Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday Mailbag

After a trickle of devilishly demonstrative pleas for a Q & A session initiated by my fabulous fans' concerns and conundrums, every Monday (if I have the time) henceforth will be devoted to a representative smattering of readers' mail, with appropriate responses. Without further ado, I do unscroll and spatter a very small sampling of recent fare:

Dear Tribal Hack:

I've become despondent over the lack of good, I mean really good, bowling literature out there. For years, I puzzled over why this should be so. Media bias? The despicable stereotype of bowler as rube and trailer park reject? Then, the light went on: it's PM Harper's fault! To my recollection, he's never said a good word about bowling! With his leadership and following, he could turn this sport around in the public's eye. He's probably never read any bowling lit before. I'm planning on sending him a bowling book by an expert, one every fortnight, for the next ten years, or until he's political toast. Any recommendations?

-- Phil Gutter

Dear Phil:

First off, I sympathize with the parlous state of bowling lit in the public eye. Have you thought of organizing placard-waving marches at Downing Street, with provocative slogans such as: "Spare Me the Oblivion!" or "If You Can't Beat 'Em in the Alley, You Can't Beat 'Em in the Bookstore!"? Aside from that, I'd say to send along the best of the best to the Right Hon grand poobah. Titles I've perused and been bowled over by include "The Phallocentric Pin: A Misandrist's Guide to Constant Strikes", and "Alley-Oop!: Striking a Romantic Match by the Shoe Dispensary". Good Luck!

Dear Tribal Hack:

When will you finally review a book of poetry on favourite referents of academic revolutionaries breaking down the wall of traditional encrustation without resorting to imaginative reason and escalating subjectivity?

-- Ben Drinkin

Dear Ben:

When any number of those authors can do successful triple lutzes while naked in church foyers during Lent.

Dear Tribal Hack:

I attend many poetry readings, but I'm more and more sartorially confused. Tweed is passe; shower clogs and flourescent shorts means trying too hard to be surreal. What's your solution?

-- Frank Taylor

Dear Frank:

Listen to your inner haberdasher. Try a wide range of gear: everything from hemp dresses soaked in tar to bolo ties on a floral vest. Remember, though, always tip your porkpie hat to the reader, then tip it forward to disguise your closed eyes. When the reading is exceptional, pass the hat around as "an organizational rep" collecting dues and stray garters with phone numbers etched on the inner band. Speaking of inner bands, any ipods should be inconspicuously attached, perhaps disguised as catheter tubes rerouting urine through your ears. I hear that's not as rare as you may think. Don't stampede the podium for autographs, but wait for the audience to approach you after the reading. Though ambiguous in timbre, laugh at appropriate moments in the verbal text. Never open your umbrella, but shake it out occasionally as if to make it clear Mary Poppins has nothing on you in dramatic possibility. If you must chew gum, pop it only when applause is deafening so's to add to the sizzle and communal approbation. Don birkenstocks or Doc Martens, don flak jackets, don you now your gay apparel.

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