Reader’s Question (Tom K.): I’m addressing this to Sam Harper, the irascible small-town editor of the Patriot Newspaper in the book, Playing on the Black Keys. With all due respect, Mr. Harper, you seem like a kind of a short, dumpy, pain-in-the ass throughout most of the book. How did you manage to snag Delta, who is obviously taller, prettier, probably smarter, friendlier…well you get the idea.
Delta (interrupting) “If you don’t mind, I think it’s appropriate if I answer this question. Is Sam shorter? Yes, he is. Am I smarter? Of course. Am I better-looking? I think most people would say so.”
Sam Harper: “I thought you were coming to my defense.”
Delta (smiling) “The answer to your question is this. When you are around Sam, it is never boring. I have no idea what’s going to happen next and I like that. The fact that I’m superior in every way, allows me to use my maternal and nurturing instincts.”
Aaron T.: Uhmmm, this is for Delta: “You seem to like martinis…
Delta: “That’s your question? You read the whole book which delves into Zen and hometown philosophy, flying, the pros and cons of euthanasia and that’s the best you could come up with?” (Delta takes a moment.) Yes, all right. Fine. In martinis…veritas. I keep my vodka and my glasses in the freezer, my vermouth in the fridge and there’s none of that shaking them with ice bullshit which dilutes them. My martinis will kill lesser people.”
Aaron T: (takes a moment) Okay… This is for Sam.
Sam: “You’ve just been demoted, Aaron. You can call me Mr. Harper.”
Aaron T: Mr. Harper, I can imagine the communication…rather one-sided I’d think, between the writer and the character. But what about the character communicating with the writer?
Sam (pauses). “You’re a smart-ass aren’t ya? But, okay, let me give it a shot. Did you ever see the old sci-fi movie, Forbidden Planet? It’s good, one of my favorites. Anyway… there’s this robot on the planet that the mad Dr. Morbius has created. It’s a powerful and sophisticated robot, but at the end of the movie when Morbius commands the robot to kill the invisible monster that’s killing everyone…he can’t…and the reason he can’t is that he knows deep inside his little robot brain, that the monster is really a monster generated from Morbius’s mind…his id. Because of this, he sort of goes tilt and starts smoking. His circuits are frying.
“…Having said that, there are, indeed, serious honest to goodness moments when the big boss puts words in my mouth or makes me do something that’s bullshit…and I just won’t do it. I kinda go on strike…and the boss can’t write when I know he’s writing bullshit. It’s my one little control. Does that make any sense to ya?”
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