Three Things

I have three things to say today. One about a book, one about a film, and another about my son.

First, the film. I watched Dead Man, a 1995 Johnny Depp film, last night. A few funny moments, but overall a load of crap. It was sort of a surreal re-imagining of a Western, with lots of foul-mouthed cowboys and an Indian who quotes William Blake. I didn’t get it, and thus was unimpressed.

Second, the book. Yesterday, I finished reading Lynne Truss’s excellent book on punctuation called Eats, Shoots & Leaves. While a book on punctuation sounds about as exciting as reading a dictionary, it was actually extremely funny and made many good points about society’s slide into a punctuational abyss, thanks, largely, to the rise of email and other electronic communications. I have remarked before about how a great many people seem to lose all grasp of grammar, spelling and punctuation when they send emails, and Ms. Truss makes the same point. But this book is not just a lament for declining punctuational standards. There’s a lot of history about how we came to have the various symbols that we use to craft our writing. It’s very interesting and, yes, very funny.

Finally, a conversation with my boy, Thomas. Picture it: McDonald’s; Last Saturday; 11:45 AM.

Me: OK. After we finish eating we’re going to make stops at SAM’s, Wal-Mart, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Target. Then we should be able to go home.
Thomas: That’s gonna take forever! If I could invent a time machine, then we could skip all that and be home, with everything we need!
Me: Thomas, if you could invent a time machine, you’d be a billionaire.
Thomas: (Furrowing his brow.) No, Daddy. A “scientist.”

I guess he’s right…