Saturday, December 21, 2013

No Dawdling

You know as a reader I dawdle around a lot. But I read the first 100 pages of KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL by Anthony Bourdain in one sitting last night. Jerry Lewis comes in good and early, on page 10. In BOEING, BOEING, I am pleased to report. (See also.) Much of the action - and there's plenty! - takes place in Provincetown, just like this Norman Mailer bio I'm still dawdling over. Maybe some of the dawdling comes from how most biographies end, with your protagonist sick and old and finally dead. Who wants to be reminded? I'm on page 724 (!) of the Mailer book, and he's contemplating his mortality, natch. "If modern science could provide us with a new liver, he wrote, 'after we'd corrupted the juice out of the old one, then who was going to benefit? Some of the worst and lousiest and richest people on earth, tyrants, tycoons and so forth.' There would be no opportunity to 'look forward to some horrible old bastard dying.'" Pardon Norman Mailer's French! I am reminded of when Ward McCarthy and I were in Los Angeles for work many years ago. I was in my hotel room and Ward called me from his to alert me that the local TV stations were interrupting regularly scheduled programming to show Larry Hagman's new liver arriving in a cooler at the airport. Not that Larry Hagman was "some horrible old *******"! Quite the opposite, probably. I have no idea.