A Series of Tubes

Hello fans. This is my first time hosting a site, coming to you via the internet – or, in the words of the late Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), “a series of tubes.” Please be gentle with me.

I’m in the shotgun seat of a rented Nissan on I-76 in Ohio, headed toward the Heartland, a.k.a. Indianapolis, where my family and I will freeload on the in-laws and their central AC, and I’ll meet with the local bookseller to schedule a September book reading. My wife, Susan, outwitted me and bought a portable DVD player on Craigslist the day before we left, which is keeping our two boys occupied with the sounds and images of mayhem and medieval terror in the backseat. They tired of the license-plate game in Pennsylvania, and NPR makes them retch and cry.

If you nose around this website, you’ll see information about the imminent debut of my memoir, The Man Who Couldn’t Eat. On this Author’s Blog, I’ll write about my experiences over the next few months on the road and at home, chomping on the places the launch takes me. As a published author, I hope to be a 25-year overnight sensation. Later this fall there will be a second blog on the site, called The Irony Curtain, which will be something else entirely – essays, interviews, videos, and more created by me and guest contributors that address the question “WTF?” I invite you to please share my site and blog with your friends, or better still, with people you loathe. You’ll need an oven mitt.

We spent last night at the Youngstown, OH Hampton Inn off the Interstate and dined at a Ruby Tuesdays across the road from Mike’s Lounge and a tattoo parlor. Susan had a “life-changing” meal: petite filet, mashed cauliflower, and grilled green beans (http://www.allmenus.com/oh/austintown/103898-ruby-tuesdays/menu/). She called the cauliflower “transporting” and says she’s still thinking of it, right now, at 10 in the morning. It was probably cooked with a stick of butter, but she’s decided she can’t live without it. She washed dinner back with a $4.99 glass of Pinot that would have cost double in Manhattan. We split a Mounds bar from Walgreens in the parking lot for dessert.

We’re speeding through Akron past the Goodyear HQ, old brick smokestacks, and a surprisingly shiny skyline on the buckle of the Rust Belt. I guess Lebron didn’t pinch all the baubles when he ran out on his hometown. Actually, things don’t look so bad here; I wonder if Akron’s scorn for King James has been unfair? After all, Chrissie Hynde fled Rubber City a long time ago, and I don’t see anyone hanging her in effigy.

Susan is flooring the accelerator on a climb approaching the I-71 fork to Columbus. There are towering billboards in soybean fields for Grandpa’s Cheesebarn and the Lion’s Den Adult Superstore. She’s trying to push the car ahead of a truck chewing our tail. It’s a flatbed carrying – no kidding – a series of tubes.