Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Famous Tootsie Pop

Given recent events, I have different books going at the same time now, and given those same recent events, one of the categories is "books I read in a doctor's waiting room." It's not the same as either book in the other two categories, if you are making a chart. There can never be an overlap. Each of the three (so far) books needs to be of a different size, and to have different qualities. The one I read while taking my blood pressure, for example, requires a sturdy spine, like me, so it can lie flat on a table, like me. I don't lie flat on a table. But we all lie flat on a table one day. That's not the point. What was I talking about? Oh yeah. So I was sitting there reading this one novel in the waiting room when, by a big coincidence, the narrator mentioned the problem for which I was about to see the doctor! Not only that, he cited a probable cause for the problem. And this cause was something in the proximity of which I had recently loitered! Now, this is the kind of coincidence that McNeil and I talk about all the time, all giddy from delight. So when I saw the doctor, I said, "Hey, could this thing be caused by this other thing?" And he said "No." So that was a bust. And the coincidence wasn't so great after all. So why are we here? I don't know. It does give me the liberty to mention that Megan and I have been discussing the devil a pretty good bit lately, and then she asked me a question about the Tarot (an entirely separate discussion, although there is, of course, a card with the devil on it. But that's not what we were talking about for a change). Anyhow, I looked up what Jesse Moynihan has to say about another card, the one under discussion, and I was like, "Huh! Okay!" Then I opened JOSEPH AND HIS BROTHERS to the passage I had been reading... and the devil, in that passage, talks about the VERY SAME IDEAS I had just been reading in Jesse's pamphlet! I'm not saying Jesse is the devil. Far from it! So that was another coincidence. This great tale of life as it is lived in our lively times isn't over yet. Because I had TWO doctor appointments today! I had enough time in between them to stop by Square Books. I was happy to see that Richard Howorth was not just trying to protect my fragile feelings when he said that my books aren't 100% out of print... just 99.999999%! I added that part. They had a big old fresh stack of MOVIE STARS, my troubling masterpiece of short fiction. Lauren Graham raves: "Funny, poetic, vivid, unique. Jack Pendarvis has crafted a collection of gems." I'm not lying! It's on the cover! Go see for yourself. Pick up a few copies for the family. While supplies last! I signed the whole batch, and wrote secret messages in a couple of them. It's like Willy Wonka all over again! Ran into Tom Franklin, who was walking down from the second floor of the bookstore with a young woman to whom he introduced me as "Via Bleidner, Kim Kardashian just bought her book for Netflix." Oh! On the way out of the store, I saw a big poster for the novel I said I couldn't tell you about yet. But I can now, because there's a big poster right there at the front door of Square Books. It's DON'T LET THE DEVIL RIDE (the devil again!), the latest from Ace Atkins! The owl I have been sitting on since January 22, 2023, is... I can now reveal... the owl in the famous Tootsie Pop commercial. Well, I haven't seen the published book yet, just the manuscript, but Ace says he "thinks" the owl is still in there. And I guess you think the story is over. WRONG! Because as I waited for the second doctor, once again reading my "waiting room book" in a different waiting room... well, first I should tell you that I saw a raccoon using a walkway last night. A walkway that a person would use. Like, a narrow sidewalk of sorts. So, anyway, I'm reading this novel again and the narrator is astonished to see "a raccoon using a sidewalk." All right, that's the end.