One of my students recently reminded me of Fail Blog, an internet phenomenon whereby people send in pictures that give evidence of people failing at life in various ways, with the word “FAIL” emblazoned on them to heighten the hilarity and shame. I had my students write responses to the final chapter in the 1976 edition of The Selfish Gene, in which they were to mimic Richard Dawkins’ writing style and write an account of a current “meme,” giving a Dawkins-like account of why that particular meme possesses the essential survival characteristics of longevity, fecundity, and copying-fidelity. This student read her account of Fail Blog to the whole class, with Dawkins-like gravity and conviction, which was hilarious for all and a good lesson about authorial ethos to boot. Little did I know that I myself would soon fall victim to Fail.
Last night, I decided to knock off work at 10:00 pm. Pat (who has given me permission to give him a real name) had declared that he would be done with his work by 10:30, and I figured that a half an hour would be plenty of time to graft one, if not both, of the front seams on my Nadine tunic. Right? Wrong. First I had to measure out and pick up 86 stitches, and then I had to do the world’s longest effing Kitchener Stitch graft on all 86 of those bad boys. Doing just one seam took me over an hour, and when I reached the end, my poor, abused grafting yarn was shredding apart from being pulled through 86 stitches twice each, and I messed up somewhere and had two extra stitches on one side, which I just decided to finesse by grafting them together with their neighbors. I breathed a sigh of relief and inspected my handiwork, while commenting out loud to Pat, who was doing the dishes: “Well, this seam is kind of ugly I guess, but it took me a million years and it’s done and I don’t care.” Then I held the piece up to get a look at the whole thing, and suddenly I was in a slow-motion scene from an action movie: “Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”
See the problem? The picture on the left is the way it’s supposed to look, and the picture on the right is my monstrosity. Those little lacy bits at the bottom of the middle part are of course supposed to go down by the hips, and the long lacy side part goes up and over the shoulder to become the strap. As I was rocking back and forth in a little ball on the floor trying to soothe myself, Pat ran the garbage disposal and we heard a loud CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH. I ran into the kitchen to discover that my favorite and most prized shot glass, from the Sod House Museum in Gothenburg, Nebraska, had slipped into the garbage disposal while neither of us were looking, and had been crunched into bits. This morning when the plumber came, he just reached his hand right in there to fish out the big pieces, and then ran the disposal until all the little bits were cleared out. Fortunately we did not have to pay him for this “service,” because we live in a university apartment where maintenance is taken care of by the housing office.
I couldn’t look at my Nadine for the rest of the night, and put in some rows on my new lace project instead (details forthcoming), but I am resolved to get back on the grafting horse ASAP rather than let this thing beat me. Maybe this very afternoon? May the Gods of Win be with me.