Saturday, September 26, 2009

Joe College by Tom Perrotta (St Martin's Griffin 2000)


Only Howard Friedlin seemed oblivious to the now-public drama of my love life. He was too busy glowering at the copy of Reality he'd unearthed from the bottom of the coffee-table pile.
"What about Max?" Mrs. Friedlin asked. "Does he have a girlfriend too?"
Before I could answer, Mr. Friedlin raised the magazine like a kindergartner at show-and-tell. He tapped his index finger against the cover photo of the mangy constipated dog, hunched and grimacing.
"What the hell is this?" he demanded.
"A literary magazine," Sang replied cheerfully. "Danny here is one of the editors."
Mr. Friedlin gave me a look of incomprehension worthy of my own father.
"Did you intend it as some kind of statement?" He pronounced his last word with genuine distaste, as if we all knew about statements.
"It is what it is," I informed him, grinning like an idiot. I felt positively giddy. Polly wanted to sleep with me. She'd said so over the phone. "It's just reality."
"Why don't you just photograph some dog shit?" he asked. "That's part of reality, too."
"They're saving that for the spring issue," Ted explained helpfully.

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