Last night I tried to write TWO things but neither of them worked out. Why did they not work out? I don't know, but I spent over two hours writing these things and when I read back over them they were awful, so I killed them both.
The first one was about a book I finished yesterday. The book was Herzog by a guy called Saul Bellow. I had never read anything by him and only chose this book because the title reminded me of that great documentary Grizzly Man that I saw recently, that was made by Werner Herzog. Well, this book was not about Werner Herzog but a man called Moses Herzog whose wife has left him for his best friend. Because of that, he goes a bit wacky and starts writing letters to all kinds of people, people he knows and people he doesn't know. But he doesn't send any of these letters, only writes them all in a big notebook he carries around.
The book was very good. Herzog was a likeable guy. Imagine your wife going off with your best friend! I also learned an excellent word: Trepverter, which is Yiddish for "retorts that came too late, like when you are already going down the stairs." I like that word because that seems to happen to me all the time. I am slow that way. Probably why I like writing - you have all the time in the world to come up with a line, ha ha.
The second thing I tried to write last night was about Ramadan. Every year for a whole month the Muslims don't eat or smoke cigarettes during the day, only after the sun goes down. (I wonder if they are also forbidden to blow themselves up in crowded places?) Anyway, I knew about that, but what I didn't know (heard this on the radio) was that during Ramadan they are also forbidden to say anything bad about somebody else. A real challenge! Then I thought about it in terms of bloggers, a great many of whom it is their bread and butter, to put it one way, to say (that is, to write) bad things about people. What would these bloggers have if for a month they could only write nice things about other people? A month of silence, probably. Ha ha. But what about me? Well, I wouldn't be allowed to do a Survey of Some Recent Blogs for that month, because that is IMPOSSIBLE to do without saying bad things about people. I'd also have to neglect my audience reports when I wrote about a movie I saw.
Anyway, today I was at the Turkish pizza place and was talking to the lady there. She is Muslim and she made some comment about Ramadan. I said you must be pretty hungry by the time the sun goes down and she grimaced, nodding her head. Then I told her what I heard on the radio, that it was also forbidden to say bad things about people. She hesitated for a second before admitting that it was impossible. She still said bad things about people during Ramadan. Who could stop doing that for a whole month?