Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I'm on the disabled list.

Well, good morning everyone. I am trying out Google Voice for the first time.

Yesterday, walking home from the grocery and in a rather high breeze, I managed to put my foot inside a small ring of yellow strapping tape.

Those who know me will not be surprised by this exercise in inherent clumsiness. But you will have to agree, it takes real skill to manage to get the other foot caught up in it as well.

This I did.  And, like a three-legged race contestant who discovers he has misplaced his partner,  I promptly fell over in a driveway.

I managed to walk the rest of the way home on adrenaline, I think. I also discovered, on getting inside, that I had smashed 15 of 18 eggs and that my right wrist and left knee hurt like hell.

Still does, come to that, but I am getting some motion back in my knee. My wrist continues to be swollen up like a puffer fish but it doesn't flop about uselessly as though broken, and the fingers still work on the keyboard, if a bit fitfully.

All things being equal, I would much rather be in bed, but the Salvation Army is coming to get an old freezer, and I have to be up and about to meet them. in addition, Pledge Week Hell has now expanded from public television to encompass public radio as well.  So the usual enticements of staying in bed, revolving around odd dreams involving national public radio news stories, do not hold their usual thrill.

But I am lucky: there is an office chair on wheels in the house.  So I am puttering about like old man Potter in It's a Wonderful Life on his manservant’s day off.

And I am lucky that I was on the way home from the grocery rather than on the way to the grocery. 

So I will be muddling on for the next few days,  probably posting less prolifically than usual, to your great relief.

It was worth the effort getting out of bed, today, however: for today I discovered I have been banned by Irving Leif on Facebook.

Mr. Leif is a blowhard. He afflicts the residents of a small town in Wisconsin in many ways, some of which I can only begin to imagine.

He is also a book collector. Whatever you may have, he has an earlier, better edition. If you have a galley proof, he has a longhand manuscript. If you have the longhand manuscript, he has notes for the ms. written on the inside of a shoe box lid. If you have the whole shoe box, he can summon the germ of the ideas in the book by way of seances with the author. 

He pesters people in book groups on Facebook, chiding them over not being as smart as he is. 

He is a bore. As Malcolm Muggeridge said of Anthony Eden, “He is a champion bore. He is not only a bore; he is a bore for England.” Herbert Beerbohm Tree might have had Irving Leif in mind when he said of an elderly actor, “He is an old bore. Even the grave yawns for him.”

I have committed many transgressions against Irving Leif over the last few years. He has pointed them all out to me. So what, you may ask, got me banned? 

I posted an article on Henry Bemis Books’ page that he did not like. Let me hasten to say Irving Leif does not read Henry Bemis books directly. It is beneath his notice.  But I posted it to a book page on Facebook where he graces his inferiors with his views. And there he saw it.

It was an article about a bookstore which, for Women's History Month, set out to underscore the under-representation of women among authors. So they turned the spines of all the books by men to the wall. It made an arresting visual, I thought.

I thought it might generate some discussion.  Several people commented on it.

Then Irving Leif blew in, lit fuses tied to his beard like Blackbeard the pirate, a dagger in his teeth, and a bomb in each hand. He was there to enforce Orthodoxy, which is to rid all of Facebook of any though he doesn't like.

“Alt-left sexism and bigotry,” he raged. “This is about as anti-intellectual as can be.  Harold Henry Bemis books - Since you support  this bigotry, I am deleting you.”

To that, I can only respond, “ What the hell took you so long, Irving? And who the hell is Harold?"

When I was a boy, the best way to guarantee sales for a novel was to get it banned in Boston. I am ardently hopeful then I will be known, henceforth, as the bookseller banned by Irving Leif.

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