Get a drink. Please. I’ll wait. Before you get to the end of this paragraph, head to your refrigerator / wine cellar / liquor cabinet and grab your favorite adult beverage. Bud Light / Merlot / Smirnoff in hand? Great. Don’t imbibe just yet; this is no aperitif, to be enjoyed before sinking your teeth into today’s post. Set your beer can / wine glass / shot glass aside for the moment, but keep it within arm’s reach. We’re going to play a little drinking game. Every time you come across the word will from here on out, I want you to do a 12-ounce curl / take a big sip / down a shot. Until then, however, don’t touch that drink. That’s right: Bottoms down!
I’d like to take a minute, so just sit right there. I’ll
tell you about the time I met the Prince of Bel Air.
Against my, I was forced by a friend to enter a
sweepstakes to meet the Fresh Prince himself, Smith.
“Heads roll if you don’t enter the contest,” my friend
To keep heads firmly affixed to bodies, I did as instructed.
Not that I expected to win. I never win. Well, not a week later, while swaying
to a song by .i.am, I received a phone call from my friend. “You not
believe this!” he screamed, before informing me that I was the grand-prize
winner. The following Wednesday I was whisked away to L.A. to meet the actor at
his home. I’d get five minutes with the star of Independence Day and Men in Black, one on one.
Turns out, mega-wattage celebrities live like the hoi
polloi. When I arrived, was watching an old episode of & Grace, laughing so hard you’d think Wild Wild
West had just won a best-picture Oscar. He
was lost in the show, so I dared not interrupt, waiting instead for a
We be right back after these messages.
That was my cue.
I had one shot to make my dream a reality. Setting aside all
fan fawning, I got straight to the point:
“,” I said, referring to him by first name as if he were an old
college buddy, “I’d like to be listed as a beneficiary in your. you do
that for me?”
“I not,” he said.
I pleaded with him.
I threatened him.
Turns out, is a man with an iron. And a temper. With
my five minutes nearing an end, my begging intensified. That backfired.
“I’m gonna punch you in the ovary, that’s what I’m gonna do,”
he said, quoting Ferrell’s titular character in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
I noticed a vein jutting out of his tense neck — and security
approaching from all sides — so I dropped my request. My dreams faded faster
than a jet contrail. My big dreams, that is. If I couldn’t dream big, I’d dream
small. If I couldn’t be in his, perhaps I could be on the red carpet.
“Fine,” I said. “No mention of me in the. But how about
two tickets to the premiere of your next movie?”
“That I can do!” he
said. “I’ll leave ‘em at call.”
And that, readers, is the story of my brief, authentic encounter
with Jada’s husband.
So, everyone a bit parched? Literally couldn’t hold your
liquor, could you? Why is that? Well, it seems a certain word was missing, and
you wouldn’t have been able to find it with prescription beer goggles. See what
happens when a word, even a simple word that rhymes with nil, is omitted?
Everyone loses. That’s why writers and editors have to make sure all essential
words are included. The whole is only as strong as the sum of its parts (of
I apologize to all my thirsty readers who had hoped to
depart from their wagon. Allow me to make it up to you. Slide into your
favorite pair of parachute pants, because it’s hammered time!
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