Monday, March 17, 2003
Dear Neil,
I saw this article in Japan Times and thought it may interest you:
Jon Deeming

Absolutely fascinating. It's astonishing how many cities really do have a secret underside...

Hi Neil!

In case you missed this hugely-amazing story from the front page of yesterday's New York Times.... It's the best news item to appear in the Old Grey Lady in months:
Zei Gezunt.

-- DAN

A story I find disturbing only because they killed the carp. I mean, for heaven's sake.... Does no one read any fables any more? You're meant to marvel and then place the fish into a safe place, and take it to the king, not bonk it over the head and turn it into gefilte fish. And then it's brought before the king, and either it talks again or it doesn't. And if it talks it offers a little sage advice, and then it's put in a pool and looked after well until the end of its days, and it never talks again.

I find myself muttering "What do they teach them in these schools these days?" like the Professor in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

hi, neil. just a question about a phrase that i didn't quite understand. in american gods, wednesday says that the dead always give him the screaming mimis. could you explain that to me? english is not my native language and web-search turned up some strange stuff. thanks. jack

It's also spelled "meemies". Screaming Mimis/Meemies is a slang term for an attack of nerves or jitters.

Do you smoke? I've never seen you mention it in the blog, as far as I know, and you don't especially seem like the smoking type, but I just recently bought a copy of 'Violent Cases' (which, yes, I enjoyed thoroughly) and the narrator (who looks and talks an awful lot like you) smokes. And smokes rather obviously, too, as it opens with him lighting up.

I realize there's a distinction to be made between Neil Gaiman the person and Neil Gaiman the semi-fictional narrator, but I would very much like this to be cleared up. Thanks very much,

I used to smoke. I was a really good smoker, and I smoked well, and enjoyed it no end. I gave up smoking almost ten years ago now, and still have the dreams where I'm smoking again. "Oh dear," I think in the dreams, "if I'm smoking again, it means I'm hooked forever." And then I'm relieved when I wake up to discover I still don't smoke. You'd think after nearly ten years the dreams would stop, but they don't, quite.