Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I have been tinkering with some writing lately. Lots of false starts. This is part of a longer scene I was working on yesterday. Two men are exchanging business cards on a plane. One of them has been telling people he works for the Encyclopedia Britannica. (I don’t know about you, but that is on the very short list of day jobs I would enjoy.) The other guy is named Mississippi Clarke.


                Mississippi Clarke, esquire thoughtfully studies the card I have given him. “You work for the Encyclopedia Britannica?”
                “I do,” I lie.
                “What do you do?”
                “Field research.”
                “I have no idea what that means.”
                “Not everything in the known world is yet known. Sometimes somebody needs to go look at it.”
                “Recently discovered, previously unknown phylums of lobster, that sort of thing?”
                “The term ‘lobster’ describes its species. All lobsters are of the phylum arthropoda, which also includes insects and spiders.” This is true.
                “So when I pay sixty bucks a plate for Maine lobster?”
                “You’re basically eating a giant underwater spider, yeah.”


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