56 replies on “Holy NPR!”

  1. Thoughts on entering the contest:
    Go, man, go!

    It might just have been listening to Ira Glass’s voice before hearing your segments that threw me, but it was very obvious to me that This American Life (and most of the rest of NPR for that matter) is all true stories, and yours are fiction. As such, it might be prudent to submit something that’s more obviously fiction than what you’ve got here. Of course now that I’ve said that, I’m at a loss to suggest a clip other than something from “A Wolf in the Park”, since most of your non-HtSiE stuff is pretty much realism. I’m painfully aware that none of the preceding paragraph is the least bit helpful.

    Thoughts on the clips:
    Stavrakos
    It’s not the short story type of thing you’re typically known for. Do you want to do The Seanachai on the air, or something else? “Well produced” was one of the things you were looking for, and, while the sound is fine, the production is more interesting on some of the other clips.

    Candy
    Like I said above, it’s realism. It could come off as the usual This American Life magazine journalism. Now I want to be clear: I really love the realism in your writing, but in the context of This American Life, I’m not sure it’s going to be obvious that you made this up.

    St. Patrick’s Day
    I’m biased here. I was introduced to The Seanachai with this episode. It’s very good and essentially a true story, so again, is the goal to do fiction or not?

    Death of a Dishwasher
    Good, but without the sudden changes of scenery (from the kitchen to Billy’s apartment to the front of the house) I’m not sure it’s as clear how good it is.

    You asked if we think you should write something new, and I’m gonna vote for that. I think that you’d be able to create a clearer, more accurate picture of your writing if you wrote something targeted at the 2 minute mark rather than trying to find that picture among your work which wasn’t intended to be cut up like that.

    Just my thoughts. No need to listen to them 🙂


    M

  2. In terms of production value, I think that St Patrick’s Day was the best. Also, after reading M’s comment above, and thinking about some of your past shows, maybe St Patrick’s Day is also the best content. My reasoning is this. What kind of show could you do for NPR? Tales from your life ala This American Life? No, they have that show. Some of your excellent zombie fiction? Again, they have that covered with Morning Edition. But, you have a gift for bringing some odd factoid to life via you lust and speculative histories. And that, Mr McLean, is a show that I would donate $50 a year for (as long as I also get a tote bag and a chnace to win a getaway for two to Bora Bora)

  3. Of the four, my favorite is Death of a Dishwasher, but it probably wouldn’t serve you as well as St. Patrick as an entry.

    My favorite non-mentioned entry would be Blame Abraham, but it wouldn’t fit your timeframe very well.

    So… I throw my vote to creating a new segment geared to the length required for your submission. Just what you wanted to hear, right? 🙂

  4. Stavrakos is a complete story, but it gives the impression that you will be doing a show about writing. Of the three categories (entertainment, music, talk), I don’t really see where “instructional” lies. If you want to tell the judges (the ones that pick nine of the ten finalists) that you will be entertaining them about the writing process, then by all means use Stavrakos, but if you want them to see your bid as one for a storyteller, then choose a different piece. As for Candy, is seems a bit… gritty? Real? It seems a bit too something, and though I’m not exactly sure what, I don’t think it is the way to go. St. Patrick’s Day is wonderful, but it doesn’t fit into the two-minute window as well as I’d like. Different segments of it might do well, but the clip you presented came up a bit short. As for Death of a Dishwasher, it ends well and presents a very nice “there’s plenty more of this” that will pull in the voters, and probably the judges. Also, to quote from the bio page “You could hear the grill and the grease in the story. You could see the piles of napkins. Izzi wants to hear more radio like that – sounds and voices that engage all of your senses.” It sounds like Dishwasher is just the story to win over Israel Smith.
    Out of all of the options, I throw my vote toward you producing something that, from the start, is designed to be two minutes long. You have only a few moments to wow the judges, and an excerpt just feels incomplete. The people listening only get what you give them; they don’t know the full story as we do. Any segment from any of your works stands a very good chance of becoming a finalist in this contest, and they were created for an entirely different task. If you crafted a sample for this task, and this task alone, I have no doubt that you would stand victorious. Mostly, though, I’m just trying to talk you into making another episode. Please?

  5. Personally I am a huge fan of Death of a Dishwasher, but I also think that your best bet would lie in St. Patrick. I would also be happy with a new one as well. So…ya put me down for St. Patrick.

  6. #1 Stavrakos
    St. Michael in post number 1 has described this better than anything I can offer.

    #2 Candy
    Good, engaging but the audio warble is not effective just annoying.

    #3 St. Patrick
    Of the four this is the best.

    #4 Death of a Dishwasher
    This excerpt is too short to be a good story. The language the chief uses while typical seems a bit too much for NPR even when bleeped.

    Alternate suggestions:

    MABKU but edited for your 2 minute limit.

    Bright Lights Part 1 from 0:15 to 1:31

  7. St. Patrick’s Day. I think it’s my all time favourite. Or at least one of my all time favourites. Or close. At least it isn’t bad. Well, I like it anyway.

    Stavrakos seems to make my mind wander and I’m not able to keep track of the story.

    Candy is simply strange. I can’t understand the gurgling. But English isn’t my native tongue, so that may be the problem.

    DoaD is not suited. I like it, but St. Patrick’s Day is better.

    Not on your list but I like it anyway: Better Odds than a Bullet. Especially the Groucho Marx quote.

  8. Hi Patrick,

    Of the four I most like “St. Patrick”. It has humor, voices, and sound effects all of which are good things.

    Also conceder: “Good-Hearted Hospitable Creature”, possibly “Lather, Rinse, Repeat” or maybe the t-shirt part of “Three Stories”. I really enjoyed that. Bought a shirt too…

    What ever you choose, you have my fervent best wishes for your success. Go get ‘em! or um Break a Leg (preferably someone else’s) or what ever is most appropriate for a NPR contest…

    Take care! Eric

  9. Whatever you choose also include a link to the “Morning Stories” podcast, that profiled you. It is an NPR podcast after all.

  10. Hi Patrick,

    Of the 4 options, I think St Patrick’s Day is the best produced, but I think Stavrakos shows of your voice the best. Now, the problem with Stavrakos is that it comes out and says you run into trouble writing some days, which may not be what you want to broadcast to NPR.

    I’m going to throw my vote behind writing something new and tailoring it to the time frame. If the judges want to hear more of your work, your library is freely available and all of these excellent examples of your work are here for the listening.

    I have to say that I think you definitely have what it takes to be on NPR, your voice is pleasing to listen to, your diction is good and I find myself interested in what you’re going to say next. All good qualities for a radio personality.

    Best of luck!


    Francis

  11. Good feedback one and all! To clarify the 2 minutes isn’t the show. It’s the first round of the contest. The goal being to give them something interesting, and good enough to make it to the second round (of four).

    I’ve got until the middle of May, so I’ll think about an orginal one. Meanwhile, I’ve got another episode written and should be recording it today.

  12. I really like the St. Patrick’s Day one, but my only concern is the sort of lengthy quotation at the end. I don’t think it will get you bounced out of the contest for breaking the rules or anything, but it’s something like twenty seconds of content that isn’t *you*. It might not be a problem, but it’s something to consider.

    I’d recommend getting a complete story in the two-minute window if you can. That rules out Candy, which I think is the weakest of the four entries.

    Rankings: St. Patrick (assuming that the quote isn’t a problem), Stavrakos, Death of Dishwasher, Candy.

    I’d love to hear an original one, but that’s just because I like getting original content from you.

  13. I agree with most of the comments here. St.Patrick seems to be the strongest and most indicative of your strengths.

    The first one also talks about sometimes not doing too well at writing, which is probably something to avoid.

    Either way, looking forward to whatever you are doing next. Your work is interesting, well-produced, and the quality of your voice is distinctive and charismatic. Good luck with the contest!

  14. I would definately go with St. Patrick’s Day and Stavrackos. Death of a Dishwasher is good but the trailing off is not too pleasing, same with the warble on Candy. St. Patrick’s Day has great sound effects and overall production in addition to being a great essay, Stavrackos too. And both of them clearly show your writing style. Serious thought with some great humor.

  15. I think your best bet lies in something new. Perhaps something you learn from the comments here. I can’t help but think that the comments you read here will stir something creative in you.

    Regarding the clips:
    I like Stavrakos because it is complete, because it is thoughtful and witty and because it shows a bit of you in it.

    I like St. Patrick’s Day too but it is far better in longer form. Same with Dishwasher but it’s more fiction than an NPR tale.

    I like Candy too, but I don’t think it represents your “voice” as well as the others.

  16. Of the four you did, I liked Stavrakos the best because it shows one of your greatest strengths – your insight. That and your humor are what keeps your episodes on my iRiver.

    I do have a few other works for you to consider, for the reasons above:

    Better Odds Than a Bullet – you almost have 2 minutes there already, if you cut the intro stuff, but you’ll have to do some careful editing around the “racist prick” part…

    Blame Abraham – may be too controversial (or maybe that’s a good thing) and definitely too long, but I think you could put together a really coherent 2 minutes from the beginning and end of this one

    Vampire in My Attic – this was the episode of yours that made me laugh the most – production is really good (note untrained ears) and it’s close to 2 minutes, but the editing may be tough due to the lovely music behind your voice

  17. re: Blame Abraham. The economy of words and depth of understanding imparted by your “To say that the argument in the back seat is over vinyl border rights…” is really amazing. Might be worth some thought in regards to this contest.


    M

  18. Ooh! Yes! Blame Abraham is my favorite episode of The Seanachai. It’d be hard to whittle down to two minutes, but the question “Would you kill for God?” is really thought-provoking. Perfect for NPR’s audience.

  19. I just listened to the Holy NPR cast. My opinion of the merit of these clips in descending order is

    #1)Stavrakos

    #2)St. Patrick

    #3)Death of a Dishwasher

    #4)Candy

    Did you exclude How to Succeed in Evil on purpose? I would have thought that a two minute clip from it could have secured you the prize with no problem. It did win a parsec after all.

  20. I listened earlier in the day, a couple of hours ago. While I listened, I wished for more info. What do they want to hear? what do you want to present?
    Even after reading all the comments, I don’t remember Candy. So, IMO, not a good choice.
    Stavrakos took me a minute, but I remembered him; it’s good, and complete, very solid, but not flashy. Flashy could be good in this context.
    I’m a sucker for the accent in Saint Patrick, and I like the explanation, too.
    But my choice is Death of a Dishwasher because of the way it drew me in. It made me remember how fast I was sucked into the story when I first listened to it. One or two sentences, I was here, then I was there being conducted around the restaurant. That’s unusual. The fade-out says to me that there’s more if you care to go find it.

    So. What’s your goal here?

    To sound NPR? If you didn’t already, you wouldn’t be in the running. That’s no help.

    To enter something typical? Could be helpful, could be restrictive. You have a “voice;” what you do always sounds like you. Your writing is a many- faceted jewel, it’s hard to know which is the most brilliant.

    To dazzle the judges and blow their socks off? Also helpful, and typical enough that I say save the huge effort for a later round.

    To give NPR what they want? NPR is changing, and it’s hard to know exactly which direction they are headed. They might not know themselves. New and fresh sounds about right. That’s you.

    To be remembered? Definitely.

    This is very much fun, thank you for the opportunity. My opinion is freely given to anybody who does not need it!

  21. I personally would not have the balls to submit Death of a Dishwasher to NPR, even if it is the best of the four.

    That leaves St. Patrick’s Day.

    I liked abraham but also mlk.

    I also liked rock, and orbit, and bullet. Though the bullet strays close to talking about writing, which is navel inspection – bad even for the Gods. Only a couple of the best of the Gods can swear. I think there are two.

    I get it. This was just a clever ploy to get me to listen to everything again. Well, it didn’t work. I didn’t listen to Evil again. Not again anyway.

    But in the back of my mind, i’m thinking, what if you win?

  22. Oh, Patrick. Would that the contest was three minutes instead of two. One of my very favorites, which I also see as being well suited to both NPR and the contest is The Instant of Eternity. Hearing you philosophize at 90 mph just makes my day brighter. Don’t know how you could cut it to the time frame though. Barring that, my vote is for St. Patrick’s day. Good production, very interesting subject matter. It also shows your humor and vocal talents in the dialogue.

    Good Luck!

  23. Of the options presented, I’d go w/ St. Patrick.

    I really love Outsourcing a Chicken, Blame Abraham, and Better Odds than a Bullet. And if you could somehow pick an episode of How to Succeed and get it down to two minutes, I think you would have a home run.

    Best of luck!

  24. My two cents: St. Patrick is the best of the four listed, but I’d like to hear something new and designed for the contest. I agree with the others above who said that a new piece, written to be two minutes, and targeting the contest specifically may have a better chance than an excerpt.

    All other things being equal, my suggestion for a new piece would be something similar to Patrick – that blend of humor and history could have a good chance at winning, in my (completely uniformed) opinion.

    Good luck to you.

  25. I have to agree that _St. Patrick_ is my favorite of what you posted. Dishwasher didn’t grab me until a bit further in, so 2 minutes isn’t enough for it to shine.

    As someone else said, _Blame Abraham_ is also very strong, and I think the first two minutes work. Though it may be too edgie.

    I was thinking that _Very Slow Getaway_ could work (fading in at about the 2 minute mark), but the real payoff takes longer as well.

    After considering them all; I think that something new is likely the way to go. Partially because I am selfish and love your writing and want to hear more even if its a byproduct. However, I think if you target the 2 minute point (not necessarily to tell a complete story, but for the greatest impact) you’ll have something that will really showcase your talent.

    Any way you go, I can’t wait to hear the results. We’re rooting for you!

    -Wendell

  26. Good luck in the contest! I think of the four this order is my choice….

    #1)Death of a Dishwasher

    #2)St. Patrick

    #3)Stavaros

    #4)Candy

    Everything I have heard has been great, but I trust your instincts on what you should send in.. again, good luck!

    GZD

  27. Of these 4, the St. Patrick episode is my vote, but I really got hooked on your podcast after hearing the episodes about dating the zombie girlfriend and your failed hard drive. Good stuff!

  28. I have been listening to your show since 2005, and began with the very first episode. of the four it is a tossup between Stavrakos and St. Patrick’s Day. But one of the things that drew me to your show to begin with was “The Vampire in my Attic” which sounded to me like something I would hear on public radio to begin with. If you could possibly trim that down from three minutes that would be my first choice, followed closely by a cartoon like fight cloud containing Stavrakos and St. Patrick.

  29. I would have to say of the 4 episodes St. Patricks day would be the best. Altough I have to agree with the others that a new 2 minute piece would be more fitting.

  30. #1) Stavrakos

    I like the simpleness of this story. It has a catchy beginning and a satisfying ending. The story taps into a situation that even non-writers will understand: the pressure of a deadline and meeting the standards of others.

    #2) Candy

    I like the simple sound effects like tapping the jar and the jingling of the door. It adds a lot to the story.

    I do have one question: why are you in the store? You say, “I don’t even know why I’m here . . .” and neither do I–even after listening through the entire clip.

    I also feel that the introduction of the Dealer is too abrupt. With the way you have edited the story the Dealer and the Store Owner are more prominent and I’m not prepared for that.

    It seems that you’ve taken a story about the connections that bind us and how these connection change: Dealer-Owner, You-Your Friends, You-Bum, You-Dealer, You-Owner, You-Store, etc. The cuts turned it into a documentary on the life at a corner store…somewhat.

    The story doesn’t feel like it has a satisfying ending.

    #3) St. Patrick’s Day

    I love the sound effects and your accent. The story is interesting and factual as well as fun. It has many lines that make me think. This clip is also the one I enjoyed listening to again and again.

    The only feedback is that the story doesn’t end well. The fade-off seems a bit hokey. I suggest cutting the last quote at “…while keeping it Irish.” Then I would jump back to the narrator who introduced the clip and quickly wish people a happy St. Patricks day or something.

    #4) Death of a Dishwasher

    I love the first two lines and the introduction of the chef. It’s compelling and makes me want to be a chef. The juxtaposition of “The Chef” and George is great and makes me smile every time.

    I can’t imagine NPR playing that many bleeps in a row. For this reason it might not be a good first round pick…although that fact may make it more memorable as well.

    Even though the story ends with an outstanding question (would I call it a cliffhanger?) it does have a clean ending. Again, I like the simple effects and I also enjoy how George surprises us by interacting with the Narrator.

    ##) Comments
    In my opinion, I like #3 (St. Patrick) the best as an overall package. Followed by #1 (Stavrakos). I also feel that #2 (Candy) could be the most powerful story of the bunch if you could keep the tensions and messages of the full-length story in such a short time frame, but I don’t care for the current two-minute clip.

    I hope these comments help and I will be eagerly awaiting the competition.

  31. Hey Patrick,

    I’ve been a subscriber since about episode four or five. I think Stavrakos is brilliant and fits well into the two minute slot, the chef is great but there are too many beeps in Dishwasher. The episodes I remember most are “A Shooting in The Mall” and “A Wolf In The Park” which is totally amazing on high volume!! ‘The Mall’ would be too violent, so if you won’t include ‘The Wolf’, make St. Patrick’s Day your selection.

    Good luck with the competition. If you win, does this mean more of these amazing stories from you? :o)

    Ian

  32. 1) Death of a dishwasher: the best overall
    2) St. Patrick: a little rushed
    3) Stavrakos: too simple?
    4) Candy: I liked the full version, but not this one; I hated the warble

    Good luck!

  33. Sometimes less is more, but not with the Seanachai. I encourage you to take the risk of sending an entire episode. At four to five minutes apiece, they are a little longer than the contest rules, but I find that the impact often comes at the end, as a result of the set-up of the story. My personal favorites are
    1) A Round on Werner
    2) Better Odds Than a Bullet
    3) A Change in Orbit
    I think the NPR folks might really like “bullet”. Of those you posted, I like the Homer piece the best with St. Patrick as a close second. The dishwasher piece is very funny, but could be deleted without consideration if the bleeping doesn’t strike the funny bone of an NPR administrator.

    These are just the humble opinions of a faithful-but-penniless listener (or a shameless-cheapskate-freeloader, depending on your point of view).

    Regards,

    J.

  34. After reading all the comments I dont envy your decision.
    I supose it comes down to a vote, so heres what I think (for whatever thats worth) :
    Taking into consideration what NPR are looking for I’d say either St Pats or something new, based more in real life.
    Also how bad would it be if you went over the time limit, because I think you could probably show them more of what your capable of, if you could give them a more complete story.

    Luck to you, though you dont need it
    Ayla

  35. Mr.McClean,
    I’ve enjoyed listening to your podcast. There have been many times when you’ve made me feel that I really would have loved the days of radio when stories were told by people with beautiful voice… or at least that’s how I imagine it to have been. At any rate I wish you the best of luck and hope that anything I write to you will assist you, as you have assisted me at times, in places, in ways for which I am greatful.

    1.Stavroakos- I like this one a great deal. It relayed to me how serious you are about your writing. How much you really put into it and at the same time, the part of your personality that gives your stories depth,
    humor and heart.

    4.Candy- OMG! I’ve so been there…regretably(sp?). It is strange…people I mean… the strange little things in our lives that can connect us.

    3.St Patrick’s Day-How can I knock something that is both informative and genuinley entertaining?!

    2.Death of a Dishwasher- How do you come up with such dialogue and characters?! Amazingly, you pluck them from the everyday world! Perhaps I should pay attention more.

    I actually hate putting them in any kind of ranking order but, I did. I hope this helps. Really, you are a skilled writer and talented vocalist. If the results of this competition are not what you hope, I know that it will not be because of lack of skill or talent. It all depends on what they’re looking for and how you want to present your work.

    All the best!

  36. My vote would be Stavrakos, then Candy, Death of a Dishwasher and then St. Patrick’s Day.

    Stavrakos is a perfect fit and a complete story. Candy is tight but a little gritty. Dishwasher is funny although I would tighten it up a little; when the cook goes off on his bleeping tirade, you let the narrative pause, if the narrator talked over the bleeped ranting it would be funnier. St. Patrick’s Day is one of your best pieces and I hate that it ends to early after shortening.

    My favorite piece is Nickles, that was what got me addicted. Keep it up.

  37. I’m an unemployed writer-fan who’s never contributed any $ to you, but I do love your work. I swear, as soon as I have a job, any job…

    My vote is St. Patrick, but I second (fourth?) the idea of ignoring the two minute rule, at least partly. Perhaps allow yourself to go to as much as three minutes. That should open you up to other episodes that cut more easily and more appropriately to that length.

    One thought about editing down material for submission. My advice would be NOT to try to end on something that works as an ending — but do the opposite: go out on the high point (or one of the high points) with a long fade just as it’s getting even better and more fabulous. That way a) you leave them knowing there’s more to the piece and feeling that they’ve no one to blame but themselves for not letting you submit the whole thing; and b) you leave them wanting more. They may not choose you, but at least they’ll go online to download and hear the rest of it. 🙂

    Now to be even less helpful, I don’t remember what the episode was, but it was one of the funniest for my taste: it was the one with the two Irish guys in the bar fighting over whether or not light is a wave or a particle. Maybe it’s just me, but that struck me as fantastic on so many levels, walking some impossible line between completely beleivable and entirely over the top. Also, your Han Solo piece was great. And the piece on writing and having to play to let the subconcious go to work for you resonated for me and would for anyone who does creative work — like Ira and his NPR ilk. That piece is both personal and universal. I think that’s the kind of thing to look for; something that expresses ‘you’ while making us feel connected to you and what you’re talking about. You do that quite a lot and quite well actually.

    Sorry I can’t rattle off specific titles of your podcasts that do that for me. I’m a fan. Not a groupie.

    🙂

    ~ Chris

  38. Great stories, and a great opportunity to move to NPR.

    The first and last stories were the best – the Greek fisherman story is a neat way to convey your voice, and the dishwasher story is a great way to demonstrate your production techniques.

    I wish you all the best – I have listened to you for a long time and think that your work is wonderful.

    Regards from Australia

  39. I generally introduce people to your podcast with Candy, Bright Lights or Driver’s Re-education. I think the hook of, “But then, there’s candy” is a pretty strong take away.

    Personally, I never get tired of “A Scary Story”. HA!

  40. Just listened this morning. I vote for Stavrakos – it’s the only one (in my opinion) that is completely self-contained. And it shows your quirky side. And, it doesn’t get into God, crack, or bleep bleep bleeep, none of which I think are suitable for NPR.

    Of course, a new one might be a good idea.

  41. st. pat’s day is the best out of the 4..for your cause.
    second choice death of a dishwasher…to vulgar for npr, me thinks.

    i listen to a good bit of npr and think you would rock.

    good luck!!!!

  42. I totally love your podcasts (and, for that matter, This American Life), so good luck! I would generally agree with the comments already posted – especially the bit where everyone seems to think St. Patrick is good stuff – so I won’t rehash it. But there’s so many good ones, so I’ll add another vote to chorus and say that I also adored “Better Odds than a Bullet.”

  43. As presented, St. Patrick’s Day is the best. It meets your good words, right order goal. Entertaining and well produced.

    But I’m going to go against the flow and suggest you re-work Candy. It’s the podcast I use when I recommend the Seanachai. It showcases both your insight and creativity. It’s commentary and storytelling. One of the posts above suggests that you wouldn’t be in this contest if you didn’t want to sound like NPR. I’dd add that you wouldn’t have named yourself the Seanachai if you didn’t want to be a storyteller. So go with an entry that tells a story.

    Most folks who have panned Candy above object to the “warbling,” so why not edit that section to make it clearer?

    Starburst?

  44. Four great options! Sticking to them for a moment:

    “Candy” is maybe just the tiniest bit weak in the production department. Maybe that doesn’t matter — they’re planning to do that part, after all — but still, best foot forward and all that. Though I must confess that I’ve never heard the whole, but I’ve downloaded it now after this teaser….

    I can’t quite get into George, though the title has several overlays of nuance that catch the ear.

    Now, maybe I’m just a bit prejudiced, because I had been working on my own St. Paddy’s day blog for months, when you came out with yours and just BURIED me, but I don’t think the snippet of Saint Patrick quite does justice to the whole: you’ve got the high-comedy slapstick “crazy Irish” part, and you begin to bring in the real homage with the Cahill quote, but then you’re chopped off before you can finish painting the weirdly consistent whole. The full ‘cast gets it done, but not so much this snippet.

    So I’m seeing Stavrakos as the strongest of these. You nail the contrast between fear and disdain beautifully, you reveal yourself while letting us loosen up and admit our own finitude, and you get it done in two minutes (don’t kid yourself, these guys really care about stuff like that!).

    But of your unnominated oeuvre, I gotta say that “Outsourcing the Chicken” is the one pinned to my walls!

  45. #1 Stavrakos
    *I* liked it, but I’m not sure it would have a lot of appeal. Literary/historical references might go over well with the NPR crowd though.

    #2 Candy
    Forgetable. I just listened to it yesterday, and I can’t remember what it’s about.

    #3 St. Patrick
    I think this is the best of the lot. I’d heard it before, and it kept me engaged until the end. And it’s funny.

    #4 Death of a Dishwasher
    Ummm….no. I didn’t get the point.

    Personally I’d vote for the Santa series (but David Sedaris has a lock on that, doesn’t he?) but I really think you should submit Better Odds than a Bullet. I think that piece is a shining example of your writing, doesn’t rely on your vocal impressions, and is damn good advice for mankind.

  46. St. Patrick’s day all the way. Also, I think you should really consider ‘death of a hard drive’. I think it’s one of your funnier shorts and a good old fashioned belly laugh never hurt anybody.

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