andrew david. "matt basinger's favorite painting" moma, nyc.
skilled practitioners of the written word tend to use images that lack a prescripted meaning and thereby enrichen a text with unexpected layers of complexity. we call this ambiguity (or 'what-the-crap-does-this-meanness'). but in the wrong hands, ambiguity can be dangerous. if unintended, it can confuse, mislead, or frustrate readers. this is particularly true in everyday conversation, where we spend about a 1/5 of our lives trying to make sense of something that somebody else said. and sometimes we get it right.
but when we don't it can turn out a lot like this:
a few hours after summitting mount pilchuck, mari, mark, nora, whitney, and i piled out of a hobbling subarua and into the welcoming arms of a friendly marysville tire angel. the les schwabb employee brought great tidings of free popcorn and one hour tire repairs. however, despite the cozy appearance of the les schwabb reception area, the feminine contingent of our hiking party took off in search of cheap value village deals. mark and i tagged along behind until mark was finally smitten by a drive-thru coffee shack. we strolled up to the window and mark ordered some kind of a mocha. as the barista made gurgling sounds inside the shack, mark told me about airline security.
but apparently talk of tsa bored the barista, "what'd you two do today? where'd you come from? so you walked here from seattle?" and then the doozie, "and how do you know each other?"
"we live together," mark chirped happily.
"oh, you're dating?" she asked.
no, we're roommates, that guy that i live with is my roommate...
(816 to go)