Believe it or not, I got a big fat unequivocal "F" in the classroom portion of driver's ed. I completely and utter bombed in the filmstrip watching/test-taking portion of it. So while my classmates were ushered along to the behind-the-wheel classes, I was forced to stay behind. This mind you was an elective course, a summer school thing I voluntarily signed up for. Correction, my folks were like: "you're going to driver's ed, and you're going to like it!" So yeah, I was forced to stay behind. Call it "summer school for a summer school class." Good times.
The teacher, some nicotine-stained curmudgeon, believed if you write something down, you write it in your brain permanently. So the only way to move on from this classroom portion was write some sort of "punishment essay" about the Smith System of Driving. Some five-page drivel I should have learned the first-time around. I think I just copied the text verbatim from the handouts we were given. Miraculously, he never read it, reiterated the whole "write it down/write it in your brain" axiom, and then proceeded to tear my punishment paper up.
That axiom, unfortunately, was the only thing I remember from those classes. (Certainly not any of the Smith System of Driving.) I am about to prove the axiom wrong.
I was doing a little cleanup the other day, partly because the in box and desk in the offices of BEQ.com were overflowing with junk mail and scraps of puzzle printouts. Also, I'm finally making the switch to Win 7, so I had to start backing up files from the hard drive as well. Spring cleaning, ladies and gentlemen, a whole couple seasons behind schedule. Insert climate change joke here.
What's been amazing is uncovering all the half-baked ideas for puzzles I've jotted down in various random places: on printouts, backs of envelopes, as computer file names, etc. (Yeah, I know, I already covered that I carry a moleskine around for ideas. But sometimes I forget to bring it. And now with this new smartphone, I've taken to e-mailing ideas to myself. Yay, technology!) So you'd think this archeological discovery of ideas would be a boon, right? A wealth of untapped ideas to draw from. Well, not exactly.
I remember writing some of these down, and I remember the reasons why I wrote these ideas down. But I haven't the faintest idea what any of them mean. A small sampling:
- "The Smiths" (I remember writing this down when I was going through the band's catalog last year. Whether I had a gimmick around them or not, beats me. MORRISEY BOULEVARD?)
- "Oh The Places You Go" (Never read the book. Can't imagine where I was going with this.)
- "How To Disappear Completely" (This one came about after reading a crazy article in "Wired" about starting a new life. Not the Radiohead song. Was this a drop a letter theme? Hopefully not.)
- "Atom" (That's it. I just wrote down "Theme idea: Atom." Must have been some theme.)