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FAQ #14

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!

Question: Sometimes 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 Asked Questions

  • 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 necessary.
  • 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.

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