Thursday, June 11, 2015

Vowell's motto: It could be worse

If I had to nail down the objective of my historical tourism, it's probably to collect evidence in support of my motto. And my motto in any situation is "It could be worse." . . . In my self-help universe, when things go wrong, I whisper mantras to myself, mantras like "Andersonville" or "Texas School Book Depository." "Andersonville" is a code word for "You could be one of the prisoners of war dying of disease and malnutrition in the worst Confederate prison, so just calm down about the movie you wanted to go to being sold out." "Texas School Book Depository" means that having the delivery guy forget the guacamole isn't nearly as bad as being assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald as the blood from your head stains your wife's pink suit. 
Sarah Vowell, The Partly Cloudy Patriot (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002), p. 40

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