“Dear Derb—What on earth am I hearing in the background? It sounds like a
clothes dryer with a pair of wet sneakers in it.”
Yeah, sorry. For technical reasons the snippets were read in by phone from my
study. I was doing this just at the hour when battalions of Aztecs swarm
over my neighbors’ gardens with 800-horsepower lawnmowers and leaf blowers
rigged up from reconditioned Boeing 747 engines. Noise-reduction software
can only do so much.