Question: Are you more
than one person? I mean, are there a bunch of you working on this website?
Answer: Yes, I know you mean "a bunch" when you use the words "more than
one." What do you think? Do you think I'm more than one person? Have you
detected stylistic inconsistencies which would lead you to believe so?
Any factual discrepancies? A lack of thematic unity which would
suggest multiple authorship? Even if you did, that might mean only that my mental
acuity is not quite what it used to be. Of course, it's possible that I
am any number of collaborators or some poor soul afflicted with multiple personalities,
but is it probable? I think the answer to your question is obvious, so
I won't bother to go into it any more than I have already.
Question: Some of my
friends and I got together and made some anagrams from your name Edward Henry
Anderson. Did you know that you can get "deadhead" and "doddery" from
the letters of your name?
Answer: How terribly clever of you. How about this one: "warhead,"
which is what I hope the Martians drop directly on you when they invade. In the
meantime, you and your little friends really ought to get yourselves some lives.
Question: Is the dragon
in Freddy and the Dragon based on some local legend by any chance?
Answer: No, it is not, despite what that book might lead you to believe.
I think that the dragon in the Freddy book is based on the mechanical dragon
Fafner used in the Metropolitan Opera's version of Wagner's Siegfried--you
know, the third part of Der Ring des Nibelungen. That dragon was
a marvel! Its eyes were flaming red searchlights. It belched smoke and flames
by means of a hose and bellows. And the thing's fetid breath reeked horribly of
brimstone (i.e., sulfur). The audience nearest the stage would be nearly suffocated
by the foul fumes. Now why would I think that Mr. Brooks's dragon was inspired
by the Met's Fafner? Well, several years ago I bought Magic: Stage Illusions
and Scientific Diversions by Hopkins (1897) in one of the Centerboro Library's
book sales. (Incidentally, I paid only $.25 for it.) As I was browsing through
the book, I noticed an illustration and description of the Met's Fafner,
and I was immediately struck by the marked similarities of its appearance and
effects to Brooks's insipid dragon. Because the card pocket had been removed from
the book, I can't prove that he ever took it out of the Centerboro library,
but I do know that Brooks did some of his research at the Library, that
the book was on the shelf there between 1897 and 1965 when I purchased
it, and that the similarities between the dragons are just too great
to be coincidental.
Short Answers to Infrequently
- Yes, there is another
novel I'd add to my list. It's called Mostly Water by Axon Spardoze. As far
as I can make out, it's of the philosophical science fiction genre, commenting
as it does upon the future ruination of mankind owing to its inability to
reconcile technological progress with its fundamental and ineradicable
irrationality and stupidity. I believe Axon Spardoze must certainly be a nom
- In a blind smell test administered
by Mrs. U., I also was unable to detect a difference between cold fried baloney
and rubber kitchen gloves. It does make you think.
- Chloe will eat almost anything
that drops on the floor--exceptions (so far) include broccoli, walnuts, and
- I put my Christmas tree
up on Christmas Eve just as my parents did. It comes down when I get tired
of looking at it which is usually about December 27.
- I make my own oyster stuffing,
and this is one recipe that goes to the grave with me
- If your husband is still
missing after all this time, it might be time to file a police report.
- If you remind me, I will
tell you after Christmas what I gave to Mrs. U. and what I got from her.
- Boomschmidt was from Schenectady--not
very far at all from here actually. There never was anyone named Hackenmeyer
associated with his circus. That's pure fiction.
- Dear "frosty@(deleted).com":
Thank you for your kind offer of cryogenic storage and the "posibility of
imortallity" (sic), but I have other plans. By the way, if your preservation
techniques are on a par with your spelling skills, I wonder about the status
of your clients. Better go check right away!
- Dear "Incensed Teacher":
I don't care if you think I have a negative attitude toward public school education.
I believe that children are horribly rushed and managed and tested
way too much for their own goods in elementary school. Then, having learned
virtually nothing because they never grasped the basics of reading,
writing, and arithmetic, they go off to junior high school where parents
expect the overburdened teachers to take over their rearing and discipline as
well as their instruction. There the little scholars run amok for two or three
years. And then on to high school (where they neglect studies so they can
work in some fast food restaurant or chain discount store so they can pay their
car insurance bills).... There they sit in "heterogeneously grouped" classrooms
where the dunce and the genius listen to the hapless instructor pitch his or her subject
matter to the dunderheads somewhere in the middle hoping that someone will
learn something--or at least enough so that standardized test scores
will not be an embarrassment when published in the local newspaper. I
admit I'm not an educational expert or some state education department
know-it-all, but don't I have a point? And I am actually on the side of
good teachers like Miss Pottle who help their pupils love going to school.
It's only teachers like "Prune Face" Peppercorn whom I dislike.
I could go on, but this is supposed to be the short answer part of
this FAQ. Some topics really get me going, though!
- Yes, I like to go fishing
sometimes. There are lots of perch, bluegills, and bass in the shallows at
the west end of Oteseraga Lake.
- You want a view of the
earth from space? Try this site.
- I, too, wonder about the
references to ham and bacon in the Freddy series. Perhaps they are evidence
of a macabre sense of humor? They certainly couldn't have been unintentional.
- I agree completely. Jacob
is an overused deus ex machina. Perhaps Mr. Brooks was inspired by
Euripides. Or maybe he just couldn't figure out how to let his characters
get themselves out of their jams using their own powers.
- When you have your
own little website, you can use whatever fonts you want including Janson and
Baskerville, which I do not regard as robust enough.
- Thank you, but I do not
wish to purchase my "family coat of arms." I do not possess a sufficient degree
of middle-class anxiety or envy to consider this an attractive offer at any price.
- Dear ET: No, I have not
yet figured out who you are. Did you attend CHS? Were you in my graduating class?
Did I meet you in France during W.W.II?
- William Bean was named
after his grandfather. His father's name eludes me.
- I'm not aware of a fully
developed fish character in any of the published Freddy books. I can't account
for this other than to say that even Mr. Brooks realized that fish are more boring
than most of his other characters. I don't think this is a particularly interesting
line of inquiry, but evidently you do, so I suggest you raise the question
at the Freddy list. It should make for some really stimulating
- To KV: I know that
Mr. Brooks said the First National Bank of Centerboro was on the corner of Liberty
and Main, but he simply got this wrong. The bank was right where I said
it was between Rudy Murrey's jewelry store and Siebring's Motors and Collision
on the corner of Main and Madison.