Apr 29, 2009

Going Unattributed


In the crossfire of emails leading up to last night's meeting, I’ve saved actual quotes from actual MBC members. Since MBC’s policy is to sacrifice personal privacy whenever possible, here are your email comments, with observations from the editorial staff.

Item first:
Regarding his second request to borrow my book just days before the meeting, this man wrote…

“It’s the least you can do for making me your public whipping boy.”

Editor: Never demand a favor with your trousers around your ankles.

Item second:
Explaining why he’s decided to read the book this month…

“It’s national “turn off the TV week” so my only option is to read this week.”

Editor: Some are motivated to read out of intellectual curiosity; others find they have no choice.

Item third:
Commenting on the ground beef at John’s testicle festival…

“For the rest of my life, falafels will remind me of bull testes.”

Editor: Most of us ate the tacos and tried to ignore the filling. But this man made himself falafels! Hmmm, they used to be balls in a sac, so why not?

Item fourth:
Anticipating Peter’s choice of cuisine…

“I am wondering if it will truly be kangaroo meat being served? As such I am respectfully declining dinner.”

Editor: If you don’t like ethnic food, just say so.

Item fifth:
Referring to himself in the third person heightened the suspense…

“The will be a Chirs Browne sighting next Tues”

Editor: The prediction was uncannily accurate. The spelling…not so good.

1 comment:

Tom A. said...

Thanks to all for admitting me into the club, although I'm reminded of Groucho's famous quote along those lines and what that says about you.

For those who are gluttons for more context surrounding a book they're no longer obliged to care about, The New York Times has three articles, spaced over eight years:

April 1990: "A Storyteller For the War That Won't End"

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/03/books/a-storyteller-for-the-war-that-won-t-end.html?pagewanted=all

October 1994: "The Vietnam in Me"

http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/09/20/specials/obrien-vietnam.html

September 1998: "Wrestling With War And Love; Raw Pain, Relived Tim O'Brien's Way"

http://www.nytimes.com/1998/09/02/books/wrestling-with-war-and-love-raw-pain-relived-tim-o-brien-s-way.html?pagewanted=all


In the 1990 article about him, he seems happy and focused. But his own 1994 article is nearly as horrifying as John Wade's story. Apparently he didn't go back to Vietnam in 1990 after all, and the 1994 trip tore him up. By 1998, he's telling his interviewer how much he was falling apart in 1994, and how he wishes he hadn't written "The Vietnam in Me".