BOOK UPDATE: An agent has asked to see my manuscript. I am questioning the wisdom of naming the aforementioned agent on my blog, so I'll exercise extreme caution, in the words of Homeland Security officials, and simply leave her it out.
I got her e-mail on Tuesday but didn't have any money to mail out the manuscript until Thursday. One hopes that will make a quaint story one day: "I remember when my wife and I were living paycheck to paycheck, and I didn't have cash to mail my manuscript to an agent."
Anyway, my pockets newly filled with shillings given to me by my benevolent employer, my wife and I drove out to the airport post office last night after dinner. The post office at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport stays open all night, so it is a haven for senders of last-minute packages. With Christmas just over a week away, the parking lot was packed and we had to sit in line and wait for someone to leave in order to get a parking space. Then, inside, there were about two dozen people with all sizes of packages waiting. That all said, the people who work at the airport post office are quite possibly the nicest in America -- perhaps because they know how much trouble we had gone through to visit them.
To ship my manuscript book rate it would have cost a little under $3 (and then the same for an SASE so the agent can return my manuscript when she decides that it's poo), but Rachel didn't like the idea that it would take at least seven days to reach the agent and insisted that I ship via Priority Mail, because well, it's better. Sometimes you get so excited about doing something and you choose a more expensive option just because it's more expensive.
"It's your first time to send out a manuscript, you should go Priority Mail," Rachel said as we stood at the counter; suddenly an expert on the U.S. Postal Service.
So, I forked out $6.85 and made a mental note of the moment as the postal worker tossed my package into one of the large bins. And the whole thing has set of a sort of manic depression in which I fight with myself to be realistic about the possibilities.
Many years ago, after Israel had apparently done some other thing to make them angry, the Palestinians held for awhile a weekly "Day of Rage." Every Friday after prayers, they would spill out into the street and do that crazy jump-up-and-down-tomahawk-chop dance that they do and fire a few Kalashnikov rounds into the air and then a handful of them would be crushed to death. My joke for this was that instead of having "Casual Friday," they had "Casualty Friday."
No one ever got it, or they thought it was in poor taste -- either way, it always fell flat and the line was lost to the wisps of time.
Then, today, for the second week in a row, a small plane crashed outside of Denver.
"This is apparently becoming a regular thing," one coworker remarked.
"Yes. It's Casualty Friday," I said.
What? It confounds me that such a clever play on words should fail to incite laughter.
I hate this guy on so many levels that I can't even communicate it in coherent terms.
It would appear from the picture in this story that the Hart family includes homicidal children's doll Chucky.
Man, those Pennsylvanians sure know how to have fun.
Oh my God! This is worse than the flu vaccine shortage! And yet the Bush administration does nothing!