“When I saw it, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was all true.” Myra Jean said later, “My worst fears about this intellectual wasteland were there in print.” She threw the newspaper onto the table with a snap in the empty dining room’s silence. Like the knight carved below the fireplace mantel, she set off for battle, striding two blocks to the newspaper office without a hat or a strategy. The door’s clanging bell announced her presence. Through a miasma of cigarette smoke, she saw a weary man in a green eyeshade behind an untidy stack of papers. When he looked up, the resignation in his worn young face deflated her a bit. She pushed on anyway. “Sir, your newspaper is riddled with typos. You’re in sore need of a proofreader.”
“Can’t afford one,” said Mr. Bascombe from behind his name plate.
“I’ll work for coffee,” said Myra Jean, “let’s see what you have.” She cleared a chair and sat down.
The title comes from the expression: “Mind your P’s and Q’s.“