24. February 2018 · Comments Off on Sometimes you win · Categories: Olio

Seven years ago I got my wife new tires, not because their tread was worn, but because her tires were so old that they were cracking. She drives maybe 2000 miles a year. Her car is a heap. She likes it that way.

My neighbor hates my wife’s heap. Views it as a blight on the neighborhood. My neighbor is polite about it, but one day she blurted out that she actually dreamt I bought my wife a new car. I chuckled. “Talk to my wife,” I said. “Maybe you can convince her and make your dream come true.”

Anyway, my wife got a flat yesterday at work. I drove to her parking lot. I pumped up the flat with my bike pump and quickly drove to the place where I bought the tires. At the time I bought them I paid eight bucks extra for tire insurance.

The expression on the car dude’s face as he checked out the tires on the heap was priceless. He looked like a rabbi being asked to certify a pig as kosher. Bottom line. They patched the tire. No cost.

Sometimes you win.

23. February 2018 · Comments Off on Another joyful aspect of writing fiction · Categories: Olio

In my new novel there’s a bad prof who does evil stuff based on what a Princeton prof did in the 1960s. In draft after draft, he has been a fictional Princeton prof. But Princeton always has been nice to me. Its administration always has been helpful and open to my questions. Its bookstore prominently featured my first book and probably sold more copies of the thing than anyplace else. My Ph.D. advisor, a brilliant and inspiring dude, was a Princeton grad.

In contrast, Yale always has been mean to me. Snotty to me. Won’t give me data, no way, no how. My old Duke president – a slippery, ethically and morally challenged dude – was a Yale grad and former Yale dean.

This morning I woke up thinking about Princeton and Yale. I knew just what to do. Today I went through the book and made the evil prof an Eli. Ahh. It felt so sweet. The book is, I swear, 2000% better.