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!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Six Nuns and a Shotgun: A Dave Fun Quiz

I was at a consignment shop in Jersey City this past weekend, and I could have gotten this...

Or this...

But instead, for a mere $2.50, I got this:

I bought it, as you might expect, for the title, which has to be one of the best I've ever seen. But as it turns out, the book is actually quite amusingly written--a sort of British drawing-room murder mystery (from 1974) where all the different classes clash with each other and say withering things over poisoned sherry. No nuns so far--just a telegram promising them--but there's been plenty to hold my interest, and I have no doubt the nuns, and the shotgun, will appear in a few chapters. The author clearly knows his business.

I immediately hunted down more information, but this fan article is all I've found--which is nice, but hardly answers all my questions. If anyone knows more about this guy, let me know. He seems like a kindred spirit.

The mere title alone has inspired me to write a book of my own with a similar title, out of homage. (I tend to start with titles.) But when I do something like this, I like to make sure I maximize its wordplay potential. This title in particular looks ripe for a letter bank. Even without a number, for example, NUNS AND A SHOTGUN reduce down to STAGHOUND-- a move from 15 letters to 9, which is quite respectable. But SIX NUNS AND A SHOTGUN add an I and an X to the mix and produces nothing at all, letter-bankwise.

My question is this: What number, between zero and one hundred, is the best number of nuns for my book if I want it to have the most impressive letter-bank possibilities?

The answer is in comments. It is, however, not for the squeamish.


Blogger Cowboy Dave Dickerson said...

The answer is EIGHTY-EIGHT NUNS AND A SHOTGUN, which goes down to HYDATIGENOUS. From 26 to 12. Quite impressive!

"But Dave! What does 'hydatigenous' mean?" You'll be sorry you asked. Hydatigenous means "bearing, or tending to produce, hydatids." A hydatid, in turn, is the larval form of a tapeworm found in the intestines of dogs. If you have a New International Second Edition Unabridged Dictionary handy, they even give you an illustration.

The important thing is that, now that I know, I'm pretty sure I won't be writing the book. That's just way too many characters to develop, and by the time I'd felled nun number sixty, the reader might stop caring.

7/16/2008 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A remarkably good fit. The jackets, I mean. or perhaps too 'quirky'.
88 nuns and a machine gun?

7/19/2008 12:50 PM  

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