Things have been a little slow lately, and this run was no exception. Hashing brilliance once again, delivered in that off-hand, casual manner which has become a hallmark of Kanaga runs. Laird didn't show up for the run, so I called Roark to get a little feedback. He confirmed preliminary reports that the check near the Promenade in Brooklyn had the pack checking around a bit, since it was very early in the run and there was no real indication of where the trail was going. Once they picked the trail up they went directly to the second check near the Brooklyn Bridge, where Scott Schnipper gave the "On On!" signal across the bridge. Scott had arrived late, been given a short cut by the Hare, and went directly to the bridge in time to lead the pack up the steps. Over the bridge to a chicken and eagle split, the pollos heading north of Chambers Street to a check, then past Police Plaza to South Street Seaport, then on in. The eagles went directly west, checked near Montrachet, then up the BMCC steps and down. A check on West Street, which had them back checking, only to find the trail went south on West Street, over the pedestrian bridge to the high school and Battery Park City, then around the high school and back up the other side of West Street along the river front for half a mile north, then due east, up to Chinatown, then connecting with the chickens near Police Plaza. The On In was great, and the guy behind the steam table was pretty pleased that we cleaned out all the leftovers from the weekend.
So I decided to read the latest issue of Time Out, the pommey import which is duking it out with New York and the like. What do I see but a full column review of The F Word, edited by our own Jesse Sheidlower. It even had a picture, too, of a quaint area of the world, complete with pyramids, palm trees, two huge mounds, and the title "Bumfuck, Egypt". I am impressed! Our boy has finally come to his senses and is now purveying literature which will appeal to mass markets, literature which will make money, literature which will allow Jesse to underwrite monetarily a whole Hash On On single-handedly, literature which will not be exhibited by any self respecting bookseller. Oops, problem. So I called Jess to get a read on the situation.
"Jesse Sheidlower, please."
"I'll connect you."
"What the fuck, over."
"Jesse Sheidlower, please."
"Speaking. I'm plugging my new book,The F Word."
"Got it, Jess, it's Keith. What's the story on the book?"
We had an interesting chat about the book. I felt it was appropriately priced for a piece of salacious literature which would undermine the morals of the community, and at $12.95 was probably within the reach of Hashers everywhere, even in California. He pointed out that Strand Bookstore was discounting it for about $10, and the penurious Hasher could go there. I suggested a big Hash book-signing party, but Jess wasn't sure he could get his hands on enough books to make it worthwhile. Seems Colin Powell has all their PR resources tied up at the moment, which is one fucking shame for a book with this much potential. Anyway, he agreed to autograph the book for any Hashers who happened to have the book and a pen at the same Hash he attended sometime in this century, which carries the same kind of probabilities as a Hasher getting laid on a first date with Annette Bening.
So I went looking for the book. Jesse suggested I ask for it loudly , since it tends to be hidden behind the counter in the adult books section. Sure enough, Waldenbooks had no copies in evidence, not even right up by the cash register where all the other the barn-burning best sellers are kept. So I went to the information counter and inquired. "Carry any copies of the new book by Random House, The F Word?" All three young men behind the counter blurted out its location, which proves what well read staff they employ there.
I leafed through the book, anxious to see Jesse's latest effort. First I had to get though some tedious drivel by some guy named Roy Blount, Jr. Sounds like the name of a cigar. "Here, have a blount. I just sneaked some in from my last trip. Real Havana leaf." The fly leaf describes him as an author of eleven books who lives in New York City and western Massachusetts. Big deal, they can't even remember the names of any of the books. Probably techno wonk material like Getting Maximum Performance from Your PC, or that stirring biography titled Dave, Dave, Dave, Dave, and Dave; Five Men on the Move and published by Midas Kapiti. On the plus side, two pages are devoted to a listing of interesting k words, such as knockers, dick, schmuck, and cupid. Since Jesse did the f's, I guess Blount decided to do the k's. Jesse got a book out of his letter.
Then Jesse introduced the letter f, the word, and prattles on with some lexicographic bullshit (Jesse, I have a great idea for another word book) about the origins of the word, the word in Shakespeare, euphemisms for the word throughout the centuries, the Greeks had a word, and then the first appearance of the written word in America in the early part of this century. All right, already, give us the word.
Which he does, going alphabetically from absofuckinglutely to tit fuck. Wait a minute. Tit fuck? We only get up to the t's? What happened to u, v, w, x, y, and z? That's the problem with some of these young guys, they get a good idea, they write a book, they publish it, and then they find out they left out some important material. If Jesse had just passed the manuscript around at a couple of hashes, we all could have looked it over, made a few suggestions, filled in the blanks, and voila - a complete book. Okay, okay, we should let bygones be bygones. So here's what I figure we do. I'll come up with the u - how's "unfuckingbelieveable" for a start - and the rest of you come up with the v,w, x, y, and z. Then we give Jesse the rest of the words, and he can bring out a second edition. Maybe even jack up the price by a buck, make it $13.95. Sales take off, Jesse cements his position, gets a raise, and buys us all a beer. Wait 'til I call the little fuck and tell him.