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The Danger of Connecting the Dots on Thanksgiving


When I put the twenty-plus-pound turkey in the oven – basted with olive oil and cheap Chablis, set the peeled potatoes in a large pot and cleaned the asparagus to put in a medium-sized pot – withholding the water to boil them Thursday, I knew it was time to buckle down on my reading at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda Dec. 13.  I had hours on my hands – with trips upstairs every 30 minutes of so to baste again and eventually add water to the vegetables. I had talked with the center’s coordinator  earlier in the week and confirmed the reading was to last twenty to thirty minutes. On Veteran’s Day, I had selected the three sections of my Matthew Fontaine Maury biography to be read.  Timed, the three read aloud came to 17 plus minutes. In my mind, I was way ahead of the game.  I only had to connect the dots – as today’s counterterrorist experts and John LeCarre [in his halcyon days of the Circus] are supposed to do and did. Don’t think, type!, I reminded myself.  Now it’s Sunday and more than 2,000 words of connection produced between pre-Thanksgiving dinner [served a little after 4 p.m. eastern standard time] and the middle of the first quarter of the Ohio State-Michigan game Saturday [about 12:30 p.m. eastern standard time], it’s time to whack, whack, whack – just like I am about to do to the leftover turkey for the real San Francisco treat — tetrazzini – that we are having tonight. I didn’t have an hour to read my less than half hour presentation.

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