Talk to DP Forum

Barry K.

Post #712 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

“Nov shmoz ka pop?” (Note spelling) was the catch phrase of a little hitchhiker who appeared transitorily in a by-strip (’30s to ’50s) to Ahearn’s “Our Boarding House.” I have just the vaguest childhood memories of this, but my Dad recalls it clearly. I had the only “Nov shmoz ka pop?” sweatshirt in the Greater Dallas Area for a brief period in the early ’60s (but that’s another story.

Daniel replies:

And your point is?


Post #694 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Do you want to hear of a really good town to write about? Urbandale, Iowa. It’s a suburb of Des Moines, in which I lived before moving to Snellville. In it, the police officer who taught the drug abuse class was recently exposed as a crack dealer; my seventh grade teacher (devout Catholic and also sex-ed teacher) turned out to be sleeping with one of the guys in the class. And then my eight grade trecher, whom we always said smelled of alcohol, recently was fired after coming to school durnk adn slapping a kid. All this in addition to the classic problems within the boy scouts, the hooker who lived across the street from (the cops were there all the time, giving some genuine entertainment to the whole neighborhood), etc. It’s a boring little midwestern town, outwardly quite a nice little centralized place, where something exciting is always being exposed!

Daniel replies:

And was there any reason you had to move to Snellville?


Post #700 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Hello DP

First of all, let me say that I am a huge fan and have been for years. I have a question for you:

Did you ever think of making “Young Adult Novel” into “Young Adult Movie?” I am an independant public cable tv producer and I think you should let me make it. It would have a kind of twisted afterschool special kind of feel. Boy would it be fun…but I hate to get sued. In fact, I think many of your books have a cinematic feel.

Worth a try!!

Biz the Clown

Daniel replies:

And sue you I would, be sure of it. However, I am open to offers, including money, from legitimate producers, (if that's not a contradiction in terms).

Daniel Wabyick

Post #626 – 19970101

January 1, 1997


This is in response to a recent comment:

“Your wife’s Jewish meatballs are exactly like my mother’s Swedish meatballs.” Maybe not a good example, since Swedes are so similar to Jews.

As a Jew living in Sweden, I would have to refute the point that Jews and Swedes share much in common, except perhaps the meatballs themselves. In fact, my family used to serve Swedish meatballs during the high holidays, and they were quite close to the real thing. (a tradition is a tradition) In any case, if you know of any other similarities between the blond giants of the north and the Jews, I would be eager to hear them. Oh yeah, any news on a release date for the collection?



Daniel replies:

And a meatball is a meatball. I stick to my contention that, the obvious apart, people are pretty much people, whatever their background--and while there may be some syntactical resonances of yiddishkeit in work of mine, it is neither my intention, or fact, that I am depicting a Jewish universe. I take exception to being characterized as a ""Jewish writer,"" which some people, usually Jews, seem to want me to be. I am an American writer, whose background happens to be Jewish, and since some, but by no means all, of my experience includes that, there will naturally be some reflection of it in the work. The supposition that I am characterizing Jewish life or Jewish people, as put forth here by sons of Benton Harbor, strikes me as a case of projection. For one thing, I don't know that there are stereotypic Jewish characteristics. Jews in Turkey or Yemen may have a completely different style from Jews in Italy, or Michigan or Mexico, as might Christians in those places.

DANIEL PINKWATER, 5 NOVELS is scheduled for fall. I have seen proofs of the introduction by Jules Feiffer, and the comments from readers. Those selected will receive their free copies, the discount certificates for pizza, and the free vacation in Benton Harbor, as promised by Wes Adams. You, Daniel Wabyick, may be one of the lucky selectees. I feel I should not make any announcement at this time.

Strawberry Whine

Post #537 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear, dear, dear Mr. Pinkwater,

What an amazing rush to find your web-site! And you even want to hear from the freaks who love you so……

My neighbor and partner in crime talked me into buying a modem and getting on the internet, and whan all was up and running, he asked me for a title to do a search on. I picked you, thinking I was very clever and obsure, because the net could never be so hip. Thank you for being so modern as to prove me mistaken.

I plan on joining to crusade to have have another 5 novels collection put together (one that includes Baconburg, one of my all-time favorites). I must ask you if you’ve ever been to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I lived in that very surreal town for the past six years, and there is something distinctly Pinkwater-ish (or Daniel-ish, if you prefer) about the place. I think I saw the Chicken Man man there once in a small dingy bar. He was balancing a pitcher of beer, on a chair, on a pool cue, on his chin. He had on a hat that he refused to remove, even after many thrilled spectators bought many beers for him.

If you could respond to my note, it would be a thrill for me.

Peace and Papoosas,

Strawberry Whine

Daniel replies:

Am I going to have the strength not to repeat the Groucho Marx line about Tuscaloosa? No. I think this is more or less how it goes: ""I once shot an elephant in my pajama. What he was doing in my pajamas I'll never know. I usually hunt elephants in Alabama...because, in Alabama the Tuscaloosa."" You never dreamed when you did the web-search on my name that you'd wind up prompting me to disgrace myself, did you? Well, thank you for being my reader and everything. I have had other reports of the Chicken Man in real life.

Michelle Johnson

Post #591 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

I heard you mention your web site on the radio as I was driving home this evening. So, I rushed into the house and called it up. It’s too cool for words. And just think, you get to do the fun part like answer e-mail, while the web master here wrestles with code that looks like this:


You’re a very lucky man, Mr. Pinkwater.


Boston, Mass.

Daniel replies:

Also lucky to have neat and enthusiastic readers and listeners.

Alan Meyers

Post #562 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

I have been a big fan of yours ever since the late 1970’s, when I first came across LIZARD MUSIC. That remains my favorite of all your books, though I also like ALAN MENDELSSOHN, the Snarkout Boys books, YOBGORGLE, BORGEL, and everything of yours I’ve read. Your books (especially LIZARD MUSIC and ALAN MENDELSSOHN) have sustained me in some dark times. Your sense of humor is right up there with P.G. Wodehouse, Douglas Adams, and the geniuses of ha-ha.

This is in NO way a criticism, just a question I’ve wondered about. The name you used on LIZARD MUSIC was “D. Manus Pinkwater.” Later you started using “Daniel Manus Pinkwater,” then “Daniel M. Pinkwater,” and finally “Daniel Pinkwater.” I much prefer “D. Manus Pinkwater;” the name has weight, or panache, or something. How come you switched? It is, of course, entirely your business what you call yourself, and your work is equally delightful no matter what your nom de plume.

I recommend your books whenever I can, especially to young people but also to ANYONE who wants to laugh and to encounter a genuinely refreshing outlook on existence. Live and be well, Mr. Pinkwater. I’ll be listening for your voice on NPR.

Daniel replies:

Alan Meyers -- Well, it's obvious, isn't it? The progression from D.Manus Pinkwater, to Daniel Manus Pinkwater, to Daniel M. Pinkwater, to Daniel Pinkwater...I was phasing out Manus and phasing in Daniel. Watch for a new initial one of these days! Thanks for taking time to wonder--and for your kind words.

(J.D.B-- How about Sir Daniel?)

Adoremus, Vaneeta`,Big Lo

Post #509 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Mr. Pinkwater,

Hi my name is Adoramus. Me and my friend Vaneeta` and my parents Big Lou and Mrs. Euch and there friends Head Honcho and Big Cheese don’t know who you are, but we’de like to find out cause you seem like a nice guy. We also would like to say that we like your cigar, no matter what anyone says. And if anyone gives you crap about the cigar the’ll have to answer to us. You may have heard of us because were in select choir. I’ll be looking forward to your reply and I’ll wait by my computer all night so please hurry if you can. Thank you so much for your cooperation.

Daniel replies:

Adoremus and those other people -- Did you know Art Thieme and Mike Sideman in Chicago? They're from the neighborhood. (I have quit with the cigars mostly--except when I go to see my publisher--he has some good ones).


Post #704 – 19970101

January 1, 1997


I found out about your works reading the first chat cafe at FAT!SO? The chat stuff alone is wonderful so I started looking for your books. I’m very disappointed about “The Afterlife Diet” not being available. I’ve been looking for it around town. I also found some of your kids books and have bought them, a couple as gifts for my boyfriend and his daughter. I plan to buy all the Pinkwater I can because you’re simply fabulous (or flabulous if you prefer). Thanks for your great writing and we’re going to try to get access to the radio show too.

Daniel replies:

Actually, there's this publisher I've been bugging to bring out a paperback of The Afterlife Diet since the hardcover was published. He called me last week, and mentioned that he might do it next year. Being me, I responded, ""Nah, I've sort of lost interest--it's on the web for free."" If I paid any attention to the things I say I'd annoy myself.

Rheta Baron King

Post #550 – 19970101

January 1, 1997


Love your commentaries on NPR. Thank you. Some time ago you talked about a scratch and sniff book about historical London. Even good book stores have been unable to help me find it (I lost the title, of course), but I beg you to e-mail me the publication info so that I can track it down. Many, many thanks.

Daniel replies:

A scratch-and-sniff book about historical London? I never heard of it, much less talked about it. You must have me confused with someone else. This is not uncommon. I myself often confuse myself with someone else.

Jack Mills

Post #572 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Your Hilarity:

While driving along a timber-access road in Wyoming two Fourths of July ago, I was tuned into All Things Considered on National Public Radio and heard the touching and tickling story about your perfect piccolo performance of Stars and Stripes Forever. How can I help you help me obtain a recording of that story?

Daniel replies:

A handy list, which just happened to come my way inicates that the piccolo piece you mention is listed as 9407190210, which I interpret as having aired on All Things Considered on July 19, 1994. If this is so, I believe you can buy a transcript of the entire program of that date for something like 15 bucks, or more than it would cost for a used copy of Fish Whistle or Chicago Days, Hoboken Nights, neither of which contain that commentary, but have quite a few more. Of course, it would not be in the least unusual for NPR to have logged it wrong, or there might be another piccolo piece, not necessarily by me, in which case you'd get I don't know what for your money. You really need to hear it again? For $35, I would call you up and tell it to you, leaving in bits about how the band teacher was an anti-semite, and the hip kids used to smoke pot in the practice rooms, and would never give me any, because I wasn't one, even when I borrowed a saxophone.

Harry Chauss

Post #517 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Mr Pinkwater,

My wife and I are going to move to Hoboken in January. When we went down there recently (we live in Troy now). I was sort of expecting it to be the way it was when you lived there. . . of course that was quite a while ago, so I’m not really sure what I was thinking. . . At any rate I have two questions:

1) Do you know if any of the cool places that you used to frequent are still in existance?

2) Has the city of Hoboken ever honored you for all of the tireless work that you have done to promote Hobokenocity through the years?

Daniel replies:

1.) I haven't been in Hoboken for a long time. I heard it changed. 2.) In return for my tireless championing of Hoboken, I have not been burned in effigy or tarred and feathered. After Troy, it may seem all right.

David Paterson

Post #711 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

I recently had the great luck to find a copy of 5 Novels at a local bookstore. Needless to say, I bought it and read all 5 within 3 days. But reading them did raise a few questions:

  • (1) What’s with Iceland?

  • (2) Have you ever visited Montreal? We have Real Bagels (boiled in honey water, then baked in a wood stove, coated with poppy or sesame seeds), Montreal Smoked Meat, and Cuban cigars. Let me know if you want to plan a trip.

  • (3) No, really, what’s with Iceland?

Daniel replies:

1.) I don't know; what _is_ with Iceland? 2.) Sounds very nice, but have you tried one of those clear Reykjavik cigars?; 3.) Really, I haven't heard a thing. Is it still there?

Bruce Balan

Post #582 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

In your reply to Michelle Gervais you said:

“I own a horse who used to live in Glen Cove, and also bought a

car there once, (a 1978 Chevrolet station wagon).”

I have 2 questions plus another one:

1. Is the car registered in your name (as the owner of the horse and, therefore, the horse’s possessions) or in the horse’s name?

2. When you take drives together do you use the horses station wagon or your big Mercedes?

3. Is a 78 Chevy wagon really big enough for a horse or was it an impulse buy?


Bruce Balan

Daniel replies:

1. The horse, Lokkur, was a famous horse in his day, was in the transcontinental horse race in 1976, and had money to throw around.

2. He sold the car in 1981.

3. He is seldom impulsive.

David A. Paterson

Post #539 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

A note about “5 Novels” – I went to a bookstore in Toronto a few days ago. Wonder of wonders, their computer system admitted to knowing of your book, and admitted that the bookstore had even ordered copies. My joy was shortlived; none of those copies had ever made it across the 49th Paradox (or is it parallel?) that serves as a border between our two nations. Do you know anything about your books not being shipped into Canada? Or am I merely seeing conspiracies where none exists?


David A. Paterson

Daniel replies:

""A"" bookstore in Toronto? Not a specialist bookstore, likely to carry rare and obscure children's books? Well, there you are. As the the shipment never arriving, it's usually a matter of incompetence rather than conspiracy. I have two words for you, Mr. Paterson: (two words and a dot). Thanks for trying. It sickens one a bit to think how many people may have looked for the book, after the two copies suggested by the publisher and ordered by the shop were already sold. (The name of the Toronto bookshop likely to have my stuff escapes me, but I believe it still exists, and might be fun to visit).

[World's Biggest Bookstore, on Edwards Street, may have it -- Ed.]

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