Thursday, September 25, 2008

We are not monsters, we're moral people / And yet we have the strength to do this

Here's something my next-door neighbors seem not to know. If you aren't going to answer that phone, you know, the one that rings all day every day, the one that I have never heard you answer, even when I know you're right in the same room with it - you can TURN THE RINGER OFF.

Yes, that's what I'd say to them.

I'm thinking, instead, that I'll write a book. A book with foul and unpredictable toxic storms, thin-film solar, and a protagonist who finds mines for a living.

Yep, I've been reading MIT Technology Review again.

When my protagonist is not off reclaiming most of Cambodia and all of Afghanistan, a profession which leaves her hollow-eyed and hair-triggered and unaccustomed to the fellowship of man, she retires to her echoing wooden house, where she is slowly driven mad by her neighbors' ringing phone. That phone, like the dog in Summer of Sam, will be so relentless, so menacing, so personally intrusive that anyone who reads my book will jump and snarl at the sound of a real phone. That phone will gain a place on the 50 greatest villains in literature list compiled by the Daily Telegraph, alongside such fiends as Milo Minderbinder, the Marquise de Merteuil, and that bad rat Samuel Whiskers.

And my book will come with this bookmark.