From India, With Love.

Need proof that chicken curry is amazing? Here’s a sample of some James Bond fan fiction, with the name “Bond” replaced with “Chicken Curry,” and it still makes perfect sense.

He went back to studying the building, “Now, getting in shouldn’t be a problem. After all, I’m Chicken Curry. 007.”
“That name rings a bell,” I mused just to irk him.
“Humor won’t get you on my good side.”
“There’s such a thing?” I asked innocently.
He ignored me and cocked his gun, “Alright,” he opened the door and got out; I followed, “Just follow me, don’t tarry or you’ll throw me off my game.”
“Not a problem.”
The inside was like a museum; marble was apparently the chosen material for the rich. It made the floor, ceiling, walls and the pillars that supported the ceiling. People milled around, withdrawing and inputting their money in safes, I suspected.
Chicken Curry ignored them all and strode over to a little five foot desk where a man that could have been a waiter at an expensive restaurant pondered over an open book.
“Name?” he asked us without looking up.
“I belong here,” Chicken Curry answered confidently.
“That’s all very good, name?”
“You don’t seem to understand,” Chicken Curry leaned forward, resting an arm on the desk and giving a predatorial smile as the man looked up, “I belong here.”

David Foster Wallace Memorial Readathon.

I’m so excited to be a part of the David Foster Wallace Memorial Readathon at Word Bookstore in Greenpoint Brooklyn this Thursday.
I have long been a fan of David Foster Wallace, and the evening in celebration of his work and the release of The Pale King will include writers and readers reading from his work. I will be reading from his short story, “Little Expressionless Animals.”
It’s Thursday at 7:30, and there is a great bar nearby that will let you buy me a drink. Do attend.
Details here.

Why I’ll answer to just about any name.

Yesterday I bamaged my drain.
It was the first nice day in thirteen months, the first really sunny, no jacket, oh-my-I-can’t-believe-how-nice-it-is day in a long time. Obviously, this meant I should go with my five-year-old son to the park while wearing my winter pea coat. He had a scarf on. And a winter jacket. With hood. Up.
The coats and scarves and hoods didn’t last long.
At the playground we ran into two of my son’s friends from school. They played well together, attacking me and the other dads. We were zords, or some-such, something big and horrible that they either fought or drove. At one point it was clear that the kids were playing by proxy, as another dad and I were being “steered” so that we could fight one another. The boys weren’t doing anything other than telling us what to do.
After an afternoon at the park we headed home, got a bite to eat, and my son casually asked how babies are made. As I tried to remain calm while giving him an answer he picked up his kazoo and began to hum Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” Two thoughts went through my head. “I should just show him a Lady Gaga video to answer his baby question,” and “Why is the school handing out kazoos?” (When he brought the kazoo home he ran around for twenty minutes buzzing like a three foot tall worker bee. He proudly showed me the kazoo and explained that the school music teacher had given everyone a kazoo with the instructions that “We were supposed to take them home, not leave them at school.” I said I could understand why. “Why?” he asked. Because sixty kindergartners humming on kazoos at the same time would probably peel the paint off the walls. “No,” he said, shaking his head at his poor, stupid father, “It’s so we don’t lose them.” Uh-huh.)
So I am explaining how an ovum forms and he’s humming Lady Gaga. I interrupt myself to ask, “Did they teach you that at school, or did you figure it out yourself?” Good news: he figured it out himself. Bad news: he figured it out himself.
It’s about this time that I notice he looks rather red in the face. And my head is kind of… radiating. I look in the mirror. I have a doozy of a sunburn. It’s still early April and I’ve roasted my brain. Both of us have sunburns, are lethargic and crabby. Lady Gaga’s not helping, and neither is explaining how cell’s divide. I declare that, “I am making dinner and we’re putting away the kazoo.”
After dinner and some stories my son falls asleep quickly. I am happy for some quiet time and figure I’ll get some writing done, but my skull has other plans. While misjudging the distance between my head and a door frame I effectively gave the wall a headbutt as if I intended to see what the inside of the wall looked like. The inside of my head sounded like clicking teeth, and the room turned gray and swirled. I spent the evening making goofy comments on Twitter and wondering if I would ever remember my phone number.
So that’s where I am this morning. My brain has been fried, clubbed and divided by Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and Sex Ed questions from a five-year-old. No wonder I just turned around when someone yelled, “Hey, Toby!”
(posted by… uh… uh oh.)

On reading.

I was very pleased to be invited by Shome Dasgupta to contribute a piece for his ongoing “Writers on Reading” series. My contribution can be found here.
The entire series is worth browsing. Check them all out here.

“Can’t Lose for Winning.”

Dear Hollywood,
A TV show pitch for FX, Showtime or HBO…

“Can’t Lose for Winning.”
An entertainment executive (Jason Bateman) spends his days baby-sitting and problem-solving for a drug-addicted, narcissistic actor (Will Arnet) who gets fired from his wildly popular television show but becomes even more popular than ever.

Boom. You’re welcome.