"Are you going to put that in the
preface?" asked Cindy, referring to the "offending" item.
"No," I replied, "I'm going to put
it right up front in the book."
"What kind of a book are you going to write," she asked.
"A good one," I said.
"Well, if you're going to put that in, I'll burn the book!"
"That's the title of my book," I said. "'My Daughter Said
She'd Burn This Book!' Write it down -- along with the other
thing (which, right now, I can't think of) -- so I won't forget
So, as we drove along, she wrote it down on a Doublemint gum
wrapper that she found in the space under the car radio, gave it
to me, and I stuck it in my pocket. That's when she asked about
the preface -- except she pronounced it "Pre Face" as in "before
I said, "That's preface, not pre-face."
"It is not," Cindy said.
I bit my lip, held my tongue, and maintained silence for a
moment in light of this overwhelming assurance at age seventeen,
at the same time reminding myself of the cartoon I meant to cut
out and put on the refrigerator door. (It showed a door-to-door
encyclopedia salesman being turned down by a man saying, "No, I
don't need them; I've got a teenage daughter and she already
"Yes it is," I finally said, bowing to the parental pressure
to educate whenever possible . . .