Sunday, August 30, 2009

Philleas Fogg: Life Lessons*

*As per challenge from Doug

I'll admit, this writing prompt was harder than the one for my junior writing portfolio at WSU: 'What is the True Meaning of the Word Hero?'(NOT MAKING THAT UP), but with a little help from Wikipedia and a brief distraction by a kitten with eyebrows, I think I'm now ready to tackle it.

I've never read Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days.I even suspected Doug of misspelling the name Philleas, which I had mistakenly thought was spelled 'Phinneas.' I may have also thought the character was a frog because his last name evoked it for me.All of these limitations come together to form my life lesson: Learning about things you have no knowledge of is humbling and then, later, it's fun to think about how wrong you were.I've never read this book,so instead here's some times I've learned a valuable lesson.

Some examples:

-Until college, I thought an alternative pronunciation of 'epitome' was 'epa-TOME' and that an 'epa-TOME' was the pinnacle of an epitome. ex. "Re-reading a John Grisham novel at your parents' house because you forgot to pack anything to read is the 'epatome' of desperation."

-I used to think Gran Marnier was pronounced Gran Mariner and may have said this out loud.

-On a trip to Dublin, I wanted to see the Forty Foot swimming hole mentioned in Ulysses, but I didn't know it was only for old men and that they preferred to swim in the nude. So I didn't know it would just be me and my friend Sarah, age 17, staring at naked old men. And offending them.

-Once, when working at Subway in high school, I was searching through some scrap wood, turning boards over to wrap and place one of those hideous party subs on. I noticed a co-worker was watching me and when he asked me what I was doing and I told him looking for holes, he asked "On...both...sides of each board?"

I don't know. There's a lot more times I've embarassed myself and learned from it, but this blog is starting to turn into a narrative hairshirt. The rest of this week, I'm either not writing about myself or only presenting myself in heroic, Howard Roark-ian terms.

With less than an hour to spare, here's your entry, Doug. Why again did I do this to myself exactly?

1 comment:

  1. Bravo. You really could have gotten away with just the picture of "Frat-Boy Frog" and still gotten full credit.

    I am of the Phinneas camp as well.

    I read "Around the World..." but it was the version where there are 7-9 words on a page and the facing page has a picture.

    Use of "hairshirt" might top "Hokie that." Discuss.