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The Fill-in-the-Blank, See the Crab, and Say Goodbye Post

February 9th, 2007

I've spent four days running off at the mouth about writing. Maybe it's time to talk about something else. And by talk, I mean, I say things, and you say things too. That's why there's a comments thread below. So here's five non-writing fill-in-the-blank statements. I'll provide my answers. You provide yours.

1. If I could download a new skill straight to my brain, it would be: how to play guitar. You will, by the way, be able to download that skill and others, directly to your gray matter from the iTunes store, for .99 per new ability, by the year 2016. Unfortunately, radical DRM will prevent you from then teaching or sharing your new skills to anyone else. So while you may be able to download the ability to throw the Roger Clemens splitter, if you try and show your kid how to do it, your arm will go haywire, and you'll wind up chucking the ball into your kid's head.

2. If you could scrub any one song out of existence and all human memory it would be: "Tom Sawyer" — Rush. I wouldn't last long at 'Gitmo. All they'd have to do is strap me down and make me listen to Moving Pictures, I'd tell ‘em anything, anything at all.

3. If you were stuck in any one cartoon it would be: God, it would be hell, wouldn't it? Bugs Bunny? You'd constantly have sticks of dynamite going off in your face. Scooby Doo? You'd always be running in terror from the haunted mall, the haunted water park, the haunted outhouse, never adapting to the idea that it's always a guy in a rubber mask. I guess I'd pick Avatar. Because at the very least, it would be fun to soar around on a flying water buffalo.

4. One place I used to go that doesn't exist anymore that I miss is: Pilot's Grill in Bangor, Maine, because they made a lobster stew that was basically the best eating in the world. Pilot's Grill has been closed a few years now. Truthfully, I guess I miss the soup more than I miss the place.

5. The technological leap I most want to see is: Self-building Legos for the truly lazy child. I'd also someday like to buy a can of Spray-On No-Mess Life.

Those are my answers, now it's your turn (if your thoughts wind up getting too long for the comments thread, there's also my message board).

And... and... and that's it. I have nothing else left to say, so instead of boring the hell out of you for another couple hundred words, I thought I would show you this picture of me holding a crab:

Thanks for reading my posts, and my thanks to everyone at Powell's for having me! It's been a blast!

Books mentioned in this post

  1. Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel
    Used Hardcover $8.50

Joe Hill is the author of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

17 Responses to "The Fill-in-the-Blank, See the Crab, and Say Goodbye Post"

    Bones February 9th, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    That's one sweet ass crab you got there! Sure like to catch me a case of that crab.

    Bones February 9th, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Spin around, I wanna see that crabs ass!

    Dana Jean February 9th, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    1. I wish I could write good...or is it well? No, it's good...Maybe I should use the word--better. Aw hell. See what I mean?
    2. Paul McCartney's--Someone's Knocking at the Door.(I'll knock your Beatle ass into next week if I have to hear that one again.)
    3. Pinky and the Brain.(Only I might get to play the recurring role of a girl named Simone who cleans up mouse turds. 4. A clean room in my house. Which leads to...
    5. A self-cleaning house.

    Now, here's a picture of me WITH crabs.

    Just kidding.

    Dana Jean February 9th, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    And, although I like your picture with the crab, I would like to point out--No smile. You still have that serious Author Face happening even while catching crabs.

    I would like to see a picture of you smiling. Unless of course you only have one big rotten, gross, snaggle chopper. If that's the case, you have my permission to keep looking very serious.

    Dana Jean February 9th, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    Wait a minute...

    You owe us a cat story.

    susan February 9th, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    1. New skill to download direct: Macromedia Flash 8 expertise--or even how to begin.

    2. Bobby Goldsboro's "Honey." "Hugged my neck" bugs the hell out of me.

    3. Cartoon--Does Moore's "Watchmen" count?

    4. Place missed? The old version of Jimmy's in Savin Rock (West Haven, CT)

    5. I'd like to see cars that can run on solar power and that only cost $15,000 to purchase. Actually, make that $10,000.

    Angie February 9th, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    1. I've always wanted to learn to play the sitar.

    2. I don't like "Tom Sawyer" either, but I'll have to go with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." Bleh. I can't stand that song. Pure torture to the ears.

    3. South Park. It'd be good for a laugh, mmmkay?

    4. Can't think of anywhere, really.

    5. Money that grows on trees...that could be a technology/gardening/financial mix. That, or else lightning fast downloads.

    Nerak February 10th, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Let's see
    1: I would love to play the piano at concert level. Always loved the sound of it.
    2: Electric Slide...do I need to say more?
    3: Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends! "I Like Chocolate Milk!"
    4: I can't remember the name of it, but it was a rest. in Lincoln near Clark's Trading Post (it was in an old railroad car) and they made the BEST breakfast! It's been closed for quite sometiem, but I still miss it.
    5: A chip that could be implanted into a child's brain that could turn the volume down when they get too loud. (with mine, it happens often).

    SO, there you go.

    And the pic with the crab....interesting! LOL

    Catherine February 11th, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    1.the ability to split into about 6 people and have more time to try all the things I'd like to.
    2."Don't worry...Be Happy" -if there's a hell...never mind, I'll try to be better, I promise!
    3.Anything with TweetyPie -unless I could arrange for Sylvester to finally swallow the little Git for good -in that case, lemme in there.
    4.The Cellar -the old factory that was a rockin' teen club with bands you wouldn't believe when I was a kid -the first place I saw Howlin' Wolf live for one thing.
    5. This is purely selfish, but I'd like to make the jump to hyperspace just once, even if they had to wheel me onto the ship.
    Thanks for the great blog Joe -and thanks to Powell's for asking you. Looking forward to the book -by the way, where/when does the heart-shaped box come in???

    Barry Wood February 11th, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    A photo is worth a thousand words.

    John February 15th, 2007 at 9:47 am

    Yes! I wanna, wanna, wanna download the ability to play guitar like virtually anyone featured at the Eric Clapton CROSSROADS Guitar festival - and then I wanna make a decent living at it. Is that too much to ask? Actually, I'd settle for being able to build a guitar worthy of being played by anyone on that venue, which should also provide a decent living, but, as i suspect any luthier worth his/her salt would tell you, if you can't play one, you probably can't build one. Does anyone but me think that Billy Gibbons is under appreciated? Am I the only one brought to tears by Two Thousand Blues?(ok, just once, while in a highly emotional state)

    I've never liked "fussy" foods. Any of those things that, to me, are just not worth the trouble - like artichokes(okay, the pickled hearts in those little jars are worth opening the jar). Having grown up in Kansas, I used to think that crab must fall into that category, until I had fresh dungeness(sp?) crab. ok, i can't at this moment recall how to spell it, but I definitely recall that it's worth the effort to eat it. And Sturgeon - oh-my-dog! how can anything that's such a dinosaur-dork-fish be that tasty?!?...ooops, again the digressing.......

    Janice February 17th, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    1. I'd love to be able to paint - but I'm hopeless. It's a sad fact that my nine-year old niece is a better artist than I am. Then again, I kick her butt at Scrabble. So I guess it all works out in the end.
    2. It's a tossup between 'The Macarena' and 'Achy-Breaky Heart'. In general, any song that has an accompanying dance must be eliminated.
    3. Jem. Remember Jem? And there's a simple answer for why. She's truly outrageous. Truly. Truly. Truly outrageous. ya gotta love nostalgia.
    4. I've always had a morbid fascination with places that were abandoned hastily. For example, as a teen I lived out in the country, and I'd go exploring. Nearby there was this house, all ramshackle and forlorn, bordered on all sides by large NO TRESPASSING signs. What more invitation did I need? Upon entering the house I discovered dinner still waiting on the kitchen table and the furniture all in its proper place as if the house was still waiting for its owners, even though animals made their dens within the couch's stuffing and time and weather had rendered the a disaster area. I always wondered what happened to make people leave so quickly, and why no one ever ransacked the house. Years later I returned to find it had burned to the ground with no witnesses, no write-up in the paper. It was destroyed just as anonymously as it had existed.
    5. A zombie vaccine. Go ahead and laugh at the crazy girl - but I'm tellin' ya, they exist.
    And for the record, a self-cleaning house already exists in Portland, Oregon. Check out Chuck Palahnuik's book "Fugitives and Refugees'.

    Mike Coty February 25th, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    1. Guitar or keyboards would be great also a spell check program would be useful as well as several other languages.
    2.Happy Birthday! Then we would never get any older right?
    3.Yellow Submarine. It would definately not be boring.
    5.My grandparents or other relatives and friends from my childhood who have moved residences or moved on.I miss them all.
    6.Eliminate all weapons and have cars,home heating ,motorized devices run on water or with thought waves.

    lynne March 2nd, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    1.auto mechanics.how awesome would that be!my husband and i have 2 kids...we all have a jeep...another jeep, aptly named "the beast" exclusively for 4 wheeling on the beach and a 4 wheel drive camper for camping on the beach.i could have some extra dough for books to read on the beach... while avoiding crabs(of all sorts.)
    2. disco duck......need i say more?
    3.toy story.i always dreamed of my toys coming to life...especially at night....sometimes i freaked my self out thinking that an old broken,long forgotten,toy hidden in the dust covered fur balls under my bed would come out and grab my ankle .....while he was holding another poor dead turtle that had escaped from his bowl with the little island that tiny palm tree on it...geez...ill never sleep tonite.

    lynne March 2nd, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    thought you were done with me huh....
    4.weymouth fairgrounds,south weymouth ma.
    the fair was just down the end of our road , a hop skip and a jump over a stream ,by the name of swamp river,just had to cross over the horse tracks...and we were in another world filled with carny folk,fried dough,rides,fortune tellers,drunks,demolision derbys,money for anything we wanted to do ,when the folks won on the horse races,lovin spoonful on stage...best people watching on the planet...we lived so close that we would lie in our backyard at night when the fireworks were lit watching them explode over our heads.we had to put out a fire or two when a big chunk landed on the lawn. the whole extended family in the area would take that week off to attend...we kids pretty much had the run of things seeing as the adults were parting hard! oh, the lessons we kids learned ! the flashbacks are arriving! to be continued........

    lynne March 2nd, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    5.how about cars that fix themselves?!!
    that would be the balls!
    then i could change my answer to question #1 to the ability to cure anything i wanted to.
    how pissa would that be?!
    the only catch would be that the cured one would have to learn the curin' and would in turn , go out and cure someone else. a new twist to "what goes around comes around".
    if your gonna dream....dream big.

    Cheherzad March 4th, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    1.New skill: I would speak fluent Spanish. (Do I only get one? If not, I'll be greedy and include Japanese, French and Farsi)
    2. Scrub Happy Birthday. It's illegal everytime it is sung publically without permission, so why not creak our gray matter and come up with something new?
    3. Cartoon: Alice in Wonderland. It really isn't that much different from life.
    4. A place no longer in existence: There was this great Mexican restaurant called Ashley's when I was a kid in Long Beach, they served outstanding guacamole tacos with sweet cabbage. Alas, no more.
    5. Tech breakthrough. I would like to be able to transport myself (and others) through space through telepathy. When I taught middle school and kids were especially obnoxious, I always dreamed of being able to magically lift them from their seats and leave them suspended above the class for a few enlightening moments.

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