March 29, 2013

March 28, 2013


From BBC News: North Korea 'readies rocket force' after US stealth flights

What's wrong with this sentence?
North Korea says it has put missile units on stand-by to attack US targets in response to US stealth bomber flights over the Korean peninsula.
Yeah, you spotted it. What kind of crappy stealth bombers are we flying over North Korea, anyway?

March 22, 2013

March 15, 2013

March 09, 2013

More Esoteric Writer Humour

Following the acclaimed success of my post at AWP 2011, listing the top ten conference panel titles... Today I present: the top ten questions asked in the Q&A session after AWP conference panels.

10. "Can someone please speak to the idea that people always ask panelists to speak to ideas?"

9. "I'm writing a book similar to yours. Do you think it will get published?"

8. "I thought it was interesting that your writing process is so involved. Someone—I think it was Peter Ho Davies—once wrote an essay about writing processes. My own writing process is I think very similar to yours in some ways, but also very different in others. I once tried writing a story entirely in iambs. How do you find time to write?"

7. "Could you please say something pithy that I can quote ad nauseam at parties, in speeches, on Facebook, etc., for the next twelve years?"

6. "Your book has a lot of strong themes. Did you consciously set out to write a book with themes?"

5. "Do you like this bow in my hair?"

4. "I'm writing a book similar to yours. Do you think your agent would represent it?"

3. "Could you please say something about your writing process that I can co-opt, in the hope that it will get my own writing published or maybe at least get me laid?"

2. "Someone—I think it was Peter Ho Davies—once said that writing was like a cat. Do you agree?"

1. "I'm writing a book similar to yours. Can you speak to that idea?"

March 08, 2013

March 06, 2013

But Actually, An Incredibly Pleasant Vacation

[My office, Manhattan, Wednesday]

CO-WORKER [speaking in the manner of a long-suffering New York native who has kindly and patiently endured hours of a certain blogger's anti-New York/anti-New Yorker rants over the past eighteen months]: You must be really excited to go to Mexico, huh? Just think, a whole week away from New Yorkers!


[Plane-side tarmac, Cancun, Thursday]

MEXICAN AIRLINE WORKER [speaking in the manner of someone who is amazed at the idiots he must sometimes deal with, no matter how often it happens]: Señor, please. You cannot smoke here.

FAT MAN IN YANKEES SWEATSHIRT [lit cigarette in hand; speaking in the manner of someone unfamiliar with fundamental relationship between jet fuel and open flames]: Ha-ha, yeah, good one.

SECOND MEXICAN AIRLINE WORKER [approaching quickly; speaking in the manner of someone terrified for own life]: Señor, please! You must put that out immediately!

FMIYS [speaking in the manner of someone who has just been told that he will be forced to watch while these two airline workers gangbang his wife, and then score their performance Olympic ice-dancing style]: Are you fuckin' kidding me?

MAW [speaking in manner of someone who never thought his spoken English would need to extend to this level of detail in this particular situation]: Señor, please. I... Is very dangerous.

FMIYS [throwing cigarette to ground in disgust, leaving MAW and SMAW to extinguish it with their feet while he boards airline bus; speaking, to entire bus, in manner of someone whose belief in his own country's superiority is so spectacularly firm that God appearing in the form of a bald eagle and explaining otherwise would not be enough to persuade him otherwise]: Can you fuckin' believe this? It's a four hour flight and I can't even have a fuckin' smoke?

FAT MAN'S WIFE [speaking in the manner of someone dressed head-to-toe in pink, Juicy Couture velour, and clutching duty free bag containing 1,000 additional cigarettes]: It's fuckin' unbelievable.


[Poolside bar, Cancun, Friday]

MAN DRESSED FOR JERSEY SHORE AUDITION: So you guys liking it here so far?


MDFJSA: You try many of the restaurants yet?

MDFMPSA: Just the grill. You?

MDFJSA [looking sheepishly at girlfriend]: We tried that tapas place.

MDFMPSA: Oh yeah? How was it?

MDFJSA: It was pretty good, actually. [leaning in now, sotto voce] But make sure you order a lot. The portions are tiny.


[Poolside seating, Cancun, Saturday]

FAT MAN UNFORTUNATELY NOT IN YANKEES SWEATSHIRT [spotting a pool cleaning employee; turning to his friends]: Oh, hold on, you gotta meet this guy. He's a real riot. [Turning, now, in direction of pool cleaning employee.] Hey, Julio! [N.B. "Julio" here is pronounced with a hard J, as in "Julius Caesar," not with a Spanish J, as in "mojito"... or "Julio."] Julio! Hey, Julio!

FAT MAN'S FAT FRIEND [joining in, while pool cleaning employee continues cleaning pool, oblivious]: JULIO! Over here Julio!

FMUNIYS: C'mon, Julio! Julio!



[Outside Penn Station, Manhattan, Wednesday]

CRAZY YELLING LADY CARRYING LARGE ASSORTMENT OF BAGS DOWN SIDEWALK: I'm in the road! Don't even try and tell me I'm not in the road! I'm in the road!


March 01, 2013

Conversations With Greatness

...will take a brief, one-week hiatus, while the author spends a week honeymooning in Mexico. Expect burrito puns on his return.