Some recent thoughts on Email, Smoke Detectors, and The Secret Joys of Editors

An Unexpected Benefit of The Invention of Email

I love the internet. I have just facilitated an email conversation between a cousin who is 82 and my (deceased) aunt’s best friend (92) (both of them sharp as tacks). They live thousands of miles apart, and they are now happily sharing memories of my aunt and other relatives of the long-ago past on email with copies to me!

Smoke Detectors

Makes me laugh with sympathy and relief when I hear the sound of the smoke detector going off in someone else’s apartment for a few minutes and then the sound of a “Smash” and then silence. It is a miracle any of the smoke detectors in any of my apartments I have ever lived in have not been permanently broken. They must be built to withstand abuse.

On Being An Editor

Yesterday I found myself stopped in the street to admire a billboard that promotes Don Equis. And, for a change, I was not admiring the most interesting man in the world – I was admiring a pronoun. It said, “He once rode a bull until it fell asleep.” Total genius not to use the accurate pronoun there. Hats off to the editor.

One time I admired a period on the cover of an Esquire magazine for several days. It was when Jack Nicholson was in more of his heyday than he is now, and it was a cover story about him, and there was his photo on a black background and under it the word “Jack” in white, and then the period in white. And that was all.

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