Thursday, June 23, 2005


Technical note: Of course, the term FAQ is logically fallacious. Questions are ALWAYS asked, by definition. Statements can NEVER be considered questions. The very notion of questions being "frequently asked" is absurd. Unfortunately, the term "FAQ" has already been popularized by powerful InterNet blogging interests, to the point where opposition would not only be futile (thousands of e-mails would demand: "Whatever does AAQ mean?"), but subject to harsh penalties by said interests, the less said about whom, the better.

Q. Pardon me, sirrah, but could you direct me to the nearest Esquimotic haberdashery?
A. No. Please let me pass.

Q. Do you sell intricate molecular models in the form of polyhedrons?
A. At this point, The Bleak Shopper sells only tee shirts (please specify sexual preference), cloven hooves, insect parts encased in clear plastic, full-body casts, and hair-replacement enzymes.

Q. Did you appear as an extra in The Passion of Joan of Arc?
A. Yes, but only in a few crowd scenes, which were ruthlessly cut in order to make room for unnecessary dialogue titles. I can also be briefly viewed in several scenes that were originally excised from various short subjects, but which will soon be available on Criterion's forthcoming Complete Max Fleischer (six discs with commentary and outtakes, SRP $1798.99.)

Q. Why don't you answer my e-mails? Have you no heart?
A. Next question.

Q. Can you post my erotica?
A. Please consult the Bleak Contribution Manual (rev. 2005), especially under Fiscal Remuneration: How to Open a Bleak Credit Account and Final Revisions: How to Remove Your Worst Prose Stylings.

Q. When can I retrieve my personal belongings?
A. This matter has been duly entered in the 2007 calendar for hearings in Bleak Court (video syndication inquiries welcome.)

Q. What is wrong with drinking while driving?
A. The conventional, rather puritanical, view is that one hand is thereby engaged in a non-driving activity, which lessens efficiency. Such a standard, applied consistently, would of course also eliminate such common, universally accepted, driving activities as assembling model schooners, writing epic poetry, performing cosmetic self-surgery, taking tap lessons, and approximately 82% of normal sexual activity (according to the U.S. Census Bureau.) The more tolerant view does away with the misguided question of hands entirely, and focuses on vision: twice the image entails twice the accuracy.

Q. What is that crawly thing with a single eye on a stalk that sometimes appears on your blogsite?
A. That is my brother Ferdinand -- one of nature's mistakes, alas, and a terrible burden for the Bleak family.

Q. Where can I get me a good nickel cigar?
A. Cigars are not made of nickel.

Q. Do you keep plants at the Bleak hothouse that seem to show agonizingly distorted human features?
A. Not exactly. These plants are carnivorous, and the "human features" gradually vanish during the week following a feeding.