Talk to DP Forum

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.]


Post #721 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Here’s something yuo might find interesting: Driving home along the Ronald Reagan Expresswa (speed limit 50mph) last night, I passed a billboard of interest. It was simple white block letters against a black background, which read “IT IS NOT WRONG TO LOVE AVOCADOS.” Funny thing to see on a billboard, but the best one I’ve seen in months.

Daniel replies:

They used to call it ""the avocado that dare not speak it's name.""


Post #574 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

do you like corn muffins?

Daniel replies:

Some of my best friends are corn muffins.

David A. Paterson

Post #564 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Writing for kids is a very demanding audience – unlike adults, kids have taste until we manage to drum it out of them.

Here’s my question: which children’s authors do you enjoy? I’m partial to Robert Munsch – every girl shuld be issued a copy of “The Paperbag Princess” at birth, and I challenge any parent to read “Love You Forever” and not cry.

And here’s my other question: do you deliberatly write children’s books for adults, or am I just hopelessly mired in pre-adolesence?

Daniel replies:

No, sounds to me like you're mired in adolescence. I always go blank when someone asks me to name favorite authors--I can't say why.


Post #674 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Daniel Pinkwater,

You are definatly my favorite author and “Borgel” is definatly my favorite book. i originally had a soft cover version but it fell apart after about the 20th reading so i was forced to special order a hard cover copy. (i live in alaska. you can’t get anything up here.) i plan on passing it down to my children and thier children. i push your books on people like a Jehovah’s Witness. “Go on, read it!” I say. “The man’s a genius, I tell you!” i have two cats and an iguana. I own a copy of Lizard Music too. I had been a little apprehensive at contacting you for a while because i thought i might find out that you are dead or something. Thanks to you i also have a fixation on Hoboken and I’m looking for a cheap apartment there in my spare time. my mom calls it The Promised Land. well, there were a million things i wanted to talk about but now that i’m here i can’t think of a one.


p.s. how do you pronounce Fafner?

Daniel replies:

It's not true you can't get anything in Alaska. You can get walrus, and frostbite, to name only two things. You can't get walrus in Hoboken, though there have been people living there who resemble them, (me, for one). I took my temperature just after reading your message, and it appears I am not dead. I want to thank you for bringing this up. Now that I know I'm not dead, I may as well do some more writing. Fans are useful in drawing a writer's attention to things like that. I like BORGEL myself, not that I remember all that much about it.

P.S. Fafner is pronounced ""fotheringay.""


Post #689 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Mr Pinkwater,

First let me say that your writing is fully brilliant. Clever to no end, and all of that. Now let me jump over towards the question…

I read and reread descriptions of the old neighborhood part of town in Snarkout Boys and the Avacado of Death (as well as descriptions of the theatre, area surrounding, etc.) Is this based on a real area? if so- how can I get there from Snellville, Georgia? (the town where “everybody is somebody”-but nobody, believe me, is much of anybody)

Daniel replies:

It's mostly Chicago, little bit of New York, touch of Philadelphia....but, I assure you, there were people in those places, at the same time I was there, for whom they were just the same as Snellville, Ga, (and I bet I could write a good story about that town--I did about Rochester, NY).

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