Another fascinating exchange with the guy who is too exhausted to come up with ideas for the blog. You’re questions answered…
Dear AG, What is the strangest thing that has happened to you while you were on a book tour?
Dear Lib: Showing up at a book store in Chicago to sign stock and having them card me before bringing the books out to have me sign them. The fact that they had asked me to be there, and that my media escort had called ahead to tell them I was coming, and that they had a hundred or so books with my picture on it notwithstanding, it was really strange. (I left without signing the books. We’d gone way out of our way to get there and were going to be late for a signing because of it and I was pissed.)
I’ve had a lot of funny stuff happen, like a whole group of women showing up with oven mitts taped on their hands(after a scene in Lust Lizard), or people having me sign really strange stuff (jeans, shirts, oven mitts, Prozac prescription bottles, copies of Faulkner novels, various body parts, a pastrami on rye sandwich — stuff like that.)
Bellasong writes: hi just curious as to what do you do when you’re in a funk and nothing seems to get you out of it, not even your favorite ice cream, not the Yankees winning or even Dave Chappell repeats?
ANS: For me, cheesy horror movies in mass quantity until I fall asleep helps, but as reluctant as I am to admit it, sometimes going to the water will do it. Being in and around the ocean gives you perspective, and reminds you just how insignificant you are. Why that makes me feel better, I have no idea, but it does. That said, I almost always resist the idea that it will work, and instead I brood a lot. (If I’d been born twenty years later I’d definitely have been a Goth or emo kid. )
Mr. Kismet axes:
If a man from, say, 1870 time-traveled to our present, what do you think would kill him first? a) the pollution in our air and water? b) the additives and preservatives in our food? c) the massive assault of information and mass media? d) Other.
Esteemed Kismet: I’d have to go with other, and I’d guess that it would be microbial. The reason is, that while this guy would have immunity to a lot of stuff that would kill us ( just by virtue of the less that exemplar sanitation of his time), he wouldn’t have immunity to many of the bugs that our systems take for granted. Who knows, he might have a bite of yogurt and keel over from active culture. The other things you mentioned, it would seem to me, wouldn’t necessarily kill him, but they’d definitely stress the bejeezus out of him, and that usually compromises the immune system. That’s if he’s a white guy. If he’s a Black or Hispanic he’d probably be killed in Iraq by a car bomb.
So, my friend has this theory that when you get a song stuck in your head from out of nowhere, chances are someone earlier was in that spot singing that song with either such passion and exuberance or such disgust that they left the energy of that moment wherever it happened. You happened to be walking along and you walk into that spot where the person singing was earlier and the energy transferred into you. She also believes when people dream their souls intermingle and that’s where people get that weird deja vu feeling from someone they’ve never met before, because they’ve already met in the dreamworld. Think there’s any validity to either or these?
The Author Guy responds: These are the kind of theories that are generated when people sit around getting baked, and aren’t really concerned with applying their thoughts to reality, but more on sailing away on an amusing notion. I am not one to sink anyone’s ship to the promised land, so sail on. Interesting notions, unprovable, and irrelevant, but fun. One could write some fun stories based on those theories, particularly the latter one.
That said, there’s a good chance that your friend is a complete loon.
Author Guy, What is the deal with nougat? It is different in every candy bar it’s in? Where does nougat come from? What does it have to do with the three musketeers? This has puzzled me for years. thanks
Answer: Because the mysterious woman with whom I live is a first class pastry chef in her spare time, I actually know what nougat is. Technically, it’s sugar, butter, egg whites, and nuts. It came from Italy originally. (And the Three Musketeers are French, so what’s up with that?) You’re right, though, it differs from candy bar to candy bar, and what one calls nougat, another calls caramel. (Carmel is just sugar and butter — you can add some cream if you want, and you can get a pretty nougatty texture to it. ) It’s sort of amazing that it can be such simple ingredients and still come out with so many textures, but at least it’s not totally disgusting, like finding out that Oreo cream filling is basically lard and confectioners sugar. For my money, the beige stuff in a Snickers is the real deal in nougat. That’s why there are always people eating Snickers in my books.
If I was forced on live on one food group I think I would choose the pizza/nougat group.
SGT Steve Writes:
So AG – What’s the best book-to-movie transition you’ve seen, and what was it that made it work so well?
Dear Sgt: To Kill a Mockingbird. I love the book and I love the movie, and I can’t separate the images of one from images of the other. It was masterfully adapted, directed, and played. I’m sure I saw the movie before I read the book, so that may have set it in my mind.
I actually liked Bladerunner and The Firm better in movie form than in book form, and back in the day, I liked Where Eagles Dare and The Guns of Navarone better in movie form as well.
Space 93 writes:
Who is the most annoying person on television, fictional or non-? Must be on television within a Week of your answer.
Dear Space: Non-fictional: Sean Hannity Fictional: Britney Spears
Also: Finally, what DVD do you think should be in every DVD collection on Earth?
And the AG responds: Ideally, the ten hour HBO mini-series Lamb, or as we like to call it, Christopher Moore’s, Lamb. But since that’s sort of a long shot …
Just because it’s so pretty to look at and seems universal in it’s ability to make people smile.
Until next time. Adieu.