The online weather forecast that I'm looking at says the currenttemperature is 48°F. But, the service says, it feels like 47°F.


I knew it.

The truth is, no, I didn't know it. What I knew was that thedifference is ludicrous - 48, but feels like 47.

But I love that somebody came up with that.

Everyone has his or her idea of a dream job. Mine is telling otherswhat something should be. I don't know what that job is called, butit seems to me that a whole lot of people have it.

Take recipe writers. How do they arrive at the "prep time"? I liketo cook and have cooked semiprofessionally, which is to say that Ihave flipped burgers and thrown pizza dough and sometimes evencaught it. Around the house, I love to cook. I make up stuff, but Ialso follow recipes. What I am trying to get at is this: I know myway around a kitchen.­ And those recipes that you download from theInternet? Let me tell you, whoever is telling you the time itshould take to make them is bustin' a gut with cruel humor.

The other day, I made a dish that was supposed to have taken 10minutes. To read the recipe, maybe. But to make the meal? If I wereon a TV show and had somebody chop everything up for me in advanceand set it in little bowls and had my spatula and spoon preciselywhere I knew they would be at all times, even when I wandered overto the other side of the kitchen to turn the radio up to hear agood song and forgot that I put my utensil there, then, yeah, 10minutes seems more or less doable. But in the kitchen, by myself,first making a grocery list, then shopping all over town because mylocal store only carries stuff that people actually eat, thencoming back and putting everything away and washing the vegetables,then chopping and dicing and slicing and mashing and measuring andpeeling and grating and Oh, shoot, I forgot to buy cardamom, andthen cooking, then, no, 10 minutes is only enough to wonder justhow long I think all of this will actually take.

Whoever the guy is who gets to tell you the prep time for a recipe,that's a guy with a great job.

Or the guy who tells you how long it should take to get somewhere.I go online all the time to get directions because I almost neverknow where I am going, which is an old Boojamra trait. Boojamra?,you ask. It's a country my brother and I founded years ago. A lotof people think it doesn't actually exist. But first of all, let metell you that it has a specific pronunciation, which isn't like itlooks. It isn't Boo-jam-ra. It is Boo-shum-rolled r-uh. Would acountry that hard to pronounce not exist? Okay then. It's also gotits own flag, which I won't go into here. But I will tell you itsmotto: "I like to drive, but I need direction."

I am a Boojamran through and through, which may explain why I amalso the premier of Boojamra. At least I think I am. In Boojamra,they have a saying: "Boojamra is wherever you are." I don't knowwhat that means, but I think it means that everyone who chooses tobe a Boojamran not only can be, but is. And that, by some leap oflogic, means that anyone can be premier. I'd need to check theBoojamran constitution on that. Unfortunately, Boojamra doesn'tbelieve in a constitution. Never mind. The point is that even ifyou are not a Boojamran and never have been to Boojamra, directionsalways say that getting somewhere will take 17 minutes. If you getall the lights and everybody stays home and you don't get lost,maybe you'll make it to where you're going in a half-hour. Neverthe allotted 17 minutes. Not even in Boojamra, which has no trafficand no traffic lights.

But the thing that I would most love about having the job oftelling others what things should be like is getting a chance tocalibrate other people's emotions. Just won the lottery? Feelin'like a million bucks? Actually, you are feeling less like a millionbucks than right in the neighborhood of a post-tax $478,000. That'sstill good. Just not quite a million bucks.

Your girl just left you? Depressed, you say? No you’re not. Actually, you are deeply despondent. Seems like the difference between 47 and 48 degrees? Well, I’m just doing my job.