Fri 14

Retrospective #1

Max Now we return to some stories we were following earlier. In response to My life as a sex god, several people wrote in to inform me that I am not attractive. Jennifer, for example, wondered if she’d missed something:

How can these fans tell youre pretty? It CERTAINLY isnt from the pics you post on your site.. have you actually looked at those?

While Jonnie was more emphatic:

I really don’t think that you’re that good looking. Maybe no one has told you this, but your HEAD is WAY TOO BIG for your body!

What!? I thought everybody had to deal with their head sinking down and mashing the keyboard from time to time. Now I find out I have to hang out next to James Van Der Beek just to look normal? It’s… oh. Wait, I see what’s happened here. Jonnie mistook that stick figure with my head on it for a full-length photo.

After I expressed a wish for a Rent-A-Friend in Throwaway dialogue as art form, just like in Newlyweds, Steve was quick to put his hand up:

I just wanted to officially state that I will be your “RENT-A-FRIEND” in Portland, OR. You call and I am there. I will cackle with joy at every phrase.

I tell you what, if this works out, I’m putting Steve on permanent retainer.

Several Canadians wrote to tell me they planned to take immediate action following my Snubbed by Canada post, in which I lamented the fact that my last royalty statement for Syrup showed a paltry six sales there. I am now looking forward to a big turnaround. Based on these letters alone, sales are set to almost double!

Finally, part of the Mysterious Packages puzzle has been solved, with Sharon confessing she sent me the Office Space DVD to repay me for posting her a book. I’m pretty sure Sharon already paid me plenty for postage, so I’m grateful for her generosity, or early-onset senility. The other part of the mystery, though—that strange “Jennifer Government #75” card—remains unsolved. Spooky.

Fri 07

My life as a sex god

Max I’m becoming more attractive. At first I merely suspected this, but now I’m sure of it: I am heaps better looking than I used to be. I must be, because more and more I get e-mails telling me that I’m pretty, and previously I never got any. I think you’ll agree there’s only one logical conclusion: my looks are increasing in a linear relationship with my age. By the time I reach 80 I will be an irresistible sex symbol and have to fight off young women with my walking frame.

Just today, for example, I received an e-mail from Toni who says:

Oh………. and you are absolutely the hottest thing since bluetooth

Whoa! For a web geek like me, that’s so hot I have to adjust my USB cable. Earlier this year on my American book tour, a girl asked me to sign her bra. Admittedly, she wasn’t wearing it at the time, which makes the incident less sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll than please-label-your-clothing-before-laundering, but still: that never happened before. It used to be that girls were very determined to keep me away from their bras.

I got a tip-off, though, that perhaps there was more to this than simply my being a chiseled example of desirable manhood when one e-mail said:

you’re relatively handsome for a writer

Ah, yes. Of course. I had forgotten: my competition is Salman Rushdie and Peter Carey. Everything is relative.

Wed 05


Max I was interviewed for Melbourne’s MX Magazine this afternoon (article to run on Monday), and they wanted to take some photos.

I said, “Smiling, looking serious, funny expressions, what?”

“Funny expressions,” said Nic, the photographer. “We like funny expressions.”

So, ignoring the fact that I was standing in a very public and busy part of Melbourne and passing businessmen were doing things I couldn’t see but were sure were inappropriate behind my back, I did what I could.

Nic sniggered. “What was that, your Magnum look?”

“Hey,” I said. “I thought you photographers were meant to build up my confidence. Lower my inhibitions. Develop a bond of trust between photographer and subject.”

“You don’t have a confidence problem,” she said.

Sun 02

A Chat with Max

Max I’ve never really gotten into instant messaging or IRC, mainly because I already have enough trouble keeping up with my e-mail. I don’t really need any new avenues of communication that I don’t have time to respond to. But I’ve just had my second ever IRC interview with NationStates players, and it was good fun. If you’re interested in what I had to say about beers, bookstores, and programming, there’s a transcript available.