It’s definitely cancer. Or a tapeworm.
July 18, 2007
Excellent Friend Kinan and I were talking about how Google makes it really easy – even if you’re not a hypochondriac at all – to become convinced that the slightly-enlarged lymph node under your left ear is a malignant growth that will soon bulge HIDEOUSLY out from the side of your neck. Or that your mildly upset stomach is a tapeworm. Or cancer. Or a cancerous tapeworm.
I imagine that girl writers in the 1800s obsessed about consumption. Or some kind of POX. Jane Austen was probably constantly looking through A Compendium Of Family Medicine, Being The Causes And Symptoms Therewith, And Where Appropriate, Their Treatments and going “OH GOD. OH GOD!!!!”
(Not that I’m comparing us to Jane Austen. I’m just saying.)
Personally, I think writers are generally prone to wild fits and starts of insane hyperbole. (Or, you know, I just feel lots of resentment toward the people who are all calm and serene, so I DO NOT INCLUDE THEM IN MY DATA SET.)
If someone isn’t returning your emails, it’s not that they’re out of town, it’s that they hated your draft. They probably find your entire writing persona SO EMBARRASSING they’ve become a hobo rather than have to tell you about it. As we speak, they’re probably sending letters – VIA MESSENGER – to everyone they know in the business, explaining that you’re really lame and embarrassing AND HAVE A TAPEWORM.
AND SOME KIND OF HIDEOUS NECK GROWTH.
One of the many business ideas I’m always trying to get other people to run with is a SOOTHING HOTLINE you can call when you’re freaking out. And the person wouldn’t be therapeutic, or too compassionate! They’d just be kind of stern and practical ladies who used to wait cocktails in Vegas and had gravely voices, and they’d go “Of course it’s not a tapeworm. Would you stop? Stop it. Stop it right now. Do you have any episodes of Futurama on your Tivo? All right, go turn one on. I’m waiting right here until I hear Zoidberg.”
“I’m still waiting!”