Friday, February 25, 2005

I Am The Underminer 

After listening to Mike Albo perform a bit from his new book The Underminer at Lindsay's Ritalin Readings the other night, I stopped by the local bookshop and picked up a copy. This is a pretty big deal because I've got a rule against buying new books until I finish two that I already own. My apartment is choked with the things and I sometimes expect I'll end up like those people who die buried beneath an avalanche of paper in their apartments. But Albo's performance (he didn't read from anything so it's not quite right to call it a reading) was brilliant so I had to get the book. Also, it's small, so it won't really hurt that much when the book piles collapse.

The book is even better than I had hoped. I am, of course, all too familiar with the situation in which victim is told by the Underminer: "Of course I should let YOU know--the bar's in the back. And there's plenty of your favorite--bourbon! Drinkie drinkie!" Thanks, fucker.

But more surprisingly, I find myself in sympathy with the Underminer also. I guess we all have our bad moments. This morning reading the book reminded me of an ill-advised remark I once made to a woman I was dating.

"No, of course I don't think buying that many pairs of shoes is silly," I said. "I mean I buy things too. Like books. Just today I bought the latest Paul Johnson book on art history. I mean, do I really need another art history book? You just go ahead and buy your shoes, darling."

I suppose we all have a little bit of the Underminer in us. Or maybe it's just me.