If it's worth typing up, it's worth sharing.
On the shelves of my favorite used book store, Hooked on Books, I found a fun "new" mystery writer, Leslie O'Kane.
We join the story already in progress. The set-up: Molly finds the body and calls her husband.
Jim greeted me with "What's wrong?"
"Preston's been killed. I'm at Stephanie's house. She's in labor. I'm going to the hospital with her. Nathan's kindergarten bus arrives at noon. You have to get there first. There's a smutty magazine, a large check, and a box of dog $h!t on the coffee table. Put those where the kids won't see them, but don't throw anything out. It's all evidence."
"What? Start over. I could've sworn you said--"
Who hasn't had days like this? This sounds like my last Tuesday.
"Death traps are perfect for many situations,
especially when death is the objective."
from How to be a Villain by Neil Zawacki
This is a quote from A Thousand Splendid Suns. As a Christian, I found it shocking and thought-provoking. In Arabic hamshira means "sister" and it is a term of respect and endearment.
"I am tired and dying, and I want to be merciful. I want to forgive you. But when God summons me and says, But it wasn't for you to forgive, Mullah, what shall I say?"
His companions nodded and looked at him with admiration.
"Something tells me you are not a wicked woman, hamshira. But you have done a wicked thing. And you must pay for this thing you have done. Shari'a is not vague on this matter. It says I must send you where I will soon join you myself.
"Do you understand, hamshira?"
She looked down at her hands. She said she did.
"May Allah forgive you."
Wow. I don't consider myself a particularly religious person, but that's just plain scary. And I gotta ask: what would Jesus do?
"I was used to the exertion so my stamina, fueled by the torrents of adrenaline that were now coursing through my system, made it for me to sprint toward our comrades. As opposed to Peckerman, who looked as if he was going to have the incredibly rare of actually seeing his heart burst through his chest."
from Lunatics by Dave Barry (reviewed in "What's Eliza Reading?")
"She came into the room oozing so much molecular character that virtually any thinking man had to be captivated."
from Kill Two Birds & Get Stoned by Kinky Friedman (reviewed in What's Eliza Reading?)
"Jealousy is not always unfounded or irrational. It's just possible that everybody is better than you."
--from Kill Two Birds and Get Stoned by Kinky Friedman (reviewed in "What's Eliza Reading?")
"I have heard that these wars have left certain people in great need of certain items. Put out the word. Speak of a man you have known for ages--"
"--long enough to trust, who has interest in helping the problem."
"Whichever has been left undone. Whichever pays. Delivering the odd container. Finding the lost. Rescuing the captured. Healing the rift. Righting the wrong, or if not, wreaking havoc upon the wrongdoers."
A long pause. "There is something."
"There usually is."
"It is, of course, quite dangerous."
"And not entirely legal."
Rogue merely shrugged.
"Would you consider working for a church?"
Rogue tried to mask his shock. "It would make for a certain change," he said.
Excerpted from Riders of the Pale Horse, reviewed in "What's Eliza reading?" You gotta love a guy named Rogue!
"Don't worry. I've never written one, but I can tell you this: Writing a book is like falling in love or getting to sleep or finding a taxi in the rain. It'll come to you, but first you have to let it."
from Kill Two Birds and Get Stoned by Kinky Friedman (reviewed in "What's Eliza Reading?)
"My life is a work of fiction," she said. "I love fiction. It's always so true."
from Kill Two Birds & Get Stoned by Kinky Friedman (reviewed in "What's Eliza Reading?")
"I don't think it's legal to own people anymore. Not even in Texas." from Transformers: Age of Extinction
"...I am all for paranoia as part of a healthy daily regimen of exercise and moderate eating."
Kent Sepkowitz, The Daily Beast
Don't you just hate pop-ups? I said so and my husband heard me say that "I hate potholes." Well, I suppose that I do hate potholes, especially on the Internet.
Here's a couple of quotes that intrigued me enough to write down, but I didn't note the authors.
"...in Mumbai a hit man comes cheaper than a meal at a five-star hotel."
"I'll monitor the situation for fifteen days. If nobody gets killed, I'll do business."
"A film is like a parachute. If it doesn't open, you're dead."
And my personal favorite: "I've chosen you because your eyes have the same madness as mine."
I'm usually incredibly lazy. Today I roused myself enough to type up a snippet of one of the best, funniest authors to ever roam this galaxy: Douglas Adams. The world got a little less funny when he died.
This is from Last Chance to See. It's a bit long, but you need the whole thing for the set-up.
There is in Melbourne a man who probably knows more about poisonous snakes than anyone else on earth. His name is Dr. Struan Sutherland, and he has devoted his entire life to a study of venom.
“And I’m bored with it,” he said when we went along to see him. “Can’t stand all these poisonous creatures, all these snakes and insects and fish and things. Stupid things, biting everybody. And then people expect me to tell them what to do about it. I’ll tell them what to do. Don’t get bitten in the first place. That’s the answer. I’ve had enough of it. Hydroponics, now, that’s interesting. Talk to you all you like about hydroponics. Fascinating stuff, growing plants artificially in water, very interesting technique. We’ll need to know all about it if we’re going to go to Mars and places. Where did you say you were going?”
“Well, don’t get bitten, that’s all I can say. And don’t come running to me if you do because you won’t get here in time, and anyway I’ll probably be out. Hate this office, look at it. Full of poisonous animals all over the place. Look at this tank, it’s full of fire ants. Poisonous. Bored silly with them. Anyway, I got some little cakes in case you were hungry. Would you like some little cakes? I can’t remember where I put them. There’s some tea but it’s not very good. Sit down for heaven’s sake.
"So, you’re going to Komodo. Well, I don’t know why you want to do that, but I suppose you have your own reasons. There are fifteen different types of snakes on Komodo, and half of them are poisonous. The only potentially deadly ones are the Russell’s viper, the bamboo viper, and the Indian cobra.
“The Indian cobra is the fifteenth deadliest snake in the world, and all the other fourteen are here in Australia. That’s why it’s so hard for me to find time to get on with my hydroponics, with all these snakes all over the place.
“And spiders. The most poisonous spider is the Sydney funnel web, which bites about five hundred people a year. A lot of them used to die, so I had to develop an antidote to stop people bothering me with it all the time. Took us years. Then we developed this snake-bite detector kit. Not that you need a kit to tell you when you’ve been bitten by a snake, you usually know, but the kit is something that will detect what you’ve been bitten by so you can treat it properly.
“Would you like to see a kit? I’ve got a couple in the venom fridge. Let’s have a look. Ah, look, the cakes are in here too. Quick, have one while they’re still fresh. Fairy cakes, I baked ‘em myself.”
He handed around the snake-bite detector kits and the rock-hard fairy cakes and retreated back to his desk, where he beamed at us cheerfully from behind his curly beard and bow tie. We admired the kits more than the cakes and asked him how many of the snakes he had been bitten by himself.
“None of ‘em,” he said. “Another area of expertise I’ve developed is that of getting other people to handle the dangerous animals. Won’t do it myself. Don’t want to get bitten, do I? You know what it says in my entry in Who’s Who? ‘Hobbies: gardening—with gloves; fishing—with boots; travelling—with care.’ That’s the answer. Oh, and wear baggy trousers. When a snake strikes, it starts to inject venom as soon as it hits something. If you’ve got baggy trousers, most of the venom will just get squirted down the inside of your trousers, which is better than it being squirted down the inside of your leg. You’re not eating your cakes. Come on, get them down you, there’s plenty more in the fridge.”
We asked, tentatively, if we could perhaps take a snake-bite detector kit with us to Komodo.
“ 'Course you can, 'course you can. Take as many as you like. Won’t do you a blind bit of good because they’re only for Australian snakes."
“So what do we do if we get bitten by something deadly, then?” I asked.
He blinked at me as if I were stupid.
“Well, what do you think you do?” he said. “You die, of course. That’s what deadly means.”
“But what about cutting open the wound and sucking out the poison?” I asked.
“Rather you than me,” he said. “I wouldn’t want a mouthful of poison. All the blood vessels beneath the tongue are very close to the surface, so the poison goes straight to the bloodstream. That’s assuming you could get much of the poison out, which you probably couldn’t. And in a place like Komodo it means you’d quickly have a seriously infected wound to contend with as well as a leg full of poison. Septicemia, gangrene, you name it. It’ll kill you.”
“What about a tourniquet?”
“Fine if you don’t mind having your leg off afterwards. You’d have to because it would be dead. And if you can find anyone in that part of Indonesia who you’d trust to take your leg off, you’re a braver man than me. No, I’ll tell you: the only thing you can do is apply a pressure bandage direct to the wound and wrap the whole leg up tightly, but not too tightly. Slow the blood flow but don’t cut it off or you’ll lose the leg. Keep the leg, or whatever bit of you it is you’ve been bitten in, lower than your heart and your head. Keep very, very still, breathe slowly, and get to a doctor immediately. If you’re on Komodo, though, that means a couple of days, by which time you’ll be well dead. The only answer, and I mean this quite seriously, is don’t get bitten. There’s no reason why you should. Any of the snakes there will get out of your way well before you even see them. You don’t really need to worry about the snakes if you’re careful. No, the things you really need to worry about are the marine creatures.”
“Scorpion fish, stonefish, sea snakes. Much more poisonous than anything on land. Get stung by a stonefish and the pain alone can kill you. People drown themselves just to stop the pain.”
“Where are all these things?”
“Oh, just in the sea. Tons of them. I wouldn’t go near it if I were you. Full of poisonous animals. Hate them.”
“Is there anything you do like?”
“No, I mean is there any venomous creature you’re particularly fond of?”
He looked out of the window for a moment. “There was,” he said, “but she left me.”
The first time I read that I about peed myself. I tried to read it aloud to my (ungrateful) kids, but I couldn't stop laughing. He's freakin' hilarious.
I've got his Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul right here, too. It has many hilarious passages, but I'm exhausted from typing this last one out.