This is actually my column from two weeks ago; not the first time I've been caught playing catch-up.
SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK
Several years ago I was invited to read a story to a group of elementary school students, apparently because the teachers had the impression writers are also capable of reading out loud. I suppose that made me a celebrity reader, although of course the kids had no idea who I was.
Afterward, while trying to find some way to keep them interested in reading, I came up with what I thought was a brilliant plan. “Kids,” I told them, “I’m a volunteer firefighter and I take 911 calls for a living, but I’ve never had adventures as great as the ones I’ve gotten out of a book.”
Well, that got them interested, all right. Unfortunately, it didn’t get them interested in reading. For the rest of the time I was peppered with questions about being a fireman, and treated to little stories about when they’d experienced fires themselves. All thoughts of reading were forgotten.
I was never invited back.