Certainly not "Moan" in the woe is me sense. Wow. Well, that’s nice. Thank you. Thank you! A fine initial showing on Amazon is quite helpful; convinces other bookstores to stock the thing, lest they fail to catch Lileks Fever.
(Urgh. That will be today’s “flatulently buoyant,” or whatever pretentious phrase I wrote yesterday.) (And speaking of Lileks Fever: a small female child can be irritated beyond measure if you take the Barbie “Fashion Fever” campaign and turn it into a disease, e.g., you feel your forehead, make a sickly moan, and proclaim that you are coming down with Fashion Fever. “Daddy, it’s not a real fever.”

What is it then?

“It’s just how Barbie feels about fashion.” DUH.

“Well, maybe I have dengue fever.”

“What’s dengoo fever?”

“I don’t know. But it’s bad.”

(Sorry. Most obscure unfunny joke ever. Back in the mid-80s I used to play “Savage Island,” a computer game with the Giant Swede; you were stuck on an island, and you had to build a raft to get off. Never did. You often died of disease; the game would say “You have dengue fever. It’s bad.” Then you died. It’s almost been 20 years, and one of us will use the term once a year or so in conversation. God forbid one of us ever gets it, because A) we will both know the severity of the matter, and B) will nevertheless be unable to suppress laughter.)

Anyway. In any case, the "moan" is just part of the weekly Halloween art, and not an expression of my current mood. How good are things going? Let's just say I'm getting feelers from Oprah's people. It could come to naught; I've gotten feelers from nearly everyone's people, so to speak, but if I got on Oprah, it would mean nice things. Very nice things. Gnat's college-fund things. We'll see.

So how does a Fellow Whose Book Reached the Upper Twenties spend the morning? Slicing his flesh open. The razor turned on me this morning. Doesn’t matter how much you prep your mug, work in the lather; razors are like those wolf-dog hybrids that live by your side without incident for ten years, then tear off your limb. And you say: well, that’s your problem, using a ten-year old razor. What is this, 1984, and you’re having to make a Victory Blade last? No. It’s a three-blade disposable, and I’ve had good luck with them. But every so often there’s a fatal combination of blade, tough whiskers, and operator error. Happens to everyone. Except this morning I cut myself twice; had to put Band-Aids along the bottom of my jaw, looking like I tried to cut my throat but made the mistake of standing on a stool while I did so. Please do not tell me about electric shavers. I go electric every other year or so, and they do not agree with my chin, and I get that too-bad-about-the-smallpox-dude look from strangers.

Also do not write about wolf-dog hybrids. Don’t write at all, until I clean out my mailbox. Jaysus. The amount of spam I got after I switched servers has been enormous. Just what I need: one more unusable mail account. Today, in fact, I was going to send an email to someone, and that meant calling up the Strib mainframe via Java emulation and going through six log-in screens. Why not just . . . call him on the phone? I thought. I did. He answered! We spoke!

tell you, these phones are going to catch on, once they get the bugs worked out. They need cords, for example. When I got to the office today I discovered the handset for the upstairs cordless in my coat pocket. You know what I fear? That it will ring, and I
discover that the home phone has a range of 17 miles.

So far I’ve turned in two columns and written one more; now to wrap this up and get on to the other column. The hideous workload of the week has just been increased, as I have to assemble a clip-reel for the Oprah Feeler People. Meanwhile: buy the book! And if you have, here’s a minor update to the venerable Gallery of Regrettable Food. If you haven’t bought the book, it’s yours to read anyway. See you tomorrow.