A couple of people have been watching me stop short in the middle of writing my TAFF report and telling me to go ahead and write it anyway and cheerleading at me all over the place. I doubt I have to say much to clarify what exactly had me so blocked on it. but you may not have had the pleasure of having your every word scrutinized to find The Most Sinister Possible Meaning.
Early last August I was over at the Gillilands' place using AAG's word processor and remarked that I was having trouble writing the damn trip report since I now felt like I couldn't say anything about D. West at all (I mean, who knows what sinister meaning could be found in the simple mention of the man's name, and what if, God forbid, I should make a – gasp! – typo?), and practically the only funny bits I could remember involved D. West (all two of them, mind you) in some way or other (one was just a joke of Malcolm's, but hey, it could, you know, MEAN something).
Anyway, I got all bogged down in it, because on the one hand I wanted to write it a certain way, and on the other hand I was so conscious of the ugly creature looking over my shoulder and re-interpreting my every word that I couldn't write any of it either. There was a point when I was sure I would never even look at it again, never wanted to hear of it again, at least until everyone I knew was dead or something.
Then I thought, well, maybe I'd write it, but I'd edit out all three of the jokes just so no one could "misunderstand" anything. I toyed with the idea of writing a TAFF report so bland that no one could possibly have a thing to say about it except, of course, that it was terribly dull and boring. Alternately, I could write a report containing a fully fictitious section about the Albacon banquet in which I find myself having incredibly delightful conversations with D. West, who is miraculously seated next to me instead of the dreadfully thoughtless, rude, and boring person who sat beside me in reality.
I have decided to write exactly the TAFF report I was planning to write. I will not delete all three jokes, nor any mention of D. West. If you want to pretend there is anything omitted that would have been there otherwise, that's your tough luck and you're a suspicious and sinister person yourself. But it's my TAFF report and it's going to be written the way I wanted to write it in the first place.
Mind you, it may very well sit on that disk forever, or there may be one single print-out which will hide in a drawer somewhere never to be seen by another human soul, or it may even be published somewhere some day – but it will be a TAFF report that does not even admit of the last seven months, since they hadn't happened yet, and anyway, I'd rather keep a record of a good time than of a bad one.