February 27, 2010

Post #2590 – 20100227

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

For my ninth birthday, my stepdad presented me with a copy of ‘5 Novels’. It is pretty high on my ‘Best Presents I Have Ever Received’ list, though ‘4: Fantastic Novels’ comes pretty darn close.

I have tried to explain to people why I love your books so much. It usually goes something like this:

Person: So… he drenches them in Grape Nuts? And occasionally they tell stories about a kid with a similar name who comes to tragic ends? And that’s it?

Me: I don’t think you understand. The nickname of one of the members is Venustiano Carranza, President of Mexico.

Person: Venustiano Carranza?

Me: President of Mexico. Yes.

Also, I have attempted to explain the hilarity of ‘Unterwasserschwimmenboot’ a ridiculous number of times. So maybe the reason I love your books more than the average teenager is that nine years in Switzerland has made all German-related jokes hilarious to me.

Anyway, I just want to thank you. I want to thank you for the Snark, for the Wild Dada Ducks, for Borgel, Fafner, and for Leonard Neeble. You would not think I was a very interesting person if you met me. I am eighteen, and I spend a lot of time doing fairly typical things with fairly bland people. (I even love school– though we use the opposite of the notebook system, so that might have something to do with it.) But I have never stopped looking for my own version of the Magic Moscow or Beanbender’s Beer Garden (even the Bermuda Triangle Chili Parlor would do). I especially want to thank you for the adventures that that hunt has led me on, because they may be the only thing about me that is actually unique in any way.


P.S. Apparently, you and my mother were once both in the running to write a piece for some New York publication, and you wound up getting the job. Consequently, I have spent the last nine years defending your work in my household. Hooray.

Daniel replies:

Well, since I am more and more of the opinion that, once written, fiction is a collaborative undertaking with the reader--which is to say the book is not finished until you read it, and what you make of it is the important part of the process--if you think there is something unique about my books it may well be that you are the one who supplied it, and this would suggest that you are a unique person indeed. I don't recall being ""in the running"" to write a piece for some New York publication. Ask your mother if she's sure it was me. All the numbers in your message are nine, add up to nine, or are divisible by nine--why is this?