Monday, December 27, 2021

The Body Finder

It is my duty to inform you that Megan Abbott and I continue apace with what might seem, to an outside observer, our increasingly bizarre book club. For example, now we are reading the memoir of a playwright, all about the time he wrote a doomed (?) play for Mary Martin and Carol Channing. I bring it up because the author includes himself in a group of "eight serious-looking, owl-eyed men." As you know, I am compelled by unknown forces to make a note whenever I read a book with an owl in it. In my struggle to make the current iteration entertaining, I might mention that this is the first time an author has referred to himself as owl-eyed, in my experience. "Owl-eyed," from my understanding of the term, does not come across as a compliment. It is generally applied to other people. I have done no research by which to validate anything I have just said. I will add, just to put a cherry on top, that during his boyhood, the author was known by the unsettling nickname "the body finder," because he found five dead bodies. Those bodies, I believe, were found on five separate occasions, and by accident, as the author shoehorns into a parenthetical. Now, he does specify that he was a teenager when he kept finding bodies. I'm not great at math, but I think that means he found a body on average once every year and four months or so. I'll bet he started getting nervous every time the new year rolled around! We'll never know, because he mentions his body finding abilities so blithely that Megan missed it entirely until I brought it up.