Be afraid. Be very afraid.
When I get up from my desk to take a turn around the newsroom, relieving my aching knees and pumping a little more blood to the brain, the writers look up apprehensively, knowing that when a copy editor approaches it’s never good news.
I strike terror into the hearts of motorists:
They see behind the wheel the thing they most dread on the highway: old old gray-haired guy wearing a fedora and driving at the speed limit.*
I strike consternation into the hearts of colleagues and fellow parishioners:
When I start a sentence with “That reminds me,” they know that another interminable anecdote is in the offing.**
I can fill the readers of this blog with apprehension:
I’m working on a book.
*More or less.
**Though I do not pretend to the mastery of my former colleague Caden Blincoe, who is reputed once to have emptied the bar of the Cricket Tavern in Cincinnati merely by coming through the door and saying, “I heard a story the other day ...”