"When an old and distinguished person speaks to you, listen to him carefully and with respect – but do not believe him. Never put your trust in anything but your own intellect. Your elder, no matter whether he has gray hair or lost his hair, no matter whether he is a Nobel Laureate, may be wrong... So you must always be skeptical – always think for yourself." --Linus Pauling



A pretty young woman approached me at the library circulation desk yesterday. We'll call her Renee because I just watched Bridget Jones's Diary last night, and also because Renee happens to be her name.

She told me she needed to find out if her library card was still valid. She hadn't used it for quite a while as she'd been away at school. As I brought her account up on the computer she asked me a question:

"Is your name Jack?"

"Ummm.....Yes," I said. How did she know my name? I took another look at her to see if we had met.

"We had a conversation two years ago. We were talking about Neil Gaiman and you recommended some books to me."

No fucking way. No. Fucking. Way.

"Reeaally. And you read'em all I suppose?"

"Yes. All of them were great. Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash was on there, and Michael Marshall Smith. Really fabulous stuff. I've just finished something really light, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow. Can you recommend something else?"

Gentle Reader, in the boxing match I was envisioning at that moment all the smart money was on The Feather. No way would I even last ten rounds.

"Why, yes, Renee. Yes, I can."

The funny thing is, is that this sort of thing happens pretty often for me. This is the longest turnaround on hearing back though. Anyway, excuse me while I feel just tiniest bit smug about how great my taste is. In this aspect, I really am quite astonishing. I know it's true because in my experience, I am the only person this kind of thing happens too.

So, you know, lesser beings fuck off and all that.