OK, Crimewave #14 is officially wrapped up. The files are on a disk and ready to go out by express mail tomorrow. We stayed up most of the night Friday and Saturday and Linette finished up some design things today while I was at work. All we’ve got to do now is write out the check. If you’re a subscriber, our hope is that you’ll have your copy right around Christmas. If you’re one of our distributors, your copies will be sent directly from the printer, so you should, I hope, have them in about three weeks. Of course you never know with these things. Once our printer wouldn’t run the job until we sent him a black dot to glue over a drawing of a nipple. Another time a UPS strike held the completed job up for an additional couple of weeks.

So, please stop praying for peace in the middle east and start praying for the new issue of Crimewave if you want it for the holidays.

If you don’t subscribe, you should. It’s a good magazine. This issue has an interview with actor/comedian David Cross, a very funny article by Jeff Kay, some tidbits about Italy, a few things by Doug Skinner, an interview with the band Pylon, and tons and tons of other stuff. I even write about a man who I saw picking at his foot!

Sounds like a real classic, doesn’t it?

Well, right now we’re just drinking wine and putting everything in an envelope. It’ll be so good to get this out of here.

I really don’t like my longer article this time. It’s pretty uninspired. But, I like quite a few of my little columns about this and that. All it all, it’s not a bad showing. Given the fact that this is our first one with a full-color cover, I think it’ll probably sell well too. We’ll see.

It probably doesn’t fit right here, but I don’t suppose there will ever be a time when it does fit, so I might as well say it. A few months ago, I saw a woman clipping her fingernails in the reception area of an office, while she was waiting to be interviewed for a receptionist position. She wasn’t just fixing a hangnail either. She was really going at it, manically jumping from finger to finger, taking off big, inch-long sections. There were pieces of nail flying out of the clippers like wood chips from a municipal mulcher. It was like shrapnel. I was walking through the office at the time and I felt like I was in the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan.

Now, back to the subject… A few of you have suggested that I add Paypal capabilities to this site so that I can accept payment for copies of Crimewave, Monkey Power Trio records, etc. Well, for what it’s worth, I think it’s a damned good idea and I’m going to look into it. With any luck, we’ll see that upgrade in 2003.

the interview

Well, I met the guy Saturday morning, the “interview with a stalker” guy. It went well. We talked for about two hours. To be honest, I was kind of flattered by the attention. Usually, people walk away when I start to tell them how I feel about stuff. This guy actually had a microphone pointed at me.

I felt old though. The guy was just 20. He showed me the letter I’d written to him and it was dated 1999. He must have been 16 or 17 then. I write so many letters, it’s good to know that people not only read them but that sometimes they have a positive effect, or at least that was the case on this one occasion. The guy, his name is Chuck, told me that Crimewave inspired him to start writing his own magazine when he was in high school. He’s taking film classes now at a local college and he’s getting started on a new publication. That’s what the interview was for.

So, we inspired someone to do something other than subscribe to cable. That’s kind of cool.

I think I kind of freaked him out when I kept leaving notes here about how frightened I was to meet him. He took me seriously. He said he thought that I was going to show up with like five people to protect me. Perhaps as a precaution, he came with Mike, his roommate. I guess he thought that some “bad shit” might go down.

You never know what an old dude might try.

We met at the Mudd House, a coffee shop here in Ypsilanti, but Chuck felt it was too loud there to do any taping, so we headed outside to think about another place. I suggested a bar a few blocks away. That’s when he told me he couldn’t drink because he was under-age. Until that point, I probably thought he was within like eight years of my age. Finding out that he was 20 made me feel old. I continued to press for a free beer though, suggesting that he probably didn’t have to be 21 to buy me drinks. That’s when he said something sarcastic like, “Yeah, like I go to bars and buy old guys drinks.”

I felt like I’d been sucker punched in the belly. An “old guy”? I wouldn’t have minded it if he’d taken a shot by calling me a pathetic drunk for having asked him, a poor kid, to buy me a drink, but “old guy”? I’ll tell you, it kind of took the wind out of my sales.

That was just one of the times my age came up during the conversation. I didn’t mind it so much, but it’s weird to keep being reminded of it. When I was talking, I really felt like I was their age, but then every once in a while I’d be reminded of the fact that I’m probably about the age of their fathers.

When I was about 21, I took a job as a cook at a restaurant in Ann Arbor called the Brown Jug. One of the first days there, I was introduced to a guy named Roger. I can still remember it clearly. Roger told me that he was 25 and I nearly had an aneurism. I went home and wrote my friend Dan in New Jersey a letter, telling him that I’d met a 25 year old guy. I’m not making this shit up either. I thought that was something I needed to share.

So, for that reason, I kind of understand where these guys were at mentally. It just sucks to be on the other end of that age equation.

One thing worth mentioning that was odd… While walking from the coffee shop to the library, where we ended up doing the interview, we crossed in front of the bar where Linette and I first met. It’s been condemned for the past few years, but the door was opened yesterday. I peaked in and told these guys that this was the place I’d met Linette. They, having read every issue of CW, knew all about the circumstances of our meeting. Chuck, said, “So, your band was playing here that night, right?” I said, “Yes,” and pointed back toward the end of the building, past all of the wet insulation that was hanging down from the rafters, to show them where the tiny stage used to be.

I felt like I was giving a tour of some historic monument. It was silly. On the way back, when we went past it, Chuck got out his camera. I couldn’t help but think that somewhere else, another young college student was probably photographing the spot from which Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. This guy needed a photo of the spot where his favorite zine writer got the phone number of his future wife though.

OK, I’ve got lots of stuff, but that’s it for now. I just wanted to let you know that the guy didn’t kick my head in and that the interview went well.

I’ll try to check in tomorrow. If I don’t though, have a nice Thanksgiving.

Oh, as for the topless woman in the photo, it was Mike’s girlfriend, not Chuck’s.

Mike’s a hell of a friend.

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