Question: You and Mr.
Brooks seem to disagree on locations. For instance, is Centerboro in Oneida County,
or is it in Oteseraga County? Is Mrs. Underdunk's house on Main Street where Brooks
puts it, or is it where you say it is on 184 Sherman.
Answer: Although Mr. Brooks has been known to put Centerboro in Oneida
County (home of Utica, NY, for your reference), it is in Oteseraga County
right where it has always been and always will be. Mrs. U.'s house stands at 184
Sherman. Whenever Brooks and I are in disagreement on dates, names, and places,
you can bet that I'm correct. After all, he writes fiction, remember?
And I actually live here!
you sound too educated to be just a high school graduate.
Answer: If I were a typical high school graduate of today,
I'd agree with you. However, the classes I took at CHS were quite substantial
and have served me well over the years. I took four years of mathematics, English,
Latin, science, and history. I also had classes in music, art, shop, gym, business,
and hygiene. There were no fluff courses or "electives." With a very few notable
exceptions (who were usually expelled, not temporarily suspended, from
school when they became criminally dangerous or intolerably disruptive), the students
in CHS were polite and cooperative, actually did their homework, and didn't make
it nearly impossible for our teachers to do their jobs. Therefore, most graduates
of CHS back then were well-educated. Now, I'm no Pollyanna. The 1920s and
1930s were not some "Golden Age of Education." But by golly, those
of us who made it to commencement day back in 1939 were confidently ready to get
on with life! I even know how to use a semicolon and where to put the word "only"
in a sentence!
Question: What do you
think of all the brouhaha going on in Washington? What would your advice be to
the American people?
Answer: I've always liked that word brouhaha! I think politicians
are all cut from the same cloth and, as I have said before, practice the
most loathsome of all human activities, so this is not a difficult question to
answer, and I do have a proposition. I think that the next time elections
come around and for as long as it takes after that, every single incumbent
should get the boot, and the American people are going to just have to keep trying
until we get some decent members of the species (if any such creature actually
exists) in office. Or, you could always support the candidate below for
any local, state, or federal office, not just the Presidency. Could
he do any worse than what we're stuck with now? I don't think so, either.
Question: We're curious
about the workspace in which you create this site. What's it like?
Answer: It's not very exciting. My study is what used to be a large
kitchen panty. Directly in front of me sits my computer, which I probably have
already described elsewhere, so I will not describe it now. It sits upon a piece
of kitchen countertop which is supported by two filing cabinets in which I keep
all kinds of records. To the right of the computer is a coffee can which at this
time contains an assortment of pens, pencils, loose change, a comb, a magnifying
glass, paper clips, a bicycle spoke tightener, three curtain hooks, a fishhook
disgorger, a pair of reading glasses, and dog toenail clippers. In front of the
can is a gray rock the size of a Brillo pad. It has a hole worn right through
it by natural forces. Above the computer is a shelf upon which I store floppy
disks, reference books, writing supplies, a functional vintage lava lamp, my 1947
Centerboro Home Beautification Award trophy, a canning jar full of old
marbles, and a stuffed owl. On the wall that I face as I work is a big cork bulletin
board where I have tacked up the current month's bill receipts; some Lynda Barry
and Zippy the Pinhead cartoon strips; a list of important phone numbers and e-mail
addresses; a list of passwords; pictures of Mars, Mrs. Underdunk, Chloe, and my
(now deceased) Sea Monkey ® colony. On the wall to my left, I have mounted
my high school diploma, all my traffic summonses, a Martian landscape, and the
Monarch of the Glen picture I got somewhere or other--I can't remember
where or when. On a small table within arm's reach to my right I keep my Eating
Plan snacks, an egg timer, and a flashlight. Further to the right is the window
which affords me a view of my bird feeders and, beyond them, my seasonal yard
display. In the filing cabinets directly behind me I have stored all my journals
and scrapbooks (except the ones from 1955 which Harvard University still
has not returned) and all documents relating to EHA Industries, Inc. The walls
are covered with wallpaper which I designed to resemble a Martian egg hatchery
and had custom-made. The floors are hardwood in need of a bit of restoration.
This whole space is illuminated with an ordinary floor lamp which I got at a garage
sale for $5.00 and a swing arm lamp which resides next to the rock and coffee
can. Once in a while I turn the lava lamp on. I hope this was enlightening.
Short Answers to Infrequently
- To KP, regarding your
question about the questions answered here. Well, the questions come from
a variety of sources. A few arrive though the postal service. Some come
from my large (and growing) extraterrestrial readership in the form of telepathic
communications, induced dreams, and vague intuitions. Others, like yours,
arrive electronically. When I accumulate a number of questions on the same
theme, I blend them into a single FAQ entry (sometimes preserving
some of the more, shall we say, amusing phrasings or some of the more
ingenious manglings of the English language) and answer them all at once.
If questions remain singletons for any length of time, I answer them in this
section here. Do I ever make up questions included here? Only when
- Yes, I think some bookdealer
will break the thousand dollar level for "a clean, tight attractive copy"
of some Freddy book--possibly a "bright, sturdy" ex-lib. Ignormus--and
some complete idiot will probably buy it! It's just a matter
of time; wait and see!
- Sometimes (not often,
though) I do just order a pizza.
- No, the Centerboro Town
Council is quite "PC," and there is no nativity scene at City Hall.
- The Centerboro Jail was
a dismal, dank, depressing hole that made me think "Gothic privy" every time
I saw it or was in it.
- I did think of wiring
my jack-o'-lanterns to deliver an electric shock to keep the little &^$+^*@$' hands
off them, but just imagine the lawsuit and the awful publicity that might generate!
- I'm sorry your child incinerated
your drapes with a match launcher. I did warn you, though. Why not
look on the bright side--your whole garage didn't burn down, now did it?
- My favorite awful
holiday movie? Santa Claus vs.The Martians, of course.
- Hector was the youngest
of the Boomschmidt brothers. He was the most incredibly lazy human being
I have ever met, even lazier than that damned Freddy or my Uncle Joseph. He lived
with his mother who waited on him hand and foot until the day she passed
away, and then he just parked himself on the front porch of the house she
left solely to him and whistled and whittled away as life passed him by.
I don't think he's mentioned in the Freddy series.
- The links
which follow do not work anymore. You'll just have to do a search on your own
to find out more about delightful Sea Monkeys. You
can learn more about Sea Monkeys at the Sea-Monkey
Central site (official) or the MonkeyFun
Forums. It's always good to know what you're getting into before
you buy a pet. And may I suggest that you join The Society for the Protection
of Abused Sea-Monkeys, of which I am still a proud member.