I love that word. It so fits the buttoned-down, small-minded little people who have nothing better to do than throw their teeny-tiny bit of weight around. Life parallels art, and I'd just written a functionary into my Tudor mystery who has one little bit of authority and uses it to the extreme. I thought he might be a bit much. Then I ran into one in real life.

There is a form that I had to have a doctor fill out for a family member. It took me weeks to get to the specialist's inner sanctum (more functionaries) and get his agreement to fill out the form. But -- OH NO! -- while he explained that her condition is a "progressing, persisting, and disabling disease," he did NOT explain how this makes it impossible for her to earn a living.

Let's see. It's progressive. It persists. It's disabling.

I might add that I'd set a boatload of other information to attest to the above, but isn't in that blank on that form, handwritten by that doctor. So now I begin again, calling the specialist, begging for a few minutes of his time, and adding another month to the process of getting this one task done out of the many that having a disabled loved one requires.

I suppose we should be grateful for the people who remind us that there isn't a character we can write who is as irritating and petty as those we meet every day, in the world outside our own WIP.

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Comment by Peg Herring on October 28, 2009 at 6:12am
I think that's why I write murder...it's so cathartic.

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