Question: I've been
waiting for a long time now for you to finish those stories "All the Marbles"
and "Accordion Madness." Why haven't you published them yet?
Answer: (1) Not that it is any of your business, but lately I've
been absorbed in working on my yard displays for Hallowe'en this year. The big
one requires a great deal of welding of large pieces of metal. When it's done,
I will post a picture of it somewhere on the site, and then you'll see
why I haven't been working on my stories. (2) I was asked by the surviving
grandchildren of my old accordion teacher not to publish material mentioning him
on the Internet. They said he and the whole family had gotten enough notoriety
after that one incident on the street outside Carnegie Hall in 1951 and the other
one at the 1953 autumn band concert at CHS, and they didn't want any more attention.
Out of respect for the fine musician and teacher he once was, I agreed to drop
my story. (3) I will be getting around to "All the Marbles" sometime
or other. You'll just have to wait. What is your rush, after all? Are you
scheduled for execution sometime soon?
Question: I saw your
poem "Ode to the Ex-Library Copy" in the F.O.F. Bean Home Newsletter. I
thought you were a rabid anti-Freddyite? What gives? Did they pay you? Did vanity
play a part?
Answer: Pay me? Dear me, no. I allowed them to print my poem gratis
to subvert my greater enemy, the swinish book dealers. "The enemy of my enemy
is my friend." I also mean what I say in the poem about the charm
of the ex-library book. Vanity? I don't think a poem published in some little,
inconsequential newsletter could possibly appeal to anyone's vanity to any significant
Question: That freddy-the-pig
list is really, really dead. There are long stretches of nothing, and then
someone comes on and offers books for sale for, like, too much money, and then
a few people respond, and then it's dead again. And then someone posts a question
about book prices. You'll be getting a petition in the mail from my friends and
me asking you to please stir things up there like you did before. How about it?
Don't some of the people on the list deserve "The Truth"?
Answer: I received your petition three or four days ago and enjoyed
reading it, although the language was a bit overly formal. I think it's
usually dead over there on the Freddy list because, well, how much is there
to say about a piddling book series? I must say that I am tempted
to return, though. It would be a way to promulgate The Truth in a
most efficient manner. Here's my decision--if I get twenty-five more E-mail messages
like yours by my birthday and the Magic Eight-Ball says "Yes," I'll
do it. But you may not like it if I do. <Since
I did receive more than 25 E-mails on the subject and the Magic Eight-Ball said
"Yes," I eventually did return to the list.>
Question: Do you have
any favorite Websites? If so, could you give me the addresses?
Answer: Of course I have favorite sites. Some are listed on my "Links"
page. Here are a few more of them.
Question: You didn't
really throw out unpublished Freddy material, did you? Don't you realize how valuable
it would be?
Answer: "Value" is a rather subjective phenomenon, isn't it. Wherein
does value reside? Certainly it can't be an intrinsic property of anything,
can it? I mean, just look at the absolute rubbish upon which
people will spend precious time and good money because they project value onto
it: Beanie Babies, Franklin Mint "collectibles," big-eyed children "paintings,"
public school "education," ash tray collections, Hummel figurines, commemorative
belt buckles, porcelain thimbles, etc., etc. And some, such as you evidently,
would find unpublished Freddy material valuable too. Believe me, I did the world
a favor when--yes, I did-- I tossed it.
Question: Have you ever
had a near-death, out-of-body, or remote viewing experience?
Answer: Yes, no, and no. Just a couple of weeks ago I was driving on the
Centerboro Road north of town near the "high class" subdivision of Wilson Quarry.
That's where the folks who confuse genuine class with bigness and ostentation
and gobs of non-inherited money live. Anyway, I was just about to pass
by the long private drive that leads to their compound when some little woman
with a cell phone stuck to the side of her head came barreling out perched in
her immense SUV without even looking onto the Centerboro Road . I guess
that we inconsequential nobodies from nowhere do not merit a glance when one of
the American aristocracy breezes by. I guess she must have been in a big
hurry to traverse the Oteseraga County outback in her Expedition, or Yukon,
or Land Rover, or whatever big vehicle she was driving (as if she
wouldn't cry like a baby if it ever got the slightest scratch). Or maybe she was
in such a rush to do her charitable work for the week that she couldn't
have been bothered to stop and look to see if any lower life forms were
encroaching on her personal space. Or maybe she was in a terrible bustle to
get to her massage therapist or stockbroker or aerobics class or extra-marital
affair that she didn't notice a mere insect crawling along the road in
her general direction. Who knows what was occupying her little self-absorbed consciousness?
Not I, certainly. I wound up in the moat alongside the road while she cruised
on without a backward glance. This is my near-death experience.
Short Answers to Infrequently
- Yes, I have more than
just one shoebox of Martian peanuts.
- I believe the correct response
would be: Hostes alienigeni me abduxerunt. ("Aliens abducted me.")
- Cranberry juice is
actually good for that.
- As far as I'm concerned,
all politicians are scoundrels, and I would be happy to see them all
throwing brickbats at one another in a large public arena until not one was left
- Actually, Bride of Frankenstein
is the better of the two.
- I don't know exactly
how many more than 20 bees Petey caught, so maybe you do hold the record,
if indeed there is one.
- You should post
your ruminations at alt.dev.null.
- Based on my experience,
"ristorante" should be translated as "overpriced spaghetti."
- Interesting photo. You're
definitely not a Martian-human hybrid. I think, though, that you should
ask your doctor for a referral to an endocrinologist--and soon, too.
- Yes, I did sell your father
that farmland down near Bounding Brook in the 1950s. Glad to hear you are still
- Mrs. Bean's first name
was Martha, and the real Aaron Doty, her brother, never did turn up.
- Mrs. Underdunk knows how
to program the VCR, so I haven't bothered to figure it out myself.
- I always carry a
small camera with me now. I hope somehow to bring back photographic evidence of
my next abduction.
- No, it's not hard to publish
at GeoCities, but ask them, not me, for help. I've switched over
to Tripod.com myself.
- Still no Studebaker. Dang!
- As a matter of fact, my
father, your uncle Calvin, William Bean, and a few others liked to get together
to play poker, smoke cigars, drink beer, and eat Limburger cheese and onion sandwiches,
but my mother made them stay in the basement. You can still smell it down there
all these years later. Mrs. Bean wouldn't let that crowd through her front
- I was an average high school
student back then, which would make me a superior one now.
- I call my dog "Chloe,"
but her full name is "Chloe, Too" in punnish honor of a previous dog I owned,
"Chloe, Daughter of Beauty."
- You'd have an great
interest in food, too, if you had lived through the Depression!
- My favorite roadside flower
is the purple wild aster which blooms around here in the autumn.