In yesterday's post about the delightful CowParade Boston, I neglected to do something vitally important: aggressively plug Sacred Cows, the superb debut novel by my friend Karen Olson, because it actually features a Cow Parade in New Haven, the setting for her debut mystery novel about hard-boiled police reporter Annie Seymour. Probably the reason I forgot to make the connection is because of my shameful secret: I haven't actually read the book yet, though Karen was kind enough to give me a copy a while back. Why, you ask? Well, early on, I guess I was subconsciously afraid that I wouldn't like it and then would have to think up something nice to say about it, and of course I didn't want to hurt any feelings. Not that I'm any great judge of literature with ultra-high standards; as anyone who knows me can attest, I have never shied away from books that some ivory-tower aesthetes might view as, well, trash. In fact I was the despair of my favorite high school teacher, who was always glad to see me toting around a book but invariably horrified to find out that it was often something on the order of Lad: A Dog. The basic problem is that I'm generally not a fan of the entire mystery genre (mostly because I NEVER figure our whodunit before the reveal), so I figured that the deck was already stacked against me liking Karen's book. Although Ben gulped it down in one long night, which is saying something because he almost never reads novels (most of his reading consists of online perusal of CNN.com, the Jerusalem Post and the NASA site about the two cute little Mars Rovers). So now I have publicly admitted my shameful secret and all I can do is make amends by reading the book. Just as soon as I finish absorbing the warmth and cuddliness of A Million Little Pieces. Which, you know, who cares if it's not all completely true -- it's an amazing piece of writing. All the barfing and substance abuse of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and the emotional dysfunctionality of Running With Scissors, but with just half the laughs!
I've discovered some people who are probably even geekier than Rocky Horror/Star Trek fans: the members of the World Rock Paper Scissors Club (recently the topic of an NPR story). Did you know that RPS is a nationally competitive sport complete with strategies and gambits? Did you know that you can take a quiz to determine what sort of RPS player you are? Did you know that one or more people spent quite a few hours of their lives putting together their web site? Why am I still surprised that there are sites like this out there?