An Ill Gotten Gain

It arrived without warning. Flushed with excitement, I immediately opened the email, eager to read its contents. Little did I realize that I was opening not so much an email as an absolute Pandora’s worm. It began with a simple if not traditional greeting of ‘hello Stuart’ before taking me to task for a sizeable violation of the English language. Had I accidently reverted to my native Esperanto without realizing? Relied too heavily on facial expressions? Apparently not. My crime was far greater than any of these. I had, it seems, used the word ‘gotten’ in an article.
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The Awesome Rise of the Half Back Flanker

When you’ve performed sport at the elite level, certain instincts never leave you. I pulled on the maroon jumper of the Tyabb ‘Yabbies’ Football Club from Under 9s all the way through to Under 15s when I retired. I thought then as now that it’s better to leave when you’re still on top. But as comfortable as I was with my decision to retire from the game to which I gave so much, occasionally I am beset with second, third and even fourth thoughts. Truth is, though, it’s too late for me to change my mind, especially given my position of ‘half back flank’ has long since been filled.
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Jazz from Hell: How I Ruined Music

Music is the food of love. But, truth be told, my own musical endeavours have been responsible for some pretty severe cases of food poisoning over the years. I’m sure some people play a few notes or hum a few bars and cause the world at large to swoon. That’s never been my experience. Most people play music for an audience. Not me. I’m lucky if even one person turns up. That’s not so much an audience as an audient. Nevertheless, I would play my heart out to the audient until that person would inevitably duck out to the toilets and never return.
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The (Mostly) True Story of How I Challenged A Bride to a Dual

I suppose I’d gotten used to it. After several decades with the same name, a simple keystroke error means that I am Stuart no more. It was a mistake that, once made, could never be undone. I was reading something on the Internet when a message popped up and informed me that if wanted to continue, I would have to log on. Perplexed, I pushed a button and was informed in no uncertain terms that I was not a registered user. Fearing either deportation or having my kneecaps broken, I entered my contact details in the hope that this would cure my illegal status. There was nary a moment to lose. Nervous seconds passed as the computer contemplated whether to accept my plea for clemency before a message appeared: Welcome Stuatr.
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