Saturday, April 17, 2004

Albatross and chips.

There's that moment at the end of Around the World in 80 Days (and for that matter Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure) where you realise that, because of international datelines, our heroes have gained a day, and are not, in fact, late.

I had one of those, driving to Penguincon, only it was the other way around. I suddenly realised, as I crossed the border into Michigan, that I was now on Eastern Time, and had just moved an hour ahead. I'd expected to arrive about 6:30 pm -- time enough to print out some things to read, to stretch my legs, eat or drink something, recover a little from a day's driving, and then start the 7:00pm reading. It would be tight, but I could do it.

And then, it dawned on me that, even though it was 3:00pm, and even though I only had a 3 and a bit hour drive ahead of me, I was still going to arrive at 7:20pm, not 6:20 pm. On the other hand, if I didn't stop for petrol, if I didn't stop for anything, if I drove at speeds that would make Martin Semmelrogge blush, I might be able to do it. I called Anne, my con liaison, and asked her to get me a copy of Shadows over Baker Street to read from, as I wasn't going to be able to print anything out.

I parked outside the hall at 6:58pm, walked inside, took the book from Anne, hugged my son Mike, then walked into the hall, up to the podium, and read them "A Study in Emerald"...

I had an odd dream the other night that you were driving a bus filled with a bunch of your fans and telling us stories. It was a dark night and the trees cast long shadows across the street. And for some reason you insisted that when we all stopped for dinner some of us would indeed have to eat the albatross.

What does that mean?

Probably that you'd be eating albatross for dinner. ("What flavour is it?" "It's not any bloody flavour." "Well, it must be something." "All right, it's bloody albatross flavour, isn't it? Albatross!")

Dear Neil,
is the "President For Life" in 1602 George Bush? A friend of mine says it is, I thought it wasn't. I loved it BTW.

No, not even a little bit. It's a Marvel character -- I thought it was pretty obvious which one, but possibly I was wrong about the pretty obviousness.