The Corner

Derb in The Land of Mordor

This is being written Wednesday evening in Berkeley, where my publisher has

put me up in a crack house on Durant Avenue. In the last 4 blocks driving

here (to be fair, they have also given me a v. nice rental car–Buick

Century, brand new, Mmmmm) I saw TWO police incidents, I mean perps (a)

actually being, and (b) just having been apprehended. I had forgotten, but

today have been vividly reminded, that the Bay Area is the lowlife capital of

the world. Around the beautiful new Asian Arts center I went to see this

afternoon, you have to weave your way through a sort of honor guard of

drooling, shouting, stinking winos just to get in. Fortunately no lowlifes

showed up at my lunchtime signing, it was another very intelligent & good

natured crowd. Thanks to all for coming. I am developing quite a routine at

these affairs–a shtick, I think it’s called. My best laugh line: when

someone in the audience asks me what the odds are on the Riemann Hypothesis

being resolved any time soon, I say: “I wouldn’t bet money on it, even if I

were a gambling man… Which, of course, as a Republican, I am not.”

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