Monday, February 14, 2011

The American Dreamer

This is totally off topic, but I thought it was funny.

I woke up this morning laughing from a dream. In it, I had been discussing with a friend the topic of "overrated American writers." I nominated Eugene O'Neill first and always, since I have considered his works to be turgid and his characters to be poorly realized as long as I've been aware of his works. My friend nominated F. Scott Fitzgerald for his superficiality and vapidity bordering on terminal ennui. "I bet he's still alive," quoth I, "and writing for The New Yorker,"[America's most overrated magazine.] After a good guffaw, I toddled off to bed in the dream.

As I'm reading "The Golden Bough" in bed, a call comes through. I answer it. The voice on the other end is that of an answering service employee. She says, "I have been asked to inform you that F. Scott Fitzgerald has passed away. There is no further message." I say, "Oh no! That's terrible! I am so sorry to hear that!" The answering service person says, "Yes. Unfortunately, there is no further message at this time. Would you care to leave a message?" Somehow I know who the call is from: another friend who considers himself quite the authority on American popular culture in the '20's, the '30's and the '40's. I say, "Tell him I am devastated." The answering service person says, "I'm so sorry, sir. I will pass on the message." Click.

And I woke up laughing my damfool head off.

F. Scott Fitzgerald is dead. Who'd a thunk it?

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