I realize it is unproductive to dwell on the past and turn the tv on. It is muted, but I think the pictures will at least occupy me. The host is bidding farewell to a very tall Asian man, whom I assume is a basketball player, and then the words flash on the screen: UP NEXT: Super Scrubbers!
I roll out of bed and sit on the floor in front of the set, leaning forward to hear every word, trying not to wake my wife, who, as you will remember, becomes violent when awakened.
The host beams into the camera and says, “For many of you, our next guest needs no introduction. But for those of you who were living in a cave throughout the 90s, we have the pleasure of talking to Yves Duthe, a three-time International Speedbathing champion, and also a great humanitarian.”
Yves walks out from stage left and greets the host. I eye him closely and my first impression is that he has not aged a day. He appears to be in peak physical condition, and his eyes retain their youthful joie de vivre.
The host continues, “Yves, thanks for being with us today. I know you are busy with your charity and your work raising awareness for depleted uranium cleanup.”
Yves speaks, and his voice sounds the same: “It is a pleasure to be here, David.”
“Do you want to talk some about your charity?”
“Very much, David. Thank you. Suds for Kids is a community outreach serving inner-city children in Washington DC, Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit. It aims to help the traditionally under-served and under-washed become cleaner, smell fresher, and appeal more to hiring managers at retail and food service establishments.”
His delivery is well-practiced and natural. I wonder how long he has been giving the same speech.
“Would you say this is just a northern or Midwestern interest?” asks the host.
“Not at all. When I moved to America, I lived in Rockford just trying to hide from the press—you know, as they say in Rockford, nothing happens here but terrible, boring things—so I was able to avoid scrutiny. But the point is that the Midwest and the northeast were, how you say it, more accessible to me. But we are soon to break ground on a new Speedbathing Center in Tuscaloosa, which is very exciting to all of us at the foundation.”
“Part action, part thriller, all comedy, The Librarian at the End of the World fires on all cylinders. Fans of Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace will revel in the ridiculousness that is Miller’s America.”
“A constantly surprising picaresque journey through cultural darkness”
“A most unique rollicking story that careens from the almost familiar instantly into a world of what is happening here?
“Not so much a novel as a perpetual- motion machine: part road-show, part parable, careening between surrealism and comedy”
“Laugh out loud rambling tale of the future/present”
“Prepare to be blown away”
“On the cutting edge of audacious literature”
“Takes madcap to a new level, blending Preston Sturges and Philip Dick”
“Outrageous and thought-provoking”
“Just blown away.”
“Fantastic and bizarre”
“Lovecraft turns Beatnik and drops acid”
“One of the absolutely most freakishly odd books I have ever read”
“It’s like E. L. James, Larry Flynt, and Hunter Thompson somehow merged their DNA”
“Even Carrie Fisher (yes, her vagina is in here) isn’t safe from this menace!”
“If you are looking for a completely unique book, this one is hot!”
“Funny and intelligent”
“Filled with hedonism, erotica and hilarity.”
“Only for strong and fearless readers.”
“Wild, trippy, fun, and sometimes profound”
“I found myself engaged, disconnected and overwhelmed all at the same time”
“No one would ever expect this”
“Imagine a world where Thin Man was co-written by Tim Leary and Douglas Adams and set in the Office staffed by assassins”
“Brilliant, raunchy, hilarious, heartfelt, and by the end, breathtaking”
“Social satire at its best”
“In the end, this romp becomes something else. It becomes a work of art, moving and funny and memorable.”
Editor’s note: Technically it is her vulva, not her vagina.