Do you have a signed Walter Brooks book? If so,
I would be interested in purchasing it sight unseen .
Answer: No doubt you'd buy a pig in a poke, too. How very trusting
of you! To answer your question, yes, I do have such a book, Freddy
the Pilot, which I found in a big box of books I
bought for a dollar at a Kiwanis flea market in Aeschylus Center just a few months
ago. I was really more interested in a Taber's medical encyclopedia that
I spotted in the box, but when I got it home, lo and behold, there was the Freddy
book. Having no use for it, I will be disposing of it at my Spring 2000 Internet
Yard Sale later this year, on a first-come, first-served basis, of course. I must
mention that it has no dust jacket, but that it is a first edition. Since it is
signed, I'm afraid I'll have to double my usual asking price for Freddy
books, so it will be up for grabs for $2.00. I still do not have a decent scanner,
so the image of the title page is rather poor, but you can certainly appreciate
the niceness of the signature. I am not a member of any kind of autograph
dealer society, and I will not be able to provide any kind of "certificate of
authenticity" with the book, but, hey, for two dollars what have you got to lose--that
is if you're first in line. I suppose you could check out Mr. Brooks's
signature someplace or other yourself, but I'm not sure who would be able to help
you out. Now pay attention! Please do not start pestering me about
when the yard sale will commence. I will let you know through the mailing list
of the "Friends of Freddy." There's a link to the Freddy list on the Table of
Contents page in case you'd like to subscribe, not that there's ever very much
going on there.
Question: Can you tell us a little more about Jason Brewer, many of whose
postcards have appeared on your website? Wasn't he once the star quarterback for
the C.H.S. football team?
Answer:You have Jason Brewer confused with Irving Hill. Jason played fullback
for the Centerboro football team. It was Irving who played quarterback. It is
a shame that Jason never ran with the ball, so to speak, after high school. No
one really knows why for certain, but most of us assumed that he became depressed
when all the cheering ceased after his high school glory days. When he graduated,
he joined the Army as most of us did, served overseas, and came home to settle
in Centerboro. He got a job in the plumbing department of Herbert Halsey's Hardware
Emporium and worked there until the business folded. Oddly, he stayed on in the
same location, working as a clerk in whatever enterprise happened to occupy the
old Halsey building. Some of his jobs included repairing vacuum cleaners, taking
bets at an Off Track Betting office, and selling goldfish, gerbils, parrots, rabbit
food, aquarium decorations, and other creatures and supplies. He retired only
when a health food store moved in. He became fairly well known as a postcard and
sports card collector, a hobby which perfectly suited his sedentary ways . Always
thickset, he had grown rather large, let us say, over the years as eating
had become his principal comfort and consolation and he experienced more and more
difficulty getting around. When the poor fellow popped off to the great gridiron
in the sky, his impressive collections were dispersed at an estate sale and auction,
and all the proceeds went to the athletic department of C.H.S. as stipulated in
his will. That was a nice gesture, don't you think? One wonders what he
mused about all those years as an unassuming clerk.
been waiting and waiting for your eating plan for the year 2000. What's the holdup?
Answer: I've just not gotten around to publishing
it until now, that's all. Here it is with a small disclaimer: I am not responsible
for any gastric or systemic mishaps or distress you may experience if you
follow any part of my plan. My goal this year is to achieve a balanced
A twenty-four oz. shake of rice milk, soy protein, one organic banana, and a cup
of plain all-natural yogurt; two 8-oz. cups of green tea sweetened to taste
with raw organic honey. Morning medications. Sunday: A blend of wheat bran,
whey protein, soy grits, oats, wild rice, whole rye, buckwheat, barley, millet,
sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. One 12 ounce glass of organic orange juice.
| Every Day:
A fresh garden salad and a tuna sandwich on multi-grain bread with a side of steamed
organic brown rice and a steamed vegetable like broccoli or cauliflower.
Two quarts of distilled water.
| Two quarts
of distilled water and one handful of pine nuts or roasted soybeans. Afternoon
To balance the positive effects
of "healthy" eating between the hours of 5:30 A.M. and 3:40 P.M., I will partake
of assorted packaged and processed foodstuffs and beverages containing, for example
and not limited to, the following government-approved additives: cocoa butter,
partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, FD&C Yellow No. 5 and 6, FD&C Red
No. 3 and 40, FD&C Blue No. 1 and 2, FD&C Green No. 3, titanium
dioxide, acetaldehyde, turmeric oleoresin, refined sugar, MSG, aspartame, saccharin,
n-acetyl-l-methionine, alginates, lecithin, mono- & diglycerides, quinine
hydrochloride, octafluorocyclobutane, lipase from animal tissue, methyl cellulose,
trisodium nitrilotriacetate, dihydronootkatone, carrageenan, lard, jelutong, glycerine,
pectin, vanillin isobutyrate, guar gum, sodium aluminosilicate, ethyl brassylate,
2-benzofurancarboxaldehyde, fungal hemicellulase, propionic acid and its salts,
butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), benzoates, sodium
nitrite, chloroform, formaldehyde, propane, erythorbates, chlorine, potasium gibberellate,
fumaric acid, phosphoric acid, urea, rectified turpentine, lactic acid, tartrates,
zinc sulfate, 2, 5-xylenol, cholesterol, ion exchange resin, hemlock oil, rhodinyl
phenylacetate, polyglycerol esters of fatty acids, zingerone, succinylated monogylcerides,
polyvinylpyrrolidone, and salt, salt, salt! It will be necessary to check
the labels on frozen dinners, canned goods, etc. scrupulously in order to achieve
this balance, but it will be worth the extra effort, I'm sure.
| One large
bag of microwave popcorn w/ extra butter or one twelve-oz. bag of potato
chips or three large cream-filled doughnuts. One sixteen-ounce full-strength
soft drink . Evening medications.
Short Answers to Infrequently
- One other memorably anxious
and expensive trip to the vet with Chloe occurred when she ate an ant trap. She
recovered quite well after a shot of atropine (I think it was), but I still
- Stanley Muszkiski owned
both the movie theater and the bowling alley I referred to in the
"Louis Doberman and the Bowling Shoes" story in the Tales
Out of School (and Elsewhere): True Stories from the Golden Age of Centerboro
chapter of this website. The movie theater was demolished years ago, but the bowling
alley is still in operation, although not run by any of the Muszkiski family.
- The cook for many years
at the Centerboro Hotel was Mrs. Twitch. Her signature dish was a simply splendid
steamed mussel concoction. Unfortunately she was let go after a small, but lethal
outbreak of hepatitis was traced back to the hotel's kitchen.
- It is quite correct that
Frederick Bean has no middle name, but I don't know any story behind that.
- Yes, I know that Brooks
says that Mrs. Underdunk's house is "a big old-fashioned brick house with
a steep pitched slate roof," but that is quite incorrect. (He also places it on
Main Street in Bean Home News, whereas it is on Sherman, as you know.)
He has confused it with Mrs. Church's in the upper part of town. Incidentally,
If you want to see a picture of Mrs. U's house, go to FAQ
#7. For a photo of Mrs. Church's house, go to Picture
- I'm sorry you've spent
so much time looking for Axon Spardoze's Mostly Water. I should have mentioned
that it is one of those self-published works, and that not many copies exist.
You'll be fortunate indeed to find one.
- Mrs. U. and I watch very
little television because most of it is, of course, utter stupid rubbish; however
we do watch As Time Goes By, a delightful and civilized British serial
starring Dame Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer. Once in a while I watch Antiques
Roadshow to see if any of my possessions might be worth thousands of dollars
- What does that "N.B."
mean? "N.B." = nota bene = "mark well" (literally) or "note
- Dear A.S., I am indeed
familiar with the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. I regard it as yet another
covert, cost-effective Martian front manned by human dupes and dedicated to the
self-destruction of the human species. I provide a link to the site only
because it is better to be aware of such threats than unaware. However, I warn
you that their nefarious site is not for the very young or the tenderhearted:
VHEMT. N.B. I do not
endorse the VHEMT!
- My Chloe and Mrs. U's
Pookie get along. I wouldn't say they're inseparable, but they do not snap at
- All the little towns
and villages within a few miles of Centerboro? If you leave it up to me to define
"a few" and excluding insignificant hamlets like Clabberstone (population 14)
and cities of some size like Rome, here they are off the top of my head and in
no particular order: Dutch Flats, Boonville, East Waddams, East Floyd, Remsen,
South Pharisee, Clamville, Weems (sounds like something one might get a bad case
of, doesn't it?), Upper Cattawampus, Honnedaga, Bounding Brook, Russia, Poland,
Goshen Corners, Lakeville, Fink Hollow, Nobleboro, Alder Creek, Gomorrah Center,
Gomorrah Falls, Tushville, Pocanaxon, Plutarch Mills, Ninety Six Corners, Hinckley,
Samaria, Stittville, Aeschylus Center, and Ninevah Falls. There are plenty more,
but these are the ones I've been to.
- No, I still have not been
able to take any kind of legal action against E. T. since I'm not even sure who
she is. In any case, I haven't heard from her in quite a while.
- Yes, there was a
treehouse at the Bean farm. William built it for the boys, and it was quite a
nice place to spend time quaffing
lemonade, reading Tom Swift and Hardy Boys books, playing cards,
surveying the countryside with a little spyglass, and (safe from adult eyes) rolling
cigarettes. Here is a little picture of that sanctuary from one of the Bean family
albums that I rescued from the big fire.