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December 11, 2005 - Curmudgeons Prepare for the Bill O'Reilly Holiday

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Book Wrangler

December 12, 2005

By Bob Patterson  


It's the time of year when certain folks pull out their copy of The Portable Curmedgeon, by Jon Winokur, and read favorite passages to prepare for the Santa Season. 


While reading quotes such as, "These presidential ninnies should stick to throwing out baseballs and leave the important matters to serious people" from Gore Vidal (page 222), we wondered what Jon Winokur has been up to lately.


Contacting the famed quote wrangler was a bit of a challenge because he tends to make Thomas Pynchon and J. D. Salinger look like publicity hounds.  The LA resident has consistently declined offers to buy him any three items of his choice on the McDonald's restaurant Dollar Menu in return for the chance to do a face-to-face interview.  He is resolute in his resistance to our attempts at epicurean bribery. 


We were, however, able to contact him via e-mail and get some information for the readers of this week's Book Wrangler column.


Ennui to Go has recently been published and they weren't daunted by the prospect of giving the Book Wrangler (AKA "The World's Laziest Journalist") the chance to read and review it.  Ennui to Go is subtitled The Art of Boredom.  We also learned that the paperback version of Encyclopedia Neurotica is coming out in January (St. Martin's Griffin).  Now, the question becomes - where will the World's Laziest Journalist find the inspiration to actually do the review of that new book? 


This December, curmudgeons have a new possible addition to their roster of annual holiday favorites because of the release of the movie Ice Harvest, which will probably join Bad Santa on any list of Classical Christmas Cinema for Curmudgeons.


At this time of year, curmudgeons also eagerly anticipate the arrival of the Esquire magazine's annual "Dubious Achievements" awards, which is the closest there is to any attempt to fill the annual glut of awards with something for the members of the Curmudgeons In Action club to enjoy.


In addition to consulting the Portable Curmudgeon, the miscreants of Christmas can also find inspiration in Winokur's other books, A Crumudgeon's Garden of Love, The Traveling Curmudgeon, and The Portable Curmudgeon Redux.


Regarding the Dicken's yuletide story, Winokur wrote that he was "reminded of Harlan Ellison's take on the Dickens classic. It's quoted in The Portable Curmudgeon Redux as follows: 'Did you ever notice, the only one in A Christmas Carol with any character is Scrooge? Marley is a whiner who fucked over the world and then hadn't the spine to pay his dues quietly; Belle, Scrooge's ex-girlfriend, deserted him when he needed her most; Bob Cratchit is a gutless toady without enough get-up-and-go to assert himself; and the less said about that little treacle-mouth, Tiny Tim, the better.'"


It is unknown if Winokur is or is not associated with the web site that provides a curmudgeon quote of the day.


Isn't it very ironic that if people say "Peace on Earth!" and "Merry Christmas!" they will actually stir up animosity?  I think it should be christened as "the Bill O'Reilly Effect."  This year, even curmudgeons can find satisfaction saying "Merry Christmas!" 


In response to our request for a good line from the King of Quotes, Winokur supplied this - "So who says the War on Terror is going badly? By my count we've now killed nine of the top five Al-Qaeda operatives."


Curmudgeons, of course, have their own favorite Christmas songs, so our disk jockey will now play the old blues song Christmas in Jail and we will bail out of here for this week.  Until the next column, try to say something memorable and have a nice week.





Copyright 2005 - Robert Patterson

Email the author at worldslaziestjournalist@yahoo.com





Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
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