12/01 Direct Link

We Called Him Skip: The Jarlsburgh Evansvane-Manplanovich van Carsgrovbrattonstepskippovitch Story

The Ball of String Nine: An American Trial

Lumbering Toward the Dance Floor: How I Learned to Lumber

The Bastard Sold Me Brisket!

The Bastard Sold Me Pool Supplies!

The Bastard Sold Me a Nice Rye Bread!

Walt Disney Hated Mice, And Other People Who Hated or Hate Mice

Why Not to Drink Anything Even Approaching a Whole Gallon of Paint

Hoover’s Ticklemen

Is This Contagious, Do You Think?

From Graphing Calculator to Fax Machine: Those Magical Gadgets

Cooking Pasta on the Beach

Dealing with Sandy Pasta

Saltwater Sauce Secrets
12/02 Direct Link
“YOU’RE A kind of brachiosaur, aren’t you?”

— “I am.”

“Which one?”

— “Well, wait. I need to correct you: I’m not a kind of brachiosaur; I’m a kind of ... I’m representative of the family Brachiosauridae, which includes a handful of other similar sauropods. We’re all brachiosaurids.”


— “So...”

“So which kind are you?”

— “What?”

“I mean, you’ve got the long neck…"

— "We’re all brachiosaurids; I don’t understand what you’re asking.”

“Are you —”

— “My species, you mean?”


“B. altithorax.”

“Wouldn’t that be specie? Singular?”

— “'Specie'? No.”

“Isn’t that —”

— “Specie has to do with money or something.”


— “Anyway, whatever; I’m extinct now.”
12/03 Direct Link
DOCENT: This was he.


MOTHER: Cecilphage! Language!

DOCENT: That’s all right, ma’am; he’s suitably impressed.

CECILPHAGE: Why’s it all slucky?

DOCENT: Plastiphere, Presermalax, Forstalline: all rally — here’s the placard — all rally against advanced desiccation, disrepair. He’s remarkably well preserved, all things considered. Born in 19—

CECILPHAGE: Yuckage. I’d shit it.

MOTHER: Cecilphage!

CECILPHAGE: Well hum! Gwandanna see the gifts!

DOCENT: Do you know this man’s story, Cecilphage? Have you infused?

CECILPHAGE: Get my gifts! Get my gifties!

MOTHER: Cecliphage studied this whole wing at the Academy. This one and the aerospace.

CECILPHAGE: And the ‘Gyptians!

MOTHER: Yes, and the Egyptians.

DOCENT: Then he knows — then you know, young Cecliphage — who John Snyder was.
12/04 Direct Link
“GHASTLY! Dinner!”

— “I’m stayin’ out, Ma!”

“We’re having chops!”

— “I’m playin’! We’re in the middle! I’m almost up!”

“He’ll get cold!”

— “Ma! I’m in the middle!”

“Don’t stay out too long. Five minutes! Did you hear me? Ghastly? Ghastly!”

— “Yes! I heard you!”

“Five minutes!”

+ “Is he coming in?”

“I gave him five minutes; we can start.”

+ “No, you called him in; it’s time to come in.”

“He’s with his friends.”

+ “He talked back?”


“I want him to respect you. He needs to respect you.”

+ “He’s playing a game.”

> “I go out too?”

“Eat, Spiteful.”
12/05 Direct Link

— “I can’t tell.”

“You like three, four, or five?”

+ “Lou...”

“I’m asking if she likes three, four, or five.”

— “I can’t discern any difference.”

“That’s OK, ma’am. Three and five, step forward.”

+ “Lou...”

“Number three, read the card.”

> “Uh. 'The implicit function theo...theorem? is closely related to the inverse function theorem, which states,' uh...”

“That’s enough.”

+ “Anything, ma’am?”

— “Number five. Might he read it?”

“Number five, read the card.”

= “'Le théorème des fonctions implicites est étroitement liée à la fonction théorème inverse, qui précise quand une fonction ressemble graphiques de—'”

— “That’s him! That’s him!”

“Number five...”

= “Merde!”
12/06 Direct Link
“DOCTOR Tabby.”

— “Yes, Doctor Tom?”

“Begin Phase One.”

— “Acknowledged: Interlock hot; safeties hot.”

“Doctor Patches, are you reading this?”

+ “We have the feed, Doctor Tom.”

“Doctor Jingle Bell, stand by on intermix.”

> “Standing by.”

“In three, two, one; feed intermix.”

> “Feeding.”

“Good numbers, good numbers, Doctor Jingle Bell. Send it all.”

> “Confirm?”

“Confirmed. Send it all: full cycle.”

> “Roger. Sending.”

“How are my levels, Doctor Tabby?”

— “All nominal. It’s working.”

“Secure for Phase Two. Let me know if anything changes.”

— “Roger.”

“Doctor Purrcy, this is Tom. Say go/no-go?”

= “We are go, Doctor Tom. It’s your show.”

“Mouse me."
12/07 Direct Link
“AND THIS is Mr. Gary Bruce Bucketofish.”

— “Hello.”

+ “Pleased to meet you. I’ve heard a lot of encouraging things about you.”

— “Th-thank you. I’m sorry, ‘Bucket of fish’?”

+ “Yes?”

— “Oh. No, I...”

“And now you must meet Kitty Littrobox, our principal benefactor.”

> “Chahmed.”

— “Ms...?”

> “Littrobox. But you must call me Kitty; I insist.”

— “Kitty.”

> “We’re all very excited to have you join the project! Samuel says you’re tops, absolutely tops in your field!”

— “Well, I...”

“Come, this way; Kitty, I’m stealing him away.”

> “Do see me after! I have a million questions.”

— “I … I will.”

“Come, Puppytalle, this way.”
12/08 Direct Link
— one thing I don’t understand: If you had the gemstone the whole time, then what was that business with the contessa?”

“Ah, you noticed that.”

“I did. Was it a ruse? To draw out Inspector Villaine?”

“Perhaps it started that way. But you know, I cracked the case back on page 15.”

“Yes? I grant that.”

“So the contessa... Ah, but a good magician does not reveal his secrets.”

“A red herring, then.”

“The contessa was a kind of planet-devouring subspace entity. More than that I cannot say.”

“She had nothing to do with the plot?”

“Not ours, no.”
12/09 Direct Link
“NOW THIS MAN Roygler. Damn him. Damn him!”

— “We’re adjusting. He can’t change much. When we’re done—”

“No! You miss the point. He’s out there, now, crawling around like vermin throughout my timeline.”

— “We’re closing in. We’ll get him.”

“You won’t! Don’t you see? Even if you had him here now, in chains and... and... the damage is done. I look out at it...”

— “Forgive me, but you overreact.”

“I? Overreact? Parsimon, this crime comes of my lavish magnanimity: to you. This posting was a favor to you. This betrayal...”

— “Yes.”

“Fix it. Bring him out of there. Seal it.”
12/10 Direct Link

1. The box of nails.

2. Seventeen and eighty ninety-ninths percent of his allowance.

3. Bobby.

4. Forty-eight trillionths of of forty-nine trillion pizza pies, plus a third of a sixteen-ounce Diet Coke split ninety-nine billion ways.

5. The dog scratches at his fleas, which alarms the cat, which startles the innkeeper, who falls out of bed and bumps his head. It’s like I told the other officer.

6. Frederick Douglass.

7. Full, firm, and pleasantly yielding. Fragrant, too, like jasmine.

8. A trillionth of a suitcase.

9. One foot-pound per dram per three-eighths hectare.

10. Discourage vomiting; seek medical attention.
12/11 Direct Link

— “Tanton Cove.”

“That’s your name?”

— “Yes.”

“Tanton’s the first name?”

— “Yes.”


— “Yes. C-o-v-e.”


— “Cove. C-o—”

“I know how to spell it.”

— “Oh.”

“These yours?”

— “Yes.

“Let me see. Wristwatch. Notebook and pencil. U.S. currency: three dollars, eighty-eight cents. What’s this?”

— “Ball bearing.”

“A what?”

— “A ball bearing.”

“What’s it for?”

— “Just to have.”

“You keep a ball bearing in your pocket?”

— “Sometimes.”

“You can’t keep this.”

— “OK.”

“You’re voluntarily surrendering the ball bearing?”

— “Yes.”

“Sign here. Initial that. Here. This is your receipt. Initial this. Next.”
12/12 Direct Link
Let’ see if I can type thi with my eyes closed.

I need to start each line by looking at th keyboard.

So far soo good; did I get the semicolon?

I did! O tota;;y mailed tjhe se,ocolon!

Agh, It would help if I were seated at my desk. This slumoing on the couch business is bad for my form.

Wow, just two errors there!

So anyway... “It was a dark and stormy night.”

I love typing. I love the phusicl feeling of it. I “air type” just to feel better some times. Soothes me.

[Looking]: That’s it.
12/13 Direct Link
STANDARD: In 2006 you posted a critique of what you called “the latent excess of Saudi diplomacy.” What did you mean by that?

SNYDER: You’re asking now?

STANDARD: It just came to our attention.

SNYDER: Well, this was a fragment I imagined about 30 seconds ago and wrote above. It means nothing. No, I suppose to be fair, it is meant to invoke a kind of concern for Bush-era geopolitics; you know, of the War on Terror era.

STANDARD: Are we no longer in that era?

SNYDER: I would say not. I suppose this is the Obama age: drones.
12/14 Direct Link
PINECONE QUARTERLY: If we are chipmunks, then what kind of chipmunks are we? That is, what variety? What are our habits: in what habitat?

SNYDER: I would say you are small, striped rodents of the family Sciuridae. All species of chipmunks are found in North America, with the exception of the Siberian chipmunk, which is found in Asia.

PQ: This is Wikipedia.

SNYDER: Yes. Genus classifications are arbitrary in this case, but studies of mitochondrial DNA show that the divergence between each of the three chipmunk groups is comparable to the genetic dissimilarity between Marmota and Spermophilus.

PQ: Amazing!

SNYDER: [Sneezes.]
12/15 Direct Link
NIGHTMARE REVIEW: Is fear enough? Let me... let me rephrase that. What frightens you?

SNYDER: In... when I’m asleep?

NR: Awake, asleep. Do you distinguish?

SNYDER: I do: When I’m awake, I suppose I’m susceptible to a sort of more uniform kind of fright. Not uniform, but a conventionality of the experience: a rabid dog, a skirling sound in the dark, uh...

NR: And asleep?

SNYDER: Well, if I might, I wanted to add “a strange escalation in argument.” Like when you just want the other person to stop, you know, but she won’t, she won’t.

NR: A good one.
12/16 Direct Link
INTERNAL ORGAN QUARTERLY: You don’t give many interviews these days. You seemed to stop in 1988.

SNYDER: My publisher grieves with you.

IOQ: Why now? And why haven’t you?

SNYDER: [Long pause.] What I have to say I say in the hats I wear. I trust that. I ask my audience to trust that, and they do. I’ve been fortunate. My hats are seen all over. I say very little, but I need doff a homburg or a ball cap and I’ve said it all. To speak? To interview? That’s noise.

IOQ: Are you a recluse?

SNYDER: I wear hats.
12/17 Direct Link
SOCIALSPREE: When a Tamara Goof or a Lord Billy-Bob Josprey takes mavens, it’s here to eternity on Mixtape. But not you?


SOCIALSPREE: Link me to a filling cycle: like, something out of like a 3.0 or whatever’s pop rockin’. A 4.0? Can you say?

SNYDER: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

SOCIALSPREE: Where do you junk? What’s tickling for anyone you aspire from?

SNYDER: Is that guy taking my picture?

SOCIALSPREE: Ha! I know, right? Play this: What does it let us do? I know she’s stunning, but...

SNYDER: I'm gonna take off.

12/18 Direct Link
SUBWAY GRATE: What were you like in high school? Who were your friends?

SNYDER: We were called the Twenty-Third Street Whippets. I say were; they still are. I mean, they’re still going strong, relatively.

SUBWAY GRATE: You were in a gang?

SNYDER: I had opinions. You know. I was an opinionated young man. And this gave me a forum.

SUBWAY GRATE: Did you wear a leather jacket? What was gang life like?

SNYDER: I owned a leather jacket. I kept it in the closet, in its box, you know: had the crinkly tissue in it, the whole nine yards.
12/19 Direct Link
NATIONAL CADMIUM SHIPPERS BULLETIN: How long have you been dancing?

SNYDER: Ha! I don’t dance. I’m not a dancer. I wouldn’t call it dancing.

NCSB: You won a 2011 World Dance Award and have just started at San Francisco’s Company C Contemporary Ballet.

SNYDER: That’s true, that’s true. But I don’t dance.

NCSB: I don’t understand. Is this you? [Reads from handout.] “Trained at the Cincinnati Ballet ... supplemented his training at programs at Boston Ballet, The School of American Ballet, Ballet Austin, and Oregon Ballet Theatre...”

SNYDER: I’d rather talk about my taffy: all natural, all delicious.

NCSB: Taffy?

SNYDER: Pardon?
12/20 Direct Link
HOME THEATERIST: You’re in the war. The sand, the cliffs. You’re in the wire; you’re dug in.

JOHN SNYDER: Taking fire.

HT: Yes.

JS: I don’t... Where’s Robbie? He was calling in the...

HT: Not here. Not here. No one knows where... There. He’s down.

JS: I...

HT: Bad guys west, high. I make five or six, unloading .50s, RPG.

JS: Where’d they...

HT: Sand in your eyes.

JS: No, no. Any HDMI cable will do. They’re all the same. It’s just digital.

HT: No air support. What do you do?

JS: I don’t know. I wasn’t trained for this.
12/21 Direct Link
FUTON AFICIONADO: What do you like out of High Point in 2014?

JOHN SNYDER: Ashley has a nice line. Durable hardwoods, the new ThredGrip rags, really plush pile. Their Internet-only list is an affront to God and man, but if you’re looking to build a storefront, I would say Ashley, Pine Crest, SpineBrakke, and Tomlinsonne-Crofftt are all winners.

FA: Any surprises in hassocks this year?

JS: I blogged about SnakeBox. I think they’re the only manufacturer doing anything truly innovative this year, but it’s going to go over the heads of most residential consumers — and that’s your margin.
12/22 Direct Link
AMERICAN LITTERER: No love for tagging? Retna calls it “littering writ vert[ical].”

JOHN SNYDER: All due respect to Retna — I admire his work — but no, it’s not littering. I’m always suspicious when an artist describes his own work, his own craft. Better to listen to the muse, to follow where she leads, and leave reviewing to the reviewers.

AL: Your Starbucks cup sleeve, Van Ness and Bush, fetched $225,000. Do you mind that your work is commodified?

JS: All work, unless you keep it in your studio under lock and key, is commodified to some extent. People want to participate.
12/23 Direct Link
LIBRARY PORN VIEWIST: Have you ever preheated an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, sifted together flour and baking soda, and set this aside?

JOHN SNYDER: Once, in college. This was the mid-nineties, Boulder—

LPV: At the state school?

JS: Yes, not Naropa or anything like that...

LPV: Go on.

JS: And I did: I preheated, all that, and in a large bowl I creamed together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Some friends convinced me to beat in instant pudding mix until blended.

LPV: Wow. Did you stir in eggs and vanilla?

JS: Yes, but the whole thing was political.
12/24 Direct Link
THE ORNAMENTALIST: You’re banned from all Marriott, Hilton, and MGM properties in North America—

JOHN SNYDER: And anything Disney.

TO: And you’re on something called a “no-cruise list.”

JS: That’s right.

TO: No oceangoing cruises? No Love Boat for you?

JS: I’m not welcome.

TO: What is it about your work that these corporations object to? I know you’ve been critical of their holiday decorations...

JS: That’s just it, that’s exactly it, because what’s at stake is big money, billions of dollars in hospitality. And the trees, lights, are just pitiful: dusty and dry. So I point that out.
12/25 Direct Link
AMERICAN ABUTTER: Let’s talk easements.


AA: A hypothetical: guy wakes up, drinks his coffee, reads his paper, and there’s a knock at the door. Answers the knock, finds a note in his mailbox.

JS: I’m with you.

AA: Reads what’s inside. Says there the town wants easements: drainage, water line, electrical, sewer, public road, and private access.

JS: Jesus.

AA: All co-located, to keep it simple. Now, you know as fee simple owner that your most reliable source for the rights and appurtenances is the operative records...

JS: I’m the owner?

AA: Yeah.

JS: They’re missing.
12/26 Direct Link
REFUGEE STYLE: You’ve a large family.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, we’re a big bunch. Lots of little kids to keep track of these days.

RS: How many brothers have you?

JS: Five surviving. I also have four sisters. I’ve taken them in. Well, two of them whose husbands were killed.

RS: Their husbands had no families?

JS: I don’t stand on ceremony. Everybody’s welcome to whatever I have. It’s like, what comes around goes around.

RS: That helps explain your standing.

JS: Thanks. You know, life is so short, so damn short. Why not open the door? Why wait to live?
12/27 Direct Link
NEW ENGLAND YOGA LOATHER: What nursery rhymes did you listen to as a baby?

JOHN SNYDER: Oh, God, so many. We always had rhymes going. Mom was huge into nursery rhymes: "Tigers in the Turnips," "Tennessee Bump-De-Bump," "Six Little Lizards (On Their Way to Jericho)." You’d see this light in her eyes; she was never happier than when rhyming, and I ate it up.

NEYL: And as a toddler?

JS: My tastes are informed to this day by "Itchy-Gitchy Overalls." To me, that’s childhood. We grow, we leave innocence behind, but I am all about those overalls.
12/28 Direct Link
JOURNAL OF THE DISGRACED GEOLOGIST: That Helena Bonham Carter is a good actress. You like her stuff?

JOHN SNYDER: What was she in?

JOTDG: “A Room with a View,” “Fight Club,” “The King's Speech.”

JS: Right, right. “Harry Potter,” too, she had a role.

JOTDG: She’s a great dramatic actress.

JS: Yeah, yeah. “Fight Club”: She was the girlfriend.

JOTDG: Her partner is Tim Burton.

JS: I never put that together! “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Sweeney Todd.” Yeah, that makes sense.

JOTDG: Where do you stand on Obamacare?

JS: They just ran a big thing about Tim Burton in the Times.
12/29 Direct Link
SHITTILY TRANSCRIBED AND EDITED INTERVIEW NOTES MAGAZINE: What’s the ollny thing you got to sowrru about? Is this day-age, I mean?

OHN SNYDER: I don’t worry to much. ometimes I worr about other things, not a lit of things like yo mean.

MAG: [?] others in oury field make {the point/] “World easier s/b easy if start out activism.” Agree?

JS: [laugh] Not really. Maeke my way n wowrld as best I can not.... find other way like othser peiole,. The word is the best we can make it day2day so if make mustakes rreach out [Quotes Clintom 1997]
12/30 Direct Link
MELTING BUTTER MAGAZINE: Squishy-dishy goo and a mishy-dishy you. Pop a toast and schlip, schlip, schlip! Mmm.

JOHN SNYDER: Absolutely. I agree with that, and I’ve fought for that, and I wish more people understood that. In my book I argue that’s the defining issue of the decade, even over the NSA/surveillance state scandal.

MB: Salty warm pool to every nook of Granny, slightly hydrogenated. Warm and wet, nibbling the crusts?

JS: Sure. That’s how they do it in every other developed nation. It doesn’t matter that we’ve lacked the napkins. Start today; invest in them today.
12/31 Direct Link
SMASHED WORLD KIDS! What’s left of Scholastic just published your third “Lamentation” novel, “Barry Lamentation and the Search for Potable Water,” and the reviews are glowing. This is when we finally meet Barry’s teddy bear, only alluded to in books one and two, and its discovery opens the door to greater mysteries.

JOHN SNYDER: We all know from real-world foraging — for food, fuel, medicine — that often it’s the littlest things we miss the most: a kind word; a soft, non-infected object from youth. I like what Barry does with the bear at the end of the book. It’s universal.