Strange Radiation

Andrew Willett, unreliable narrator.

comma chameleon

For a while I thought this job would kill me. Not because it is hard — although it still kicks my ass from time to time — but because it requires me to violate a fundamental law of that which is right and good. And you know how I feel about those.

I speak, of course, of the serial comma. I am a serial-comma kind of guy. And this job requires me to — oh! the horror! — strip out serial commas wherever I find them. Yes! Each time I had to do this, a little black mark was left upon my soul, one with a tail that drooped forlornly. The only thing that eased the pain was I knew that these commas were going to a better place. Because that’s what they told us. Slowly, though, I realized the truth: there was no happy upstate farm where these newly homeless commas would spend the rest of their lives among the flowers and the butterflies. They were not cheerfully barking at semicolons out in a pasture somewhere. Eventually, on my lunch break, I found the dingy closet where the Copy Chief unceremoniously drowns them in a mop-bucket.

The fact that I did not quit right then and there should be read as a testament to (a) how much I otherwise enjoy this job and (b) how much I need the cash. Instead, in the little free time I have available, I have undertaken a new project: The Comma Rescue Society. We take commas that would otherwise be consigned to shelters and eventual euthanization and place them in loving homes.

Won’t you consider giving to the CRS — or sheltering a comma or two in your own household? And if you need a testimonial just ask our first satisfied clients: my parents, Ayn Rand and God.


the avenging virgo sends a letter


subway report


  1. And hurry, because soon my apartment is going to look like this: ,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,, , , , ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,.

  2. Oh dear.
    I HATE, with a blinding, burning passion, the serial comma. It makes my skin crawl.
    How can we continue to be friends under these circumstances? I weep.

  3. We shall handle it like civilized people. We shall agree to disagree, and not speak of it further; and then when drunk we’ll needle each other mercilessly.

  4. Heather

    And I can vouch for his drunken merciless needling!

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