from March 25, 2006
Last month I didn’t get around to writing a damn thing.
Back when I was alive, I started writing a column called “The Art of Begging Off.” After I died and was morphed into an android, I quit that column and began to write “Memoirs of a Dead Man.”
I remain deceased, but I haven’t lost the touch when it comes to begging off. The reason I bring these facts up is that I owe my legions of readers an excuse for that missing column. Contrary to the readers’ expectation that I have settled on the excuse that appears at the top of this March column, I will be forthright and just say that the reason I didn’t get around to pecking out a February column is that I was dead, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.
I used to work for a lawyer, writing mostly, taking out the trash, answering the phone, but mostly writing. An honorable profession, and I’m referring to the writing and taking out the trash, etc., not to being a lawyer.
Being dead has some advantages. Being dead but in control of one’s faculties has more, one of which is doing or not doing whatever one damn well chooses.
Last month I chose not to write a column. I got docked for this sin or shortcoming by Arthur Unknown, our editor. Even though he’s a “fellow-sufferer who understands,” as a university professor said of God—nice phrase—Art docked me a month’s pay.
But when it comes to speaking truth to power around the Hôtel Adiós Watering Hole, power is wont to come out on top, regardless of the fact that both truth and power are—how shall I put this delicately?—officially speaking, dead.
So if I want to stay on the payroll, I have two choices: retreading, and writing new material.
This, my many fans and occasional critics, is new material. It may get retreaded in the months to come, but as it stands, what you are now reading occupies territory where no man, woman, or child has gone before.