BOOK UPDATE: The particularly astute of you might have read about the presidential election we had this week. As a member of the Global Media Conspiracy, I had to work a 12-hour shift, which pretty much obliterated Tuesday and Wednesday for me. I cannot now remember what I did on Monday that I felt was more important than writing. The end result is that I have furthered my novel by just 400 words. Hemmingway could have done better on his worst alcohol binge.
Actually, that's not a fair comparison -- regardless of how many words I can pump out, it's a good bet that Hemmingway could have done better, quality-wise. As could the guy who wrote the Clifford the Big Red Dog books.
Today, of course, is Guy Fawkes Day, aka Bonfire Night, aka Get Drunk And Set Something On Fire Night. We seriously need to adopt this holiday in the United States (even though there's something of a conflict of interest, what with Bonfire Night celebrating the preservation of British authority and the U.S. having put a bunch of effort into breaking free of it some 170 years later).
My first Bonfire Night was celebrated in Cosham, Portsmouth. They had a funfair, fireworks, and had set fire to a handful of massive oak trees. That last part is what hooked me. My family's from Texas, man; we pride ourselves on overdoing things to a grand scale. Effectively my response was this: "Ooh. Fire big. Many trees burn. Me impressed. Me love England."
The other thing that amused me was the deadly way in which people were allowed on a number of the funfair rides. Let's say you wanted to ride one of those teacup-like rides:
In the God Blessed United States, you would wait patiently in a roped switchback line until the heavily tattooed man from Kentucky stopped the ride and allowed all the teacuppers to exit the ride. Then you would go find your seat and wait until everyone is safely secured before the ride started up again.
In Cosham, we waited in a meandering pseudo-queue until the heavily tattooed man from Southampton signaled us to walk onto the moving platform. He then physically stopped one of the cars from spinning, told its occupants to get out, collected our £1 coins, had us sit down, and gave the car a good spin as he walked off to help someone else.
Scream if you wanna go faster.
Can someone explain to me why there are 11 teams in the Big Ten?
Good news for Americans who don't want to go to Europe: You can't afford to go there anyway.
I want a T-shirt that declares me as "senior executive of the subcommittee on protesting stuff."
America -- not at all run by goobers.
Did you vote for Bush? No chicken for you.
The most fun mayor in America.
Wow. That is a lot of cocaine.
Don't mess with Oklahoma.
Chocolate-coated highway. I know I'm thinking like a 14-year-old boy here, but that just doesn't sound right.
I am resisting the urge to make any sort of link between my comment above and this story.
When I think culturally sensitive, I think Wal-Mart.
The section on parallel parking in this guide must be particularly challenging.
Elton John -- genius? Definitely.