Deja vu…You have heard that term. One morning about 3 am when I should have been sleeping, I wasn’t because I had procrastinated just a tad, with a little help from another individual who had done the same, whose work had to be in MY lap before I could finish. Having taught for 33 years I know how suspicious it sounds when one tries to spread the blame around. About 3 am, though, I was finished with the task. I had proofread three or four times then one more out loud and was preparing to copy and paste the masterpiece to its appointed place. The end was near. It was like being in my college dorm finishing the last page of a research paper due at 8 am.
How could I have been totally unaware of my cat’s presence? He is normally not a quiet creature. Suddenly he was sailing over my shoulder! Before I could divert his direction, all four feet landed simultaneously right in the middle of the keyboard.
My masterpiece disappeared. All of it. In its place were four or five tiny slanted lines. That was all. I hunted for the magical undo button used when I myself make screens disappear. It didn’t work this time. I tried to calmly gather up all my bits and pieces of computer knowledge and attempted to think logically about the situation. There was a solution somewhere for sure. I was positive of that. I was also positive that I was not going to find it.
I did, however, find the first page in a file with the difference that all the lines of type had horizontal lines running right through their middles. I took a screen shot with my phone then proceeded to type page one again. Page two was not that far from my fingertips and gray matter so I retyped it quickly. It wasn’t the same. Nothing a writer ever tries to duplicate comes out the same. We think of a different, better word, a shorter way to share a thought, a clever twist that bypassed us the first time, and maybe, just maybe, it will elicit a chuckle from a reader.
DaVinci got some attention, probably not the kind he was hoping for, if he was hoping for my undistracted focus or a midnight snack. He went on his merry way and left me to double my production in half the time. I did it with a third of the sleep I normally get. Next month when assignment time rolls around, DaVinci won’t be my proofreader. I don’t need his kind of help.
“The mathematical probability of a common cat doing exactly as it pleases is the one scientific absolute in the world.” Lynn M. Osband