I have decided to start a new custom. Joining the ranks other venerable occasions such as International Louie Louie Day and National High Five Day, I am declaring today as the first-ever Apology Day in the Quad Cities.
(By the way, this has nothing to do with Apology Day — also known as National Sorry Day — in Australia, a very serious event that commemorates the mistreatment of that country’s Aboriginal people.)
My Apology Day is a chance for us to let others know we are not perfect and we are sorry for any inconvenience this causes. A mea culpa for our mistakes.
I have several things on my list, so I am going to jump in right away with my own acknowledgement of errors.
I apologize to any driver who gets behind me on Tuesday mornings.
This specifically goes for people in Prescott who are on Pleasant Street trying to turn left onto Sheldon Avenue around 8:40 a.m. If the person in front of you seems to be a little poky, please be patient. My workday usually begins at 2 p.m., but twice a week I have to be at the office well before noon. My brain reacts to Tuesday’s especially early start by processing things a little more slowly. It usually doesn’t take long to warm up though, so by the time I get onto Highway 69 things are flowing a little better.
I apologize to adults who ride one-speed bicycles around town.
When I see a guy pedaling hard alongside the road on a bike seemingly more suited for a pre-teen, I figure he is doing this because his driver’s license has been suspended for some reason — probably a DUI or similar offense. This is unfair on my part. It is possible the guy’s vehicle broke down and is in the shop, or maybe he simply cannot afford the repairs. Maybe his car was stolen and he is waiting for the police to recover it. Maybe he is doing it for the exercise. Regardless, I should not assume the worst.
I apologize for thinking that young people with headphones on are oblivious to the world around them.
This lesson came on Dec. 24 when I was walking home on Montezuma Street after having a Christmas Eve calzone (which may become a yummy new holiday tradition). As I was heading up the hill past Granite Creek Park, I was passed by a young woman wearing headphones (we will talk about the wounding to my ego over that some other time).
A short time later I saw she had stopped and was looking at something just off the street: a young black-and-white cat that apparently had been hit by a vehicle. When I caught up to her, she turned to me with a sorrowful look on her face and said “It was just a baby.” I was really touched by her emotional reaction, and I realized that just because she was tuning out the sounds along the street with the headphones, it didn’t mean she was tuning out the world.
I apologize for every mistake you find in this newspaper.
I mean this. My goal is for every edition of The Daily Courier to be perfect. I understand this is an unattainable objective; however, I take every misspelling, malaprop and punctuation error personally, even if I did not read the story, or if it was my night off for that matter. So if you find spelling or punctuation flaws, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and point them out. It will help me improve my work and the overall product.
But please understand that everyone in our building is doing their best to bring you quality journalism every day. And I think if you look back six months, you will notice The Daily Courier today is a better product. As we finally fill out our staff (shout out to new reporter George Johnston; watch for his bylines), the improvement will continue.
So those are my contributions for this first Apology Day. Please take part and say “I’m sorry” to others when appropriate today. It can be an uplifting feeling.
Maybe we can create a new tradition, at least on the same level as National Bubble Gum Day or Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Let’s make this happen.