Recycled and blogified (Everything But the Oink) emails to friends.
Dear L: My good friend and constant traveling companion of the last 35 years, David Ehrenstein, is a fairly well-known writer, but also still struggling to some extent (though he did turn down an appearance on Bill O'Reilley the other day) . One time we were even reduced to rolling pennies to rent a tux for an appearance by him on the Merv Griffin show. But that is another story.
Cut to: About eight years ago, we were again back to rolling pennies and just then the fax machine went off, offering David a somewhat huge advance for a book that he had pitched only 48 hours earlier, "Open Secret." Just then the downstairs door opened. It was David, and I stood there looking down with a fax in my hand, waving it at him, and shouting, "Tara is saved.!!!!"
We got the money, he then immediately had an aneurysm, and went into intensive care. That was the day I was laid off from my job as a film researcher [cue three fast choruses of "Hearts and Flowers"]. I was eventually hired back.
The advance now somewhat less huge---diminished by agent's fee, etc---was in his account and he was in a semi-coma and there was not so much as a Coke on the place.
I needed money badly, but everytime I would ask him for his Redi-Teller (i.e., I date myself) code, he would mumble something else. I have never figured out whether he was delirious, or else, like George Costanza in that episode of "Seinfeld" where he wouldn't give his password to his fiancee Susan, and then there was a fire in the locked antechamber where the ATM was and someone nearly died---"DOES ANYONE have a password?"---because George still would not give it up. Finally, David told me so many different wrong passwords that the machine refused to even take any more incorrect codes: "Step AWAY from the ATM."
Eventually he came home from the hospital, and wrote his book. The End
As your reward for sitting through this tsuris-strewn saga, here's your EBTO Disc o' the Day---mp3 link for a limited time only---by (in tones of hushed reverence) Irene Kral