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Don't Drive and Blog

There won't be much of a blog today as I must do another little road trip, this one to New Jersey, and I strongly feel that people shouldn't drive and blog. It's not safe. I also think that reading and driving at the same time is a terrible idea when traffic gets congested. Though maybe it depends on the reading material. Gripping novels are the worst. You look up from your book and you're suddenly 100 miles down the road with no idea how you got there. Very unnerving.

Some people shave while driving, or apply makeup, though as a safety measure I never try to do both.

I've asked my students to read Teenage Virgins and Missing Music on Hank Stuever's blog. Last week we talked about McPhee again, and Tom Wolfe, and students brought in their own examples of good literary nonfiction, including an eye-popping excerpt from the Dave Eggers book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (about his mother's cancer).

Alert readers have correctly noted that I identified S.J. Perelman as the author of the opening line of the story Dusk in Fierce Pajamas ("Ravaged by pink eye, I lay for a week scarce caring whether I lived or died."), when in fact that is the literature of E.B. White. Also I have consistently misspelled Ian McEwan's name. The list of my journalistic crimes is endless.

Which reminds me, my most recent Rough Draft column (which runs in the Post magazine) was all about how I managed to file my 2002 and 2003 taxes and was poised to file 2004. That is true if you are very liberal with your definition of the word "poised."

FYI, and this is purely for golf weenies, I do think Tiger's chip shot was the greatest golf shot of all time. In response to one person's comment, I always root for Tiger, though would not have wept if DiMarco had pulled it out. There have been chip-ins that were longer, or which won major tournaments outright or came very close to doing so -- Mize at the Masters in the playoff with Norman, for example -- and one thinks of Bob Tway, Paul Azinger, and of course Watson on the 17th against Nicklaus -- but the geometry of Tiger's chip, combined with the timing (70th hole), the stakes (he's barely hanging on to a lead, it's essentially match play, the TV is following his every twitch and grimace, and he hasn't won a major in 2.5 years), and most of all the final hesitation on the lip of the cup (it stopped as if to milk the drama for all it was worth before dropping in) make it obviously the greatest golf shot of all time. Stuff that happened decades ago before television doesn't count. (If a chip shot falls in the forest and no one's around, it doesn't make a sound.)

FYI, the "time stamp" on these postings is wrong. It's always about 3 hours earlier than the actual posting, as though the blogging tool thinks I'm in California. It's not really 2:30 in the morning. That would be insane. It's 5:30, which is only mildly deranged.

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 12, 2005; 5:30 AM ET
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