The Way Things Are






Dan Brown’s immortal soul.
2006-04-14, 4:08 p.m.

It’s Friday, and you know what that means! Fine, I’m not at all consistent about it, but I think I tawked some weeks ago about making Fridays “FASHION DILEMMA QUESTIONS ADVICE FRIDAY!” Or something like that.

But I don’t really have any fashion problems or questions or dilemmas today, or so I think. If you can determine that I have problems I’m not even aware of, please feel free to fire away.

What I wanted to do is show you a picture of shoes that I bought at Target on Saturday, and tell you that these are the most comfortable shoes in my closet. I’m going running after work, and I’m wearing these shoes with some very short shorts and a tube top.

(I know you are giggling and snorting uncontrollably at that mental image, so I’ll just wait until you are through.)

(Humming “Dust in the Wind” along with the radio…hmmmm hm hm hmmmmm…hmhmhmhm hmmm hm hm HMMMMMMM…)

Right. These shoes are $19.99, and that top part is actual leather, but the leather of WHAT is not clear. Maybe it’s rat leather, or elk leather, but who cares! They are twinny bucks, are cute, and feel fantastic on my dainty little feets.

So let’s make this FASHION DIRECTIVE FRIDAY. Your orders: go buy these shoes.

Looks like FAT FEET FRIDAY to me.

Since it is Friday, and I have another sinus headache (sore right jaw, hurty teeth, and it feels like somebody shoved a pencil up my right nostril and broke the point off right next to the corner of my eye and left it there), I think there’s only one remedy. A remedy that has been tested before on a Friday sinus headache:

Beer and second-hand smoke. The best place to get those two together, with ample people-watching and story-imagining potential, is the Hangin’ Tree Saloon.


A bunch of DW’s friends belong to the fraternal organization known as the Elks. There’s always someone saying they are going to the Elks’ to have a big-ass steak dinner (not elk steak, I certainly hope – surely they don’t feed upon their own kind), or they are playing in the Elks’ golf tournament, or it’s time for happy hour at the Elks’. PARTY!

Well, DW tagged along to the lodge with some of his Elken friends for barbecue last night, and called me from there:

Him (remember, he hollers because he has no indoor voice, ‘specially on the phone): Schmoops! I think I’m going to have to become an Elk!

Me: An elf? You already are a very naughty elf!

Him (he takes the bait): No, an ELK. THE ELKS! (and here he started naming off all his friends who are Elks, and the numbers, quite frankly, are staggering) I think we’re the only people we know who aren’t Elks!

Me: I wish they were called Elfs. I could get behind that.

Him: My dad's a Lion. RAWWWWRRRRR!

Me: What do the Elks say?

Him: They say “Getcher ass over here and drink some beer!”

Me: Can girls be Elks?

Him: Yes! Lots of girls are Elks! (and here he named off women in my very close social circle who are Elks) (and I thought maybe this was the in I need in order to be their friends directly, not just their husbands’ friend’s wife) (are you following me and all these parentheses?)

Me: Then let’s join the Elken brethren and sistren!

Him: Huh?


You know, I think I’d be more excited if we were joining the Mooses, just for the pleasure of saying “mooses” or the Priory of Sion for the pleasure of belonging to a secret, fictional society that certain best-sellouting authors seem to think wield real influence.

Can you tell what I just got finished finally reading? This guy describes perfectly how I feel about the book, and he puts it into much more better words than I do, which are “it’s a semi-interesting mystery that seems to be more about Dan Brown’s mediocre writing style and ego than anything else. Formulaic and predictable. Dumbed-down and written for mass distribution.”

If you liked “The Da Vinci Code”, but want to read a book that I think was a lot more interesting, better written, and less predictable, find this one. The authors’ writing style reminded me of Donna Tartt’s in “The Secret History”, and I didn’t have the puzzle figured out days before the main characters. Stupid Langdon!

(Ha – who the hell do I think I am? Pot and kettle, I screech gleefully! Pot and KET-HULL! My mediocre writing style is grabbing its crotch for emphasis.)

If you really want to have some fun, and waste time as well, go check out the customer reviews for “The Da Vinci Code” at Amazon. Here’s one that catches my eye. It’s entitled “formulaic cr*p”, and it goes a little something like this:
“Terribly written, with a plot twist shoved in at every opportunity,
lots of long winded flash-backs that make you forget about what's actually hapening in the story, no character development, and the relationship between Langdon and Sophie is handled terribly. I'm sixteen now, and was fifteen when i read it, and still i found it unsophisticated and boring. The only positive i have to say about this book is that it made some interesting points. It would have been better written as an essay, because the plot is little more than a distraction. If you read this book, don't pay money for it. Borrow it from a friend or something.”

There are many reviews that bash the book for its poor writing, and there are others who take offense at the subject matter. I read one very long review in which the writer worries about Dan Brown’s immortal soul.

Not me. I’m just worried about his editor.

Ah well, I digress. I guess it’s time for to start memorizing the Greek alphabet again and practicing my keg stand for my Elken induction.

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