But aside from the presence of the tree formation itself, unraveling the origins of the lost Nazis’ presumed insubordination is a chore undercut by time. History has become malleable, a yarn by turns sinister, wry, clever and Soviet.
Where does a journalist learn to write such sentences? Does he giggle as he types them, or does his head swell with orchestral gravitas? Which would I find funnier?
So I Googled our mysterious Mr. Chivers, and discovered through this interview that while certain chapters of his training are exotic indeed (he was a Marine before he was a journalist), others hit quite close to home: he attended Cornell (my parents’ alma mater), went to the Journalism School at Columbia (my own alma mater), and his first job was at the Providence Journal, the hometown paper I avoided reading during my 7 years of grad school. More importantly, however, I suspect that C. J. Chivers and I may have the same sense of humor, though I’m still not sure he knows it’s a sense of humor—he may believe it’s a sense of truth. My suspicions were aroused when he stated in the interview, “I still read The Providence Journal on the web, watching the paper tell the story to the state. Who doesn’t enjoy smelling all that muck getting raked?” He goes on:
After two years the editors moved me into the capital to cover the police at night and Buddy Cianci’s city hall. Buddy’s in jail now, but when he was banging around the corner office, swilling his scotch and cursing into his speakerphone, hemmed in by crooks and sycophants and cops in knee-high leather boots, he made my job interesting.
My point is that I am now fascinated by C. J. Chivers, and I wish he would write a pulp detective novel. I would totally read it. Perhaps I’ll write him a letter to that effect. I am a bored, lonely woman and Saturday is my oyster.
Please note that as I write this, I am watching a movie on the SciFi network called Mansquito. I firmly believe that when opportunity knocks, one cannot not watch a movie called “Mansquito.” I have been rewarded with such rich dialogue as “You were going to break protocol … you make me sick,” given voice by the hot lab assistant with the Fuck Me lips, and by watching this same lab assistant, now stripped down to her lacy pink bra and panties, beginning her grotesque transformation into a Womansquito. Now her cop husband is wrestling with the Mansquito himself, who bears an unfortunate resemblance to a degenerate Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. I think my favorite thing about hokey sci-fi horror flicks, though, is how someone inevitably points out the “Factual Errors” in the premise of the film in IMDb’s “Goofs” catalog. In this case, some helpful viewer notes:
Factual errors: Since only female mosquitoes bite people and drink blood, the creature Ray Eriksson became should not have been feeding. Male mosquitoes feed on plant juices, so maybe the Eriksson creature should have gone around attacking trees.
Maybe he should have. Instead, he has now cornered his would-be Bridesquito in the lab and is, I believe, attempting to mate with her. I think she is now impregnated with Babysquitos. This is all profoundly disgusting, and it demands my full attention.