sit, smiling and pleasant while lie after lie just spills from their lips.
Bless their hearts.
Now as for you? Well, from you I expect the same unvarnished truth you've always given me on my comments page. It's been difficult, but over the last year I've learned to live with your kindness, witty banter, and supportive encouragement, and I see absolutely no reason to change anything now.
In fact, speaking of that kind of honesty, let me ask you a question:
Do these jeans make me look fat?