Famous Book Synopsis (By A.P. Miller)

Before I had my diagnosis of ADHD, a lot of people thought I was lazy and uninspired. After a few years of being told what a fuck-off you are, you start leaning into it a little bit. My penchant for sloth was rivaled only by my gift for spite & contempt. In late 1995, my mother had to sign one of my social studies tests because I got a bad grade on it. She asks “Did you really answer a question about how European colonists expanded through South America with ‘they walked’?” Why yes, Mama, I did.

Note: I got the second-highest GPA in that fifth-grade class that year. That teacher, who looked WAY too much like her husband for people not to talk about it, had a hate-boner for your truly.

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I’m Sorry.

[DISCLAIMER]: The author is in a little bit of a mood and the following blog might be a little intense. Please read with caution. The author will try to return to his regularly scheduled baffoonery in the next edition.

More than anyone, I know the impact of words. Daily, I use words as a shield, as a weapon, as a platform, and as a remedy. The pen is mightier than the sword? Depends on your definition of might. Perhaps the most appropriate turn of phrase would be “the pen is deadlier than the sword.” How many lives have been taken because of rousing speeches, the interpretations of dogma, or even a scornful letter sent to an amour? Words can injure, kill, but also heal, and rebuild.

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Storytime: My First Dance With Danger

Spring, 1988-1989

Over thirty years later and I can still remember that out-of-body experience. I can still see the fear in my eyes, my arms & legs pumping, and the set of headlights careening towards me.

I was four, maybe five, years of age. It was one of the rare times my father was off the road from his job as a long-haul driver enough to join the rest of his family for an extended family function. While I can’t remember what the exact moment of honor was, I remember being dressed in a button-down that matched my father’s, and I was proud to look like my elder namesake. Dad loaded all of us into the car and we were off to my great-grandmother’s.

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I’m not sure which part of the brain controls the urge to just f*** with people, but mine went necrotic long ago. There’s just something about saying something absurd in a convincing tone and the reaction from people when they say “really?” Yes, Jeff, the government is really trying to suppress the sewer rat uprising and you can contribute to the effort by making intricate webs of tooth floss all over your carpeted surfaces.

See? That was way too easy for me.

When I started doing the “Ask an Author” advice column, it was in that same vein. I’d take questions from regular folks and dip the answers in a saccharine sarcasm, then sprinkled it with a smile. Until I get popped in the mouth for it (and even then I’ll still do it with missing teeth), I’m going to keep bringing you advice that will cause financial & emotional harm. So, now that you know that, welcome!

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The A.P. Miller Method for Getting Out of Jury Duty

It was 2013 — an era before TikTok and when you could breathe air without concern for deadly contagion. I was working as a manager for commercial real estate, not yet having realized my aspirations for being a writer. If that time in history could have one word to describe its glorious station in the annals of record, that word would be “…meh.”

I stopped into the post office of the Pine Grove Mills, Pennsylvania post office and found a letter that both filled me with dread and ignited my heart on fire in an excited flame — an envelope from the government. Yours truly had been selected as a candidate to potentially serve for jury duty in a federal case. There was a serial number I had to log into every day to see if I had been selected and everything.

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