Falling into commas

BY BEAU ELLIOT | JUNE 19, 2012 6:30 AM

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"Success is the drug, and we are all consuming it, because it feels so good until your brain shuts down and you go into a comma."

Yeah, me, too. I just hate falling into commas. I mean, they have those sharp, pointy hook things. They're hell on your ribs. Just trust me on this one.

"You go into a comma," etc., was an actual sentence I stumbled into last week. But then, I'm always stumbling into things. I tend to blame my bad knee, which was a very special gift from high-school basketball, but probably, I'm just clumsy.

(You didn't have to agree so quickly. Have some gravitas.)

Speaking of gravitas — which is related to "gravity," not that you need to go around bragging about it or anything — I shared the "comma" sentence with a pal of mine who's a professor and who possesses gravitas, as you would expect from a UI professor.

Luckily, he also possesses a great sense of fun.

And so we had fun. In the sense of, if you could go into a comma, could you stumble (there's that word again) across a semicolon?

Oooh. They have those sharp, pointy hook things, too. Pretty soon we'll be trout fishing in America, unless we decide to have a brat again.

Of course, it's a lot worse to fall into a colon. I mean, you just about never get out of that — what's the polite word? — mess.

Not as big a mess as the two Obamas find themselves in, having lost their law licenses and everything under questionable circumstances.

You didn't hear? Oh, yeah. I get these chain emails all the time. I have these friends who think it's a real hoot (to use one of my grandmother's words) to sign me up for conservative chain emails. So I get to stay abreast of all the latest conspiracy theories. Lucky me.

Of course, I love conspiracy theories. I mean, I live on a grassy knoll and everything, which is much harder than it would seem when you're just daydreaming about it.

Anyway, the theory flying around the Internet electrons (or whatever they are) is that President Obama and Michelle Obama gave up their law licenses because they were facing some sort of ethics charges.

As the email told me:

"President Barack Obama, former editor of the Harvard Law Review, is no longer a lawyer. He surrendered his license back in 2008 in order to escape charges he lied on his bar application."

And Michelle Obama?

"Michelle Obama voluntarily surrendered her law license in 1993 after a federal judge gave her the choice between surrendering her license or standing trial for insurance fraud."

Who knew? Heady stuff, right?

Well, yeah, except that it's about as true as Iowa being located south of Missouri. Or that President Obama is a Muslim. Or that Michelle Obama is secretly white. (OK, I actually haven't heard that last one. It could be that I momentarily fell into a comma.)

As the good folks at FactCheck point out, "But James Grogan, deputy administrator and chief counsel for the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois, said the Obamas were never the subject of any public disciplinary proceedings."

(Probably the esteemed Mr. Grogan meant "subjects," not "subject," but details, details. That's where you find the devil, is what I hear. But then, obviously, I hear many things.)

(And no, I'm not talking about voices in my head. Get off the conspiracy gravy train.)

What is it with the right wing and all these theories? I mean, birth certificates, law licenses. Next thing you know, the right wing will link the Obamas to some land deal in Arkansas.

Frankly, I'd rather fall into a comma.

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