Deadly Sins. Regis Philbin. Midas. Bich Minh Nguyen. Black Tar Heroin.

I used to make my own books. God knows why. Here’s one.

quite the thriller…

*

Jim Harrison divides his memoir into deadly sins. FYI: The sin is to omit these from your life. Harrison calls them his “seven obsessions.”

1.) Alcohol

(I agree, er, in moderation naturally)

2.) Strippers

(never been in a strip club, remarkably, though I have hung out with strippers in kitchens; and, back in my nursing days, I use to have many as patients on a detox unit in Tennessee)

3.) Hunting and fishing

(agree. fishing is the secondhand overcoat of life. i respect a person who can read a river.)

4.) Private religion

(running, for me)

5.) Gourmet food

Denver, Co, circa 1998. Tasted like glitter blown about in the dark.

6.) The road

(wish i traveled more)

7.) Nature and Native Americans

(I like how Sherman Alexie hates white people. Seems fair)

**

From John Anderson’s The Business: Surveys in Television, I learn the following about Regis Philbin.

Guest Television Appearances:

“Spin City” playing “Himself” in episode: “How To Bury A Millionaire” 11/16/1999

“Lateline” playing “Himself” in episode: “Pearce on Conan” 1/6/1999

“Simpsons, The” playing “Himself” in episode: “Treehouse of Horror IX” 10/25/1998

“Caroline in the City” playing “Himself” in episode: “Caroline and the Sandwich” 2/26/1998

“Style and Substance” playing “Himself” in episode: “Recipe for Disaster, A” 1/26/1998 “Spin City” playing “Himself” in episode: “Radio Daze” 10/29/1997

“Second Noah” playing “Himself” in episode: “Diving In” (episode # 2.9)

“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The” playing “Himself” in episode: “I, Stank Hole in One” 5/6/1996

“Hope and Gloria” playing “Himself” in episode: “Listen, Sister” 11/19/1995

“Women of the House” playing “Himself” in episode: “Dear Diary” 9/8/1994

“Larry Sanders Show, The” playing “Himself” in episode: “Like No Business I Know” 8/24/1994

“Seinfeld” playing “Himself” in episode: “Opposite, The” 5/19/1994

“Mad About You” playing “Himself” in episode: “Man Who Said Hello, The” 2/27/1993 “Today” playing “Himself” 3/5/1982

*

Like many mediocre writers, I own gold exploration companies. Currently 87% gain. I feel like Han Solo with a quality lug wrench. As the economy tumbles like gut-shot Doritos, I rake in the metallic goodness. Every other stock I own is dog food. That wet kind. The type that smells and makes suction noise as it leaves the Botulismic can.

*

Bich Minh Nguyen visited Ball State University today. She had a spark about her, something alluring, like Memphis at midnight, or a nacho chip dipped in elbow grease. Ozone of the serotonin.

Etc.

She said many things, some run-of-the-mill (read to be a better writer, write about what obsesses you, etc.), others rather interesting.

One person asked of writing nonfiction about people who are living. What do you do if they get pissed. etc?

Her first response was, “Who cares? This is not the writer’s concern. Writers are often mean. Our job is not to not be mean.” She then went on to expand on this, saying if guilt-restraint keeps you from putting word-on-page, you need to let it go. Get the work done, especially in drafts.

Also being honest often does NOT alienate or shock the person mentioned in the memoir. It opens them. They revisit and honestly talk about that moment. Or how that moment made the author feel about them, the situation.

She later softened a bit on this, saying she did change names in her memoir. But she changed them because all these big publishers are being sued by a very few wackos.

Probably a veiled reference to this.

Or this

Or this.

But really she meant the first one. Yes?

Then she said, “I would not want my kids to be writers.”

*

Let’s say you’re drunk. I mean death chanting the names of druids drunk. What can you do, to occupy your mind? Read this poem. Then argue: who is in the right, the narrator, or the woodchucks?

Woodchucks, by Maxine Kumin.

Gassing the woodchucks didn't turn out right.
The knockout bomb from the Feed and Grain Exchange
was featured as merciful, quick at the bone
and the case we had against them was airtight,
both exits shoehorned shut with puddingstone,
but they had a sub-sub-basement out of range.

Next morning they turned up again, no worse
for the cyanide than we for our cigarettes
and state-store Scotch, all of us up to scratch.
They brought down the marigolds as a matter of course
and then took over the vegetable patch
nipping the broccoli shoots, beheading the carrots.

The food from our mouths, I said, righteously thrilling
to the feel of the .22, the bullets' neat noses.
I, a lapsed pacifist fallen from grace
puffed with Darwinian pieties for killing,
now drew a bead on the little woodchuck's face.
He died down in the everbearing roses.

Ten minutes later I dropped the mother.  She
flipflopped in the air and fell, her needle teeth
still hooked in a leaf of early Swiss chard.
Another baby next.  O one-two-three
the murderer inside me rose up hard,
the hawkeye killer came on stage forthwith.

There's one chuck left. Old wily fellow, he keeps
me cocked and ready day after day after day.
All night I hunt his humped-up form.  I dream
I sight along the barrel in my sleep.
If only they'd all consented to die unseen
gassed underground the quiet Nazi way.

*
I feel like a tea tray in India today.


*

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4 responses to “Deadly Sins. Regis Philbin. Midas. Bich Minh Nguyen. Black Tar Heroin.

  1. regis was on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER last monday. pfff… someone needs tp update their regis tv guest appearances list.

    read your willows wept piece. great stuff.

  2. I have tried to like strip cubs- I have had good friend who stripped for a living – but I find them sad. Haunting, really. I know that makes me uncool. I did try though.

    I love booze, private religion, the road, food and nature. I don’t think Sherman Alexie hate whites more than he hate Native Americans. He takes jabs at everything. He’s good, too.

    I’ ve never read anything by Jim Harrison and now will.

    Thanks for the nachos. It cheers me up.

    I have woodchucks and my neighbor keeps offering to kill them for me. People care too much about their lawns.

  3. is there a schedule online somewhere of writers visiting ball state this year? i haven’t heard a thing about the readings that have happened.

  4. A gift for you (because I know how much you like lists) and semi-aligned to Deadly Sins, Regis Philbin, AND Nguyen . . .
    Read Increasingly Dangerous Cheeses by Klauss (on McSweeney’s) @
    http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/lists/29LucasKlauss.html

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