About a year ago, I noticed that whenever I do a big signing or a convention with a lot of panels, I end up getting sick as a dog afterwards.
So I started being more careful. I made a point of eating healthy while I'm there. I drink plenty of water and juice. I take vitamins and a zinc supplement. I wash my hands so often it looks like I'm channeling the spirit of Howard Hughes.
And it doesn't make a damn bit of difference. As soon as the convention or signing is over, I get sick. I might as well tongue-kiss everyone I meet at a convention. That way I'd at least feel like I deserved to get sick. Plus the pictures people posted on facebook would be *way* more interesting. Plus kissing is awesome.
What was I talking about?
Oh yeah. My sickness. It turns out I wasn't just being a big sissy baby. I didn't have swine flu, but I did have strep throat. That makes me feel a little better about the fact that I've spent the last week weeping like a little girl and doing shots of chloraseptic like a fratboy on a bet.
*Sigh* You know what sucks about being an experienced writer? The internal editor. Ten years about I would have written that last sentence and moved on with my life whistling merrily.
But now when I write it, I think:
- This reinforces our negative cultural stereotype that implies women are weak and weepy.
- This implies that all frat boys are clueless drunken fuck-ups.
- If I write this, a half dozen people will leave comments saying, "I was the proud member of Epsilon Ometa Whateverthefuck fraternity in college. Not all of us are drunken idiots. My brothers and I maintained a 3.8 GPA, drank nothing but rainwater, and raised money for crippled kittens."
And then I sigh.
Of course, nobody will write in about the subtler, implied slur against women. Which makes me feel worse in some ways.
Don't get me wrong, the internal editor is a useful thing. It keeps me from getting in trouble. (Sometimes.) It makes me a better writer. It makes me a better human being.
But still, it's a shame. "Weeping like a little girl" is a lovely phrase. It really gets my point across. It conveys. And when you apply it to some great hairy bear of a man like me, it's got all sorts of humorous implications.
The same is true with the stereotype of the drunk sideways-cap wearing frat boy. It's a funny thing. It's a useful tool for humor.
The other obvious problem is that it takes so much more time to be a careful writer. Take today's post, for example. I was going to talk about being sick, or about my foreign taxi adventures, or about how great it is to be back home.
And what am I doing instead? Writing a blog about writing a blog. Merciful Buddha forgive me. It makes me long for the days when I was just a punk kid and wrote whatever the hell amused me with no thought for the repercussions.
Well, I promised myself I'd only spend an hour on today's blog. Taxi adventures and other musings will have to wait for a day or so…
Just to give this blog some shred of substance that isn't all meta, I should mention that this weekend I'll be at Florida Supercon in Miami where I plan on gazing adoringly at Bruce Campbell's magnificently sculptured ass.
I'll also be doing a reading, signing books, and all the rest of the usual stuff that I do when I'm Guest of Honor at a convention.
And don't worry, I'm on antibiotics now, so you won't catch strep off me.