Friday 5th October
My factotum has returned from visiting every retail store within a 500-mile
radius and come up empty: no American flag. None! The neighbors look askance
at me as though I were no better than a soy-poisoned hippie. The wretch!
I do the only thing one can do in these troublous times, with Death snarling
from every doorway, and put him on a plane to Kabul, where there are apparently
stacks of flags for the taking in the public squares, beside the pile of
marinating effigies. The camera does not lie.
The phone never stopped ringing today, reporters from the big papers asking
for my recollection of the ghastly, vomitous bin Laden, who was a client of
mine back in the 70's when I was a theatrical agent. I only got him one movie,
The In-Laws, (where he delighted audiences with his kissy-kissy hand routine),
but his long conversations between takes with Peter Falk seem to have driven him
batty, and he subsequently left the business. I only heard from him twice after:
a fax asking me whether I believed Mena Suvari's forehead had been cosmetically
enhanced, and another wondering rhetorically whether Tom Wolfe's recurrent use
of the word "arteriosclerotic" in his early pieces had been intended as some
kind of apocalyptic call-to-arms addressed to dispossessed people in the future.
I asked him, via return fax, to kindly direct his questions to the helpful people
at firstname.lastname@example.org and he troubled me no more. I expect he got the answers he
was looking for there.