Volume IV, May, 2002
(In which the Dog returns, dumb with reluctance, to his cage)
“You always were the king of bullshit.”
El Paso Times reporter Ramon Renteria, showing the form that has made him a renowned celebrity interviewer.
1. # of empty beer bottles the author found in his kitchen, upon his return: 167
2. # of times the author said fuck on his tour: 791
3. Pounds gained on the road: 11
4. Largest # of rock stars to attend a reading: 5 (Austin, TX)
4a. Largest # of psychoanalysts to attend a reading: 12 (Palo Alto)
4b. Largest # of rock star/psychoanalysts to attend a reading: 0
Kritics Korner: “And here is where some of Almond’s stories run into real trouble. In what are otherwise well-crafted stories stories bathed in nostalgia, a modern day version of, say, Fitzgerald’s early ‘Saturday Evening Post’ pieces, Almond includes passages of sloppy erotica that may strike readers as vulgar and out of place. It’s as if you were reading ‘The Great Gatsby’ and Nick Carraway suddenly launched into a lengthy aside on anal sex.”
— Keith Pandolfi gets all hot and bothered in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
5. # of babies who urinated on the author during his tour: 3
5a. # of babies the author urinated on: N/A
6. # of readings the Roadog gave stoned: 1.5
“You look different. Fatter.”
— The author’s old pal Goeff welcomes him to Phoenix
7. # of pretty much crazy guys who showed up at a reading and asked long, incoherent questions that scared the rest of the crowd and who then presented the author with a “tone poem” scrawled in red ink (blood?) on a napkin: 1
8. Ratio of bills-to-fan-letters the author received upon opening his mail: 23/1
9. Number of people who asked the author if he got laid on tour: 47
9a. Number of these people who had penises: 46
“Oh, were you gone?”
The author’s neighbor Jenna
10. Howlouts to the following badasses for putting me up and putting up with me: Nathan “Chickenbutt” Morris, Seanie Rowe, Lucy Corin, Stevie Kistulentz, Margo “Money Shot” Rabb, Ana Jamolca Fudge, Jena Hair Salon, Timbo Huggybear, John Evans, David and Shani Goldstein, Jamie Kornegay, Kirk Nielson, Pingey Tetavicho, Paddy O’Flood, Mary & John Fournier, Steve Amick, Matt & Jenae Batt, Tom & Teddy Finkel, Matt Miller, Clay Martini, Peaches Pappas, Rock Olsen & Karen Hirsch, Ma & Pa Almond, Jonna Tamases, Markie Mark Sutz, Emily & Adam Sweet Chiles, Lo Lo Almond & Fam, Mark Mainwaering & Robin Russell, Johnny & Traci Goudie.
10a. Howlouts to the rest of you bookselling mofos out there doing the work of angels and fools. You need anything from the Dog, you just holler.
10b. Bless you all for reading, for rising, through art, to the occasion of your own hearts.
“Wait a second, dude. Didn’t Nick Carraway launch into a lengthy aside on anal sex in The Great Gatsby? Isn’t that what that whole book is about?”
Find out more about Steve Almond at www.stevenalmond.com.