Posted by: stillironic | January 12, 2010

Let Me Set the Record Straight—1

The Wrong Direction

I’m going to be short and to the point. This high school friend of mine—no, make that an acquaintance—just got a novel published based on my life story. But I want to make it clear from the get go that the book, called Sitcom, is nothing but a big bucket o’ lies, from the untruthful portrayal of my physical characteristics—so what if I was born with a unibrow; that’s not a crime—all the way through to its sloppily applied, insincere punctuation.

This book, which as I’ve said contains not even the remotest smidgeon of truth about me, is also supposedly based on our hometown of Shaddrach, Pennsylvania—Shaddrach with two “d”s, not one “d” like the biblical Shadrach. Originally, one “d” was enough, but for some reason the second “d” was added around the turn of the century—the original turn of the century, not the more recent glitzy one with the flying children and all that Y2K hoopla that turned into the biggest yawn ever—about the same time the “h” was added back to Pittsburgh, our big neighbor to the north. But get this, the Burgh is actually located down river from us.

That’s right, Shaddrach’s south, but the river, the Monongahela—or the Mon as it’s known in these parts—flows north. Many of us educated in the Shaddrach public school system of the ‘50s and ‘60s, with its roll-down maps making Greenland gigantic and its teachers who liked to stand by the maps and rap on them with their pointers, would say that the Mon flows in the wrong direction.

© 2010 by Virginia Gerhart

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