Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bad Penmanship Is a Sign of the Devil

The world today is fraught with danger. Some of these life-threatening life-threateners are visible to the naked eye: sociopathic clowns wielding chainsaws, vats of sulfuric acid surrounded by loose gunpowder, perhaps vampires.

I'm not afraid of these obviously sinister characters. What really scares me is the unknown. The indecipherable. Evil incoherent. Remember that little boy (and it's always a boy; girls are too careful to let their diabolic nature manifest itself in a random grammar quiz) who sat next to you in the third grade, who would sneak a nibble at his boogers when he thought no one was looking, but you always caught him? His handwriting was terrible. He never learned to write a proper cursive "z." Do you know what that lad does now?

He kills neighborhood pets, just for kicks.

But who knew to suspect little Roger? It took me twenty years to understand the threat, to comprehend the precarious limb upon which society is balanced. But I've seen it too many times to ignore it now. And that's why I'm going to become a Satanist.

I must concede, for the good of humankind, that my handwriting is nearly illegible. My 6's look like G's, my e's disappear, showing up randomly at the end of "the," and then only as a squiggle. My m's, n's and r's are indistinguishable. Often I have no idea what I've written as a reminder to myself: am I supposed to see the doctor, or wash the car? I have no understanding of my own mind. What evil lurks in my heart? The Shadow would know, if he could read chicken-scratch.

So I shall devote myself to the propagation of evil. I will trip old ladies as they cross the street, and beat up cub scouts. I must fulfill my destiny as revealed through my handwriting, a clear indication that my life is meant to do Lucifer's work. The very sight of my grocery lists will make grown men weep, and clergy hose themselves off with holy water. My personal checks, abominations every one, will be used to purchase diabolical utensils, like sporks, and pentagram branding irons.

No one may understand what I've written, but now the world can be sure that whatever appears on my stationery shall be missives from the depths of Hell. Or maybe just a to-do list. A vile, odious to-do list.

2 comments:

KateGladstone said...

Believe it or not, some folks regard even GOOD penmanship (of one particular form) as a sign of the devil!
As a handwriting improvement specialist (who for good and sufficient reasons avoids "proper cursive" in plying this trade), I have actually received occasional e-mails, phone calls, and letters accusing me, quite literally, of diabolism. (The most memorable correspondent used ten pages of textbook-perfect Palmer Method to denounce me for teaching and advocating what he called a "Satanic, Commie, un-American" handwriting style. If I really had a shred of morals, he made plain, I'd loop and join and curlicue every single one of my letters, just as the Good Lord intended. To find out what gets a few people so teed off that they deem me an emissary of the Prince of Darkness, visit my web-site at http://www.learn.to/handwrite ... if you dare ...
Kate Gladstone — Handwriting Repairwoman

Samuel said...

"Handwriting improvement specialist" - your second grade teacher would be proud! How many years of training, mental fitness, and hand execercises did it take to earn such a esteemed title?