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Handwriting

Agriculture.com Staff 08/06/2008 @ 9:29am

The other day, my wife dropped off some signed documents for me. The person she gave them to leafed through them and noticed that I had missed a spot -- I'd only signed in nine places, as opposed to 10. She called the other person in the office over and consulted about what to do, what with gas being four bucks a gallon and me not willing to put 20 miles on my pickup for one signature. The boss checked the document, waved his hand and said to my wife, "You just sign for him, the way he would do it."

I love living in a small town.

Anyway, a couple seconds later everyone in the office noticed the panicky look on my wife's face. She pointed out an actual example of what my signature looked like. A good laugh was had by all, and the documents were sent home for my signature.

Okay. I have bad handwriting. I admit it. I've always had bad handwriting. I used to blame it on being left-handed, what with right-handed teachers not knowing how to instruct a left-hander, but that may not be the complete truth. I used to worry about it a lot. When I went into high school and was headed for Mr. Melby's class, I really tried to write better, because he was a stickler for tidy work. Plus, I was, you know, terrified of him.

A couple of weeks into the school year, I broke my right hand playing football and had to wear a cast for eight weeks. (Note to self -- if you're planning to hit someone in the face, get him to remove his helmet first). Throughout that whole time, I waited for Mr. Melby to chew me out for my sloppy handwriting, but never a word. Turns out he thought I was right-handed and that my appalling handwriting came from having to write left-handed for the first time in my life. After the cast came off, the jig was up; from then on it was a very long year.

A couple of days after the signature incident, I was checking to see if my books were still for sale on the Internet. I do that every now and then, just to make sure that I'll be able to pay the light bill. In the used book section, I saw one copy for sale with this description: "Note inside front cover; may be from the author." That's a problem -- if I sell someone an autographed book, it'd be nice if they could tell that it was my autograph.

So, although it is a problem, it's not really my fault.

My bank is to blame.

A few years ago, back when I still raised hogs, my wife and the guy who worked with me were both lounging around the office while I paid bills. You know -- that big stack of end-of-the-month bills that pile up. I don't know why they weren't working, but that's probably another story. Apparently neither of them had anything better to do than hang around and make fun of the way I write. I put up with it for a while, but just to shut them up I signed the rest of the checks using my best fifth-grade handwriting, which still wasn't good, but it was certainly better than my usual scrawl.

About three days later the bank called. "Brent," the head teller said, "did you lose your checkbook? There are all kinds of checks coming through your account, but it's not your handwriting on them."

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