What does FAQ stand for?

I don't know.

What time is it?

It's about 3:30 in the morning here. I have no idea what time it is where you are.

What's going to happen at midnight on December 31, 1999 if we haven't corrected the Y2K Bug?

I won't know what will happen at that precise moment because I'll be drunk, or asleep. However, there's a very simple solution to this mess (older computers reading "00" as the year 1900) and I'm surprised nobody thought of it: add 68 days to the month of December, 1999. That'll buy enough time to fix the damn thing. Or, if that's not enough, add 87 months to the year. (Septober, Octember, Juneuary -- suggestions?) There's a bigger problem looming, though: in the year 10000 all computers will read "0000" as the year 0 A.D.!!! I'm glad I won't be around for that one.

Why does it take so long for the pictures to load in?

Pictures (jpg, gif, bmp) contain more digital information than text. (Think of it this way: 1 picture=1000 words)

Why is the print so small?

With most 15" monitors displaying a resolution of 1024X768, the standard 12-pt. font is reduced to the size of a footnote. Some people sit closer to the monitor, others use a magnifying glass, but a better, healthier solution is to squint.

Why can't I hear the audio clips?

There are no audio clips. Good question.

Should I downgrade to an older, slower system?

Definitely. It will give you more time to think.

What's the next big thing?

Chairs that automatically lift you into a standing position.

Is the Internet going to replace television?

Yes, it will. But then television will replace the Internet. And then "feelies" will come along and all hell will break loose.

Is it possible that what we perceive as the "known universe" is actually a virtual world, a computer program, which explains why we don't have the ability to explain what it all means—but then I just did, so... forget it.

Next question.

Why doesn't this web site make greater use of progressive gif's, Java apps, and Shockwave games?

Cute; superficial: two adjectives working together to describe what I think of that stuff. Let's change the subject, slightly. For cultural history buffs, I read recently that the venerable "Norton Anthology of Literature" series, a college textbook staple for years, has come out with a new collection encompassing the era of "Postmodern American Fiction," and that it includes examples of hypertext fiction. This was refreshing, perhaps, like a professor wearing a flashy bow tie, but, let's be honest, hyperfiction is not real literature. Any writing that yanks the reader away from the material and treats him like a laboratory rat is nothing more than a gimmick, pure and simple.

How can I save this address?

Use the "bookmark" or "favorites" feature in your browser's options menu. Or, better, engrave

on your forehead.

Why haven't you added a Chat Room?

Yeah, how come?

It would allow your readers a chance to discuss your work.

With a Chat Room we could rip this guy's stuff to shreds.

Why? You didn't like the novel?

I didn't read the novel.

What about the last piece?

You mean the one before this?


I thought the God thing was a little far-fetched—didn't he cover the same ground already, with Groucho Marx?

Yeah, sort of. Still, I thought it was funny.

And who are you?


Amanda? Nice name.

Thanks. What's yours?


That's a nice name, Tommy.

How old are you, Amanda?

Do I have to say?

I'll tell you my age if you tell me yours.

All right, Tommy. I'm 14.

Hello? Tommy? Tommy? Are you still there?

I'm still here. What's new?

You were going to tell me how old you are.

Oh yeah. I'm, uh, like, 16.

You are? How cool!

Yeah. How cool. But my parents just don't understand me.

Whose parents do?

You sound nice, Amanda. Are you sure you don't mind talking to an older man?

16 isn't that old, Tommy.

Well, actually, I'm a little older than that.

Hello? Amanda? Amanda?

Sorry, Tommy, I—

I'll understand if you think I've been a little dishonest—

No, it's not that.

Then what is it?

If anyone's been dishonest, Tommy, it's me. I'm not 14.

You're not?

I'm 41. Must be a little dyslexic.


Wow? Is that all you can say?

Well, doesn't that beat all? I'm not 16 and my name isn't Tommy, it's Carl—guess I thought "Tommy" would keep you on the line a little longer. And I'm no spring chicken, either, Amanda—

It's Mildred. I use Amanda for chat rooms.

Mildred? Nice name, Mildred.

Thanks, Carl. I think I like Carl more than Tommy.

It's funny, Mildred, when you stop to think about it, age is really just a number.

And not always a reliable one, either.

Mildred, I'm 74 years old.

Carl, I'm really 71.

Wow. There I go saying "Wow" again.

It's kind of charming, Carl. By the way, have you ever thought about life insurance?


Life insurance.

At my age?

Sure. And for less than five dollars a month—for the first year, with penalties applied to late payments. (Not available in some states.)

Gee, Mildred, you sound like some insurance salesman.

That's because I represent the number one provider of low-cost life insurance in the United States. Are you interested in hearing more?

Sorry, Mildred, no. I have life insurance up the wazoo.

Very well, Carl. It's been nice talking to you.

Mildred? Mildred? She's gone. Maybe I should have listened to her sales pitch. Oh well.

Sorry, Carl, but let that be a lesson to all my readers: it's a slippery, shifting landscape out there. Watch your step. Any more questions? No? Then that's it. For now.

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