Saturday, May 3, 2008

Find Something To Pacify

Everybody in Ziggy's neighborhood got a copy of this book for free, left anonymously on their respective kitchen tables in the dead of night. It mentions no author, no publishing company and has no jacket price, but contains information on Ziggy's life that is far, far too specific to be just lucky guesses: Ziggy, did you think that your dental floss malfunction went unnoticed?

All of this is just a build-up to the book's main point: a plead for fraternal alliance against the scheming, tricksy world. Suddenly, everything makes sense: Ziggy's world is like The Truman Show, only instead of keeping him in a bubble mystery world, the totality of humanity has contrived to make his life as surreal and horrific as possible.

Is the Book Man Ziggy's friend, or the real enemy? And is he crouching right behind Ziggy's chair, clenching his fist and breathing shallowly? We may never know.

On a related note, I once read a book called The Paranoid's Pocket Guide, a nifty little tome with all sorts of information to keep you up at night. A prominent page features a chart of bacteria counts on common household items. The rest of the book offers helpful tips like (from memory): "When staying in a hotel in an unfamiliar city, wait a few minutes after entering the building to turn on your room's light. That way people outside won't know what room you're staying in." Great stuff.

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