"I sometimes make mistakes, I wish I didn't. I sometimes make mistakes, I wish I didn't."
Created for David Gale's Peachy Coochy at ArtsAdmin, January 2009, Brian retold the story of keyboarding instructor Mrs. Linford, the perpetual quest for perfection, and the process of truly owning up to one's own mistakes. Full performance text below.
1 ) asdfjkl; (3x), ;;;; space (2x)
2) Samma is the word for semi-colon, at least according to Mrs. Linford, Mrs. Joan Linford who was my keyboarding instructor at Bethlehem Central Middle School in 1993. The two syllables of samma replaced the four syllables of semi-colon , thus enabling Mrs. Linford to easily fit samma into a verbal prompt.
3) Mrs. Linford said samma with a distinctive drawl, reminding us young students in Albany, New York that Mrs. Linford was not from around here, but she was, rather, from somewhere far more glamorous: a steno pool in Savannah, Georgia where Secretary was an artform and perfection pre-requisite for the job.
6) It was not the errors that gave me a ten, rather my weak attempt to cover up those mistakes. For Mrs. Linford, the only things worse than a slipped finger was the gall and audacity to think that she wouldn't notice.
7) This lesson, as with Mrs. Linford's job is seemingly irrelevant today. When Mrs. Linford retired, Bethlehem Central Middle School discontinued keyboarding, as they figured enough students already know how to touch type. And for those who don't, well, even my mobile phone spellchecks for me.
8) As irrelevant as Mrs. Linford and her class may be now, I feel indebted to her for her lesson, as well as consistently shamed. I sometimes make mistakes I wish I didn't.
9) I've had cybersex while talking on the phone with a friend in need. I slept through the fundraiser for Gaza. I skipped out on a bill once at Sifra in Exmouth Market. I consciously wished strangers and non-strangers death in 2009, which led to the death of Eartha Kitt. I forgot to feed Rosey the cat once while Annette was away. I had sex with a stranger in a bathroom stall at Shunt.
10) I had sex with a stranger in the bathroom at Act Art. I lied to my tuttees about moving away from London when I'm, um, I'm still here. I just hate those little bitches.
It's not that Mrs. Linford required perfection, it's just that she didn't like people to cover their mistakes.
11) Recites 2nd line of the keyboard.
12) Recites 1st line of the keyboard.
13) Recites 3rd line of the keyboard.
14) Recites Counterclockwise from T
15) Recites Clockwise from Y
16) Recites Diagonal from Q
17) Recites Diagonal from O
18) Recites Alternate from Q
19) Sometimes I make mistakes I wish I didn't. Sometimes I make mistakes I wish I didn't.
20) asdfjkl; (3x) samma samma samma samma space (2x)