Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Arresting Gizzards

Q. Have you ever been arrested?

A. Plenty of times! My first was for driving my 1964 Volkswagen Beetle down a 55 MPH freeway going 87.

Q. Why on Earth were you doing that?

A. Time travel, of course. The cop pulled me over before I could hit 88. I explained to him that he had interrupted a very important scientific and literary experiment, and that because of him we would never know the secret identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Q. It was Sir Percy Blakeney.

A. Says Emma Orczy. I would attempt to settle this again myself, if not for my ill health. Zounds! but I'm as weak as a rat!

Q. Right. You know, don't you, that in Back to the Future, it was a DeLorean that had to get up to 88. How unoriginal.

A. I know! You'd think if movie makers used real science they'd cite the inventors. I've never seen so much as a thank-you card.

Q. I have a question about your last column, where you gave advice on how to get to the top of the slush pile. Well, I tried some of it, and I got arrested.

A. Writing is, after all, a risky business.

Q. I tried filling the package with corn starch and got arrested.

A. Interesting.

Q. I tried sending a ticking alarm clock with my manuscript and got arrested.

A. You must have submitted to the wrong people.

Q. I tried nitrogen triiodide with glitter and got arrested.

A. Did you submit to the same people every time?

Q. Yes. Why?

A. No reason.

Q. Anyway, I had been sending it postage-due. I finally got up the courage to take it in myself, so I wheeled it into the lobby wearing nothing but a gray alien mask, a trenchcoat and tennis shoes. I got arrested.

A. This is all very fascinating, but do you assume my readers are interested in your seedy little escapades, or do you have an actual question?

Q. I do have a question. If I can't get chicken gizzards, can I do turkey gizzards instead?

A. Only if you want to get arrested.

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