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Miscellany from the Author Guy

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Answers from the Author Guy

March 13th, 2005 · No Comments

The Author Guy, your all-knowing oracle, departs some mama-jammin’ wisdom:

Lauren Asks

Hey, Author Guy, what’s with all the snow we’re getting here on the East Coast? I, for one, am not amused. Will it ever be spring? (Like, real spring, with nice weather, and birds and grass growing and stuff, not just “yeah, March 20th.”)


Easy answer. Like the torrential rains, flooding, and mudslides on the West Coast, your snow problems are purely political. By living in a Blue State you have pissed off God, and he is chastising you. This is not to say that he actually plays political favorites. The way he punishes people who live in red states like Nebraska is – well—Nebraska.

It will, however, be spring soon, when you will be visited by some ironic weather condition like a flood in the midst of a drought, a snow storm in the middle of heat wave, or squirrels with flaming flatulence, thus proving that we are put on this planet simply so God can fuck with us.

Ferrit Leggings Asks:

What is it that makes the likes of you, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Hunter S Thompson so cool?


We make you laugh.

I suppose my real question is what and who inspires you?


Mostly I’m inspired by things I don’t understand. That is, I start a book because I hope that by the time I’m finished I’ll have some understanding of the stuff I’m writing about. I’m simply using the book to try to get my head around ideas like, how we construct faces to meet the world and how people react to those, and in that way we become tricksters (Coyote Blue), or what’s up with evolutionary biology? (Fluke) or, hey, death, what’s the deal? (The new book). I basically react to the world like a stone doofus, and therefore I put it in order in my own way. (The stories).

In the process of putting the story together I’m inspired by people I meet and see.

Jenny O Asks:

What’s your favorite pie?


Gotta go with pumpkin. I like that someone has punished a squash the size of a Volkswagon until it submits to lying in a spicy puddle on a nest of crust. You can’t miss with a dessert that endures that kind of discipline.

Ted J Asks:

Hey AG, paper or plastic?


I often envision Hamlet at the check-out counter, pondering that very question. And like that dark Dane, I am unable to decide. For while plastic is light and can be used again and again to suffocate oneself, paper can be pressed into action for cooling freshly baked bread, ripening avocados, and cutting into durable book covers. Paper, or plastic, that is the question! Both, I tell you. Both.

Consider carrying the severed human head to your car, if you will. While plastic will minimize the mess, it’s transparency ruins the surprise of your grisly trophy. The quiet loner who uses plastic alone will never have neighbors testifying to how helpful and shy he was if he parades his decaps through the parking garage. You gotta go with both. Plastic liner, paper cover.

Sgt. Steve Asks:

What comes first, the jokes or the plot?


Both. Sometimes you have a great joke, so you write to that, other times you’re making the story adhere to the structure of the plot, and in the process you find funny situations. It also depends on how you set the defaults on your Comic Novel Writer 3.0 software.

Creepy asks: why do my kitties come in the house after being outside for awhile and go use the litterbox?

ANS: Kitties do not like to leave their “spoor” all over the place where CSI guys can shine flashlights on it and put it in evidence bags. At any given time, it is a safe bet that any cat is engaged in some kind of criminal activity. If they leave the evidence in the cat box they can conceal it quickly and not open themselves to prosecution.

why do they have to use it the second that i clean it? why why oh why?

ANS: The natural condition of a litter box is “nasty”. As soon as de-nastify it, your kitties feel the need to put it back in harmony with it’s nature.

Unc asks: Why do hot dogs come in packages of 10 and hot dog buns come in packages of 8?

What happens to all of those leftover hot dogs?

ANS: At any given time, 20% of the people in the US are on the Atkins or South Beach Diet. It seems strange that although this is a relatively recent social phenomenon, the hot dog – bun paradox has existed for over forty years. Yeah, well, how do explain all that oil under ground when the internal combustion engine has been used for barely more than a hundred years? Huh? What about that?


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