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!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

R.I.P., Humbert Z.

It's no secret that, back in college, I was heavily into role-playing games. What may not be generally known is that I didn't like Dungeons and Dragons---I much preferred a superhero game called Champions. This brings me to a very silly story that I don't think I've told before. It'll only take a few sentences.

One night, in one of our player's dorm rooms, one of our wackier members had just made a new hero and when I asked, "What's his secret identity?" he turned to a Tucson phone book, opened it at random, jabbed his index finger down and read, "Julian Mason."

We were all very impressed, and so we all decided to rename our heroes for the hell of it. The next guy who tried it flipped further to the end, stabbed his finger, and declared, "Alex Strong." We couldn't believe it, but there it was. He'd found a keeper almost completely at random. (I assume "almost" because the next name was "Alexandra," so I suppose he may have shifted a little.)

So then--as if his life were a setup to an actual joke--a third friend of ours (who played a Captain America-type patriotic hero named Captain Steele) flipped even FURTHER to the back, dropped his finger, and read, "Uh, Humbert Zumudio."

After that, no one wanted to risk it. But since then, the name "Humbert Zumudio" has been my default name anytime I'm called upon to make up a silly persona for some reason. And I tracked Humbert over the next few phone books---he lived in Green Valley, which meant he was probably a retiree---and he vanished, presumably forever, in 1989.

I mention this now because a friend of mine proffered this name-meme, and according to the site's wordlist, no one named Humbert Zumudio exists anywhere in the U.S.!

Not true! A small group of role-playing geeks does remember you, Humbert. Don't let the onomastics Nazis get you down.



Blogger Jason Rohrblogger said...

I did the name meme, too. Apparently I don't exist either...

10/17/2006 11:57 AM  

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