Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

My Friend Bill: A Fictional Biography

My friend Bill, a Scrabble buddy from Tallahassee, has just finished his doctoral dissertation in mathematics (which, as I understand it, involves mapping in up to nine simultaneous dimensions), and he asked everyone to write an amusing bio for him, since it doesn't really matter what it says. Here's my attempt, which I now share with you, my readers. By the way, if he uses it, I get a copy of the dissertation.


Bill “Norwegian” Wood, who is famous now for his invention of World Peace, is so familiar to readers of Time and Tiger Beat that it’s hard to imagine that only a few years ago he was a simple grad student known mostly for being the first human to survive a direct hit by a comet.

Scholars are divided on when he was born and some have concluded that he may be a legendary figure. All are agreed, however, that he was clearly destined to get a degree in mathematics from the age of three, when he memorized his first Star Trek episode. He was raised in the Transvaal on a mixed terrain of veldt and kopje, and to this day he never goes anywhere without his sjambok—a heavy whip made from the jerkied flesh of a spitting cobra. He is so skilled at its use that he can flick the ash from a cheroot at a distance of six meters. (“But wait!” you may cry. “Cobras rarely exceed two and a half meters in length!” For Bill, they make an exception.) How influential is he? When word got out that his bio was being written, every single letter of the alphabet volunteered to be a part of it.

He speaks Urdu, though not fluently, and knows at least three of the aboriginal “click tongues” which have proven so opaque to lesser adventurers. He is currently translating Riemann’s Theorie der Abel'schen Functionen into Klingon, just in case. Challenge him to Scrabble and you will find yourself days later, broken and weeping, sitting on the floor in your lonely apartment with a half-empty bottle of Wild Turkey and wondering how your life went so horribly wrong. You fool! What were you thinking? He has won already.


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