Sunday, June 10, 2007

what’s new

Every so often I’d wonder if Dishwasher Pete had put out a new issue of his Dishwasher zine. I hadn’t for a long time seen one at Comic Relief, which is where I’d picked up the last few issues. So I was delighted to learn a couple weeks back that he’s got a book out. It’s from one of those big New York publishers that he would sometimes mock in the zine. I found Dishwasher the book in the little bookshop near Northgate.

Usually a book comes home and joins a pile, a read-it-soon pile sometimes, too often a someday pile. I’m reading Dishwasher now.

When I bought the book the clerk asked me if I was a TAL follower. When I looked puzzled, he said, “This American Life.” Oh yeah. The public radio program. I like TAL. But I mostly forget it exists. And, I don’t know, much as I like it, there’s something about committing yourself to listening to somebody play out a story for you … it’s … I don’t make an appointment for radio. So Dishwasher Pete has done stories for TAL and the book includes some of those, apparently. And it includes writing he did for the zine. I now know his last name: Jordan. Dishwasher Pete never signed his last name. Pete will be in Oakland on Monday at A Great Good Place for Books. (Check his schedule of events to see when he will be in your town.)

While I was browsing the bookstore I came across a mini-comic, Service Industry by T. Edward Bak, and saw the protagonist worked as a dishwasher, so I bought that, too.

I worked as a dishwasher once. I hated it. One day when I showed up to work I found somebody else doing my job. The boss didn’t have the courtesy to call me up and tell me not to come in. Walking out, furious, I kept telling myself, “You hate that job, Glenn. You hate that job. Be glad you don’t have to do it anymore.”

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