The Oxford Comma (by Chelsea Foulk)

I was thumbing through a poetry chapbook made by a former student at Utah Valley University, and stumbled on a piece titled “The Oxford Comma.” As you probably know from my previous entries on the topic, I’m quite a fan of our dear serial comma, so I was deeply enthused to find that the author’s feelings reflected my own. It felt mandatory to track down the author and ask for permission to re-publish the work here. Chelsea Foulk, who is also the creative mind behind InClover Art, was kind enough to grant said permission.

So, without further rambling, here is “The Oxford Comma” by Chelsea Foulk.

The Oxford Comma

I would kill for the Oxford comma. If it were on a train track with a train careening to hit it, I would push the nearest fat man onto the tracks, just for the chance to give that comma a few more seconds to exist. I imagine some would cheer and carry me on their shoulders to the avenged comma, so I could take it in my arms and shout, “I love you, Comma! I love grammar, literature, and the Oxford comma!” And still others would be in shock of the carnage of the obliterated fat man. Those would be the ones who don’t understand the Oxford comma: the ones who write, “I’ll have two eggs, orange juice and toast,” those who like toast in their orange juice. Or instead of, “the strippers, Stalin, and Hitler,” they party with, “the strippers, Stalin and Hitler.” Those perverts who like to watch dictators wear pasties. Eva Braun must have been an Oxford non-believer.

I can’t say I would die for the Oxford comma, though. If it were on a track with a train careening to hit it, and a fat man stepped to me and shouted, “Jump! Jump onto the tracks in front of the train! For grammar, and literature, and the Oxford comma!” I would timidly shrink back, my head hung low, and order a glass of orange juice and toast.