Monthly Archives: November 2007

November 30, 2007

I am a failure.

I have done everything within my power to ensure that there is a mass of dripping, acidic tar where my heart should be.

But I am vanquished by All the cute little animals being so cute! They’re so cute! Oh, let me make little noises to express my delight at how cute they are!

My one consolation is the knowledge that I am not alone in my failure. My editor, who has the same ambitions for his heart that I have for mine, had to ask the IT department to block on his computer, because otherwise he feared he would spend so much time making little noises to express his delight at how cute the little animals were that he would never get anything done.

But seriously: has the man been born on earth who could resist this?

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 16 Comments

November 28, 2007

One day when I was six, my maternal grandmother (whom we knew, she having lived half of her life in Paris, as Mémé) came over to our house for a visit. I was very excited to see her, because I had just discovered an ability I hadn’t been aware of possessing. At some point during the evening, then, when my mother was mixing the after-dinner drinks, my grandmother and I had the following conversation:

FAUSTUS: Mémé! Mémé! Guess what I can do!
MEME: What, darling?
FAUSTUS: It’s really neat!
MEME: What is it?
FAUSTUS: I can tell when somebody is a bad guy or not!
MEME: Really? That’s terrific.
FAUSTUS: Yeah, I was watching TV today and the Calgonite commercial with the Spotmaker came on and my penis got hard. And I realized that whenever I see a bad guy the same thing happens! My penis gets hard! So I’ll always be able to tell when somebody is a bad guy!
FAUSTUS: Isn’t that cool?
MEME (to FAUSTUS’S MOTHER): Never mind the martini, get me a scotch on the rocks.
I have long wished to make a blog post about this event, but I could never remember the name of the villain. Now, however, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I have been able to do far better than that: I have found the entire commercial.

We can let my reaction to seeing the Spotmaker again after all these years pass without comment.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 17 Comments

November 27, 2007

So you can now pre-order my book on

swish cover.png

And here, just for vanity fun, is another funny blurb about the book.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 15 Comments

November 26, 2007

When I was six, my mother or my father did something horrible–I don’t remember exactly what, but it was probably, like, telling me I couldn’t have a cookie–and I decided to run away. I didn’t know where I was going to go, but I knew that living under the same roof as that monster (whichever parent it was) for another day was more than a sane human could be expected to bear. I realized I would need sustenance, so I brought a box of crackers with me (I had long since figured out how to climb up onto the kitchen counter to reach things in the cabinets above) along with two small bottles of Coca-Cola. Taking one last look around the house, my heart full of regret and conviction, bidding farewell to the books and furnishings and art that had been my constant companions forever, I opened the front door, stepped out into the sunlight of the free world, and spent the next twenty minutes walking around the block over and over again because I wasn’t allowed to cross the street by myself.

Eventually I made a virtue of necessity, forgave the offending parent, and came back home well in time to watch The Greatest American Hero.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 6 Comments

November 24, 2007

For various reasons, E.S. and I spent Thanksgiving thousands of miles apart–he at home, I on the west coast with (among others) my father. I returned last evening, though, much to our mutual delight, and then we had the following conversation.

E.S.: So you’re coming with me to Home Depot tomorrow, right?
FAUSTUS: That’s an interesting idea.
E.S.: That means “no,” doesn’t it?
E.S.: That’s exactly how your father would say no.
FAUSTUS: No, it’s not. My father has far too much integrity to practice such a deception.
E.S.: Luckily, you don’t.
FAUSTUS: Isn’t it nice to have me back?
E.S.: …
FAUSTUS: Isn’t it?

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 2 Comments

November 2, 2007

From a conversation I had the other day with my collaborator L. about which book a character in something we’re writing should be reading:

L.: Ooh, what about Moby-Dick?
FAUSTUS: That’s perfect!
L.: Hmm. Except that relentless obsession doesn’t really have that much to do with what we’re writing about.
FAUSTUS: I wouldn’t say Moby-Dick is exactly about relentless obsession.
L.: What would you say it’s about?
FAUSTUS: I think it’s about prioritizing badly.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 9 Comments