Jack Pendarvis, “Lumber Land”

your-bodyDudley Durden, aged 50, and his boss, Lombard Cuff III, go on a stakeout.

(from Your Body Is Changing)

Dud was sitting in his house, thinking about how embarrassing it would be to die there. He imagined some ambulance driver carefully picking his way through the squalor so as not to contract tetanus and saying something like, “Pee-yew! No wonder he died! What a dump!” and so on. Ambulance drivers and others acquainted with death on a daily basis were known to make just such sarcastic quips on supposedly solemn occasions.

I smiled the whole way through this story, a long story, on my couch alone. I kind of know Jack Pendarvis (mostly on Twitter) and he’s funny as shit so I pictured him as Dudley Durden even though he’s clearly not Dudley Durden, who is constantly thinking about The New Yorker and how they must look at some guy from Alabama–’Oh wait, this guy’s from Alabama. No way we’re cutting HIM a break. What does some JERK from Alabama know about MIMES? Only us sophisticated so-called New Yorkers are sophisticated enough to understand MIMES.’ These few instances do not do the story justice, though. In any way. They seem sad taken out of context, really, like I am fucking with the world of Dudley Durden.

Check out Jack’s blog and follow him on Twitter because he will crack you up and you will thank me. Do you have McSweeney’s 20? The real pretty one sitting on your bookshelf? It’s in there.

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