Monday, December 28, 2009

What Margaret Atwood Gave Me For Christmas

With all of my fall term exams graded, I finally have some time to reflect on 2009. Nothing really happened. I taught a bunch of kids to read Teilhard de Chardin, who's only slightly less musty than a pair of Alice Munro's panties--worn on a camping trip (a hot day and a long hike) and somehow left in the tent to be wrapped up and stored in the garage all winter.

I read some Annabel Lyon and some Adele Wiseman. It turns out that the Wiseman was the Lyon, and the Lyon was really a book of Bible verses that someone had chosen to conceal between the covers of The Golden Mean. Then I read The Golden Mean, and I couldn't bring myself to jerk off for close to three weeks.

As David Bergen said re: Lyon's book, "If excellence is our standard, then this novel will certainly flourish." Which recalls Rudy Wiebe's whispered review of Bergen's The Time in Between: "I read Bergen's book, and even an enema couldn't take me out of that magical place--Vietnam."

No, no. Bergen's great. I hear that he's hooked on iCarly right now, but a new book's coming.

Margaret Atwood bought me a baseball cap for Christmas. It's from 1996, and commemorates the Baltimore Orioles' wild card victory. The brim is bent, and the hat looks like it was left in the trunk of someone's car--maybe under a spare tire or a pair of jogging shoes. It was clearly bought at Goodwill.

"Thanks, Margaret," I said. "It's a beautiful hat."

"Do you like it?"

"Yes. It's a child's medium. Just my size."

"You can adjust the plastic strip in the back."

"I'll wear it with pride."

"I was going to get you a copy of The Tipping Point, but the library was all checked out."

"No, no. This is great. Thanks. Enjoy the Louboutins. I tried to get them in your size, but I know that your toes are all crooked. Maybe you can get a pedicure this year."

"Those girls are all Korean."

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