Whatnots by Raymond Federman
  Music 'C Trane' by Ben Tyree
  Art by John M Duggan

Art  2006 John M Duggan





Introductory Note: 

The names of the characters in this story [more or less true] and the names of the places where the action unfolds will be given only as initials to protect those who may unconsciously or unjustly identify with the characters and their location in the real world. 

For fear of being unjustly attacked by the characters in this story [more or less true] who may inadvertently identify with real people living in the real world, the characters in this story must be known only as initials.   

When a new character is introduced in the story bearing the same initial as a previously introduced character, a number will be added to his or her initial indicating the order in which that new character has come into the story.  For instance, if a character called Z has already appeared in the story, then the next Z to enter the story will be known as Z 1 and the next as Z 2, and so on, perhaps to infinity since it is not possible at this stage to estimate how many Z characters will participate in this story [more or less true] which, if all goes well, and time permits, may turn out to be very long.  One can never tell in advance.  The same numerical system will apply to locations whenever a new location bearing the same name as a previous one is mentioned. 

To protect the person who tells this story [the teller] from those who may find some details objectionable, preposterous, offensive, implausible, or censurable, the name of the teller will be given only as We.   This way the reader will know who the teller We is when We says We.




[Note: concerning the unconventional punctuation and the lack of capital letters in the story. We adopted what We thought was the simplest and most efficient mode of presenting this story.  The reader is free, of course, to punctuate and capitalize as he or she pleases]


here we go again with the if -- it was inevitable -- it’s October 1st -- not that it matters much -- except perhaps to those who know why October 1st is important for we --in any case -- if e had not told h to go fuck himself -- we would not be here telling you the story of r & e -- their true story -- more or less --


[Note:  To avoid the repetition of & whenever r & e are mentioned together, they will be referred to as r-e or e-r] 

e was married to a rich sob -- a real asshole -- when r bumped into e at u -- it was a casual accidental encounter -- though perhaps predestined -- r saw e only from the back the first time -- she was walking ahead of him with some other guy -- not her h -- but with a frog called p who was visiting u -- e was wearing a tight blue skirt -- wow -- so incredibly revealing of her perfection --  e was gorgeous -- 28 then -- short black hair -- blue eyes -- oh eyes so blue -- with wild oceans in them -- the slavic look with a touch of the exotic -- the sensual biblical jewess -- e is still gorgeous -- but blonde now --  oh but still as beautiful -- in a different way of course -- a more experienced way -- her ass just as tantalizing as it was then -- though a little more round – un cul à deux places r told e the other day when she asked him if he still found her ass acceuillant -- 


[Note: Both r-e are fluent in French and German and often use French or German expressions when having a conversation.  The reasons r & e are multilingual will be revealed in due time. Their fluency in French and German has been most useful to them when traveling abroad]


three days after r was hypnotized by e’s ass  – to such an extent that he unconsciously followed e & p that day to wherever they were going – without being noticed – we believe but cannot affirm – it is very possible that either p or e or both noticed r walking behind them as though lost in his head – and wondered why this guy with the big nose was following them -- in any case – three days after that memorable vision – r-e came face to face -- by chance this time – this face to face moment must be told in full detail for it will often be fondly recalled by r-e in the 40 years or more they have slept in the same bed – whenever r-e are asked where they first met they always answer with a little conniving smile in an elevator at u --  

this is how it happened -- that day -- the day r-e came face to face and exchanged words charged with electricity -- that day an eminent scholar from y was giving a lecture on the death of literature at u and the entire department of f had to attend – faculty as well as students -- so around 1:55 p.m. -- on a Tuesday we believe - but this cannot be confirmed -- the lecture by the eminent scholar was scheduled for 2:00 -- everyone in the d of f rushed to the elevators on the third floor -- the d of f was on the third floor [excuse the precision but all this is relevant] to go downstairs to the large auditorium where the lecture was

to take place – so r is waiting for the elevator when suddenly e emerges from behind the door of an office on the third floor -- probably p’s office since p as previously mentioned was a visiting scholar at u – in fact soon after e emerged p also emerged -- no mere coincidence we assume -- so now here they are next to r waiting for the elevator–

r cannot resist and says -- salut  p --comment ça va -- eh dis tu me présentes à ton amie -- in french since as previously indicated p is a frog -- r himself a frog in exile obviously knows french – but p barely replies obviously not wanting to introduce e to r – probably because of r’s reputation as a great french lover – [we should mention here before we forget how e -- jokingly of course –  often says with a conniving smile that r is a failure as a frog]  -- or else because p had noticed how three days earlier r had followed them rather conspicuously – but just as the door of the elevator opens p says to e – in english – for p was fluent in english – oh I forgot my briefcase in my office you go down and get us two seats because it’s going to be very crowded in the auditorium – the scholar from y was very famous -- so suddenly r-e find themselves face to face in the elevator crowded with faculty and students and others who were rushing to the lecture by the eminent scholar from y –  

r was so close to e he could almost touch the delicious nearness of her body – he felt dizzy -- he almost fell into her immense beautiful blue eyes  --  squished in the back of the elevator very close to each other –  r could smell the delicious fragrance of e’s perfume -- channel #5 he learned later – so he could not resist saying to e -- whose name he did not know then since they had not been introduced to each other – wow you smell delicious – yes that’s exactly how he put it – in a rather crude way – but

perhaps it is that crude naive impromptu way of saying to e that she smelled delicious that attracted her to r we are speculating here – but perhaps also the charming twinkle in r’s eyes -- in any case – by the time e-r arrived in the auditorium there were only a few empty seats left and they ended up sitting next to each other – when p finally arrived -- just when the person introducing the eminent speaker from y had stopped talking and the people were applauding – he could only find a seat way in the back of the auditorium – twelve rows in fact behind where e-r were sitting – when e saw where p was sitting she turned to him and indicated with a shrug of the shoulders that there was nothing she could have done -- 

we cannot tell you what the eminent scholar from y talked about and how he explained the death of literature because during the entire lecture r kept whispering things to e that made her giggle softly – at the end of the lecture r asked e if she would like to have a cup of coffee or something with him – and e said yes - just like that – without hesitating –  we can only speculate that she found r interesting – or at least charming enough to want to have coffee with him or something – 

when r-e reached the door of the auditorium they found poor p waiting for them with a dejected pathetic look on his face – r asked him – or perhaps it was e who asked – if he wanted to join them for a cup of coffee or something – p declined with a rather pissed off look on his face – this was the end of p – the rest is history – or rather it has become the story  we are now in the process of telling -- 

it was love at first sight -- in both directions for r-e -- without hesitation -- no kidding -- without reservation -- no time wasted -- but not the classic thunderbolt -- that would be too banal -- it was more like an electric shock -- and did they electrify immediately -- what the hell e-r said -- let’s get on with it -- or perhaps they said let’s get it on -- it is difficult now to remember exactly what they said -- we shall try our best to stay as close to the truth as possible – but memory has its flaws -- 

so e dropped the rich h -- who became xh -- the guy was a schmuck anyway -- and on top of that a mean bastard -- that’s more or less all we want to say about xh -- though we should perhaps tell now -- lest we forget -- how one day r punched xh in the mouth -- one of the few times r came face to face with that bastard xh -- 

this is how it happened – we are jumping a couple of months ahead of the original face to face encounter in the elevator – chronology is irrelevant in this story -- one day r-e were playing golf – yes r -- a fanatic golfer with a 6 handicap at the time –  was teaching e how to play golf – e was still living in the house she and her h owned but h had moved out to become xh – after a round of golf e suggested they stop by her house so she could change before going out for dinner – while e is changing in the bedroom r comfortably seated in a deep leather armchair in the living room is admiring the exquisite furniture and bibelots of the house - e has great taste – when suddenly h walks in – we should specify that since the separation a court order had been issued forbidding h to enter the house – but that bastard h did not respect the court order and came in anyway to take things away from the house which he was not supposed to take away – so h walks in and when he see r sitting there he turns blue with anger and jealousy and rushes towards r who stands up ready to confront h h grabs r by the throat and tries to choke him– impulsively r pushes h away who then swings with his fits towards r’s face but misses – but r does not miss his left hook which lands squarely on the corner of h’s mouth and breaks one of h’s teeth – there is scar on r’s left index finger to prove this – the punch was so hard and so precise it floored h who we should mention is much bigger and taller than r r is only 5 feet 10 – h over 6 feet – h cannot believe he’s been floored by this little frog who is trying to make it with his w -- soon to become xw when the divorce becomes final – h gets us rushes into the kitchen and comes back with a huge kitchen knife in his hand – well no need to go into further details – when r sees the knife he takes off through the open front door just as e comes out of the bedroom splendidly dressed – e tells h that he’s an asshole and rushes out of the door jumps into her white cadillac – we should perhaps have mentioned e’s white cadillac – a 1956 coupe deville – which will reappear later in the story – and catches up with r who is running like mad down the street – r who practiced judo when he was in the 82nd airborne division knows that the first principle of self-defense is to take off before facing off the attacking person – we feel it was important to relate this episode of the rather reckless and unconventional relationship of r-e -- 

we now return to the beginning – xh was so pissed to have been dropped by e like a rotten potato he took his revenge by immediately suing for custody of the ks -- 


[Note: The story of r-e is the story of a family.  It is not an adventure story, nor a mystery story, nor a cheap romance story, and certainly not a sci-fi story though parts of the story will be told in the future, out of chronological order, that’s inevitable because of r’s irrational way of dealing with time]. 

oh we forgot to mention that there were 3 ks who came with e --  

no we did not forget -- this is the first time we have the opportunity to mention the 3 ks --  

s boy  8 -- j boy 5 – r 1 girl 3 ½ -- [this is a reminder of the numerical system used for characters with the same initials  -- no further reminder will be issued] -- all three cute like hell -- and so fond of r -- they always played with him as if r was just another brother -- that’s because r himself is somewhat of

a k -- as we shall show eventually -- r never seem to have managed to become an adult -- very immature r in many ways -- but that’s part of his charm -- and so lovable -- ah yes so lovable -- that’s what e always says about him -- r is so lovable -- in spite of all his idiosyncrasies -- one of which we must mention immediately for it has lasted for more than 40 years -- and will probably continue to last until r changes tense – and that’s his addiction to talcum powder -- which has been driving e nuts for years -- 40 years to be exact  -- the bathroom of their beautiful house is always full of white powder – the floor -- the sink – the toilet seat – the tub -- white powder everywhere – the cause of many recriminations on the part of e -- who is somewhat allergic to talcum powder – but she was aware of r’s little vice before they got married – therefore she endures – and r appreciates that -- because to do without talcum powder would make life unbearable for him – we are not exaggerating – we have witnessed the many anxious moments when r runs out of talcum powder because he forgot to put it on e’s shopping list – or when e – consciously or unconsciously forgets to buy the baby johnson powder on her shopping list -- 

but let us return to the 3 ks – without being sentimental -- we want to make it clear --  right off the bat -- that this is not a soapy sappy story -- this is a true realistic story -- everything in it is real and factual -- more or less -- we insist on that -- therefore it is essential not to get the people confused – when we refer to the 3 ks we mean e’s 3 ks – the ks she had with xh – 

in any case -- as a result of the electric shock r-e felt -- and e’s decision to tell h to go fuck himself on a flying donut --  to paraphrase Marlon Brando  -- or is it to go take a flying fuck on a donut -- we suggest you go see that marvelous sexy movie last tango in paris for the exact words Marlon Brando used --


[Note: The name of real people who are not directly connected with the story of r-e will be given in full with capital letters -- if they don’t like it they can go fly a kite] –


by the way e got nothing – not a fucking thing –  from rich xh when she dropped him -- just the 3 ks but no dough -- no alimony -- nothing -- nada -- consequently e-r started their new life -- if one can call their rather shaky beginning a new life -- in total poverty -- ah but what love --  what passion -- what electricity between them -- or if we may put it metaphorically -- they started their new life in shit up to their knees -- but with their heads in the clouds -- 

however we must be fair and mention that xh did take care of the ks -- financially that is -- emotionally he fucked up their minds as much as he could -- but luckily r -- who is a real nice guy -- as will become evident as this story unfolds -- more or less in the right direction -- r was able to unfuck the minds of the ks -- they loved him for that -- and even today -- the 3 original ks -- the step-ks -- soon we will introduce a new ks 1 -- born of the electricity of r-e -- all of them successful in their profession and their emotional life -- more or less -- but no need to anticipate --  

in any case -- lucky for r-e that xh supported the ks -- otherwise they would have been in shit up to their necks -- because to be quite frank -- they were both -- and are still greatly irresponsible in matters of finances -- money means nothing to them -- except that when you have some it should be spent -- that’s the way r-e are --careless when dealing with material things -- always living beyond their means -- what the hell -- but not careless when dealing with emotional things -- just passionately reckless  -- when r-e started their new family life -- r was making exactly 1822 dollars a year as a ta at u –- before taxes -- that’s the truth – more or less -- 

perhaps we should backtrack a moment to describe the wedding of r-e – it was in ny --  no the wedding will be described later – in a more appropriate place --  

we were saying that r was making about 1800 a year -- we are talking many years ago -- peanuts in other words -- that’s what a ta made in those days -- about 1800 a year -- less than what xh was giving e per month to take care of the house and the ks --  

in e’s former life -- as e always refers to it -- xh would shell out 2000 a month just to take care of the ks -- the food -- the clothes -- the stuff for the house -- the big mansion in w -- and the two cadillacs --  

yes two of them -- xh’s brand new ugly over-chromed purple job with flaps -- e’s a splendid white coupe -- with red leather seats --

oh maybe the leather seats were also white -- this detail seems to have been forgotten --  

some details in this story may not be totally correct -- faulty memory should be blamed for that -- or else the necessity of  beautifying or exaggerating the story -- more or less – 

in any case -- we apologize for the repeated use of this ready made phrase -- in any case -- but  that's all we got -- and it helps accelerate the story -- more or less -- 

in any case -- that’s all e got -- the 3 ks and the white caddie coupe -- a beauty -- but the damn thing didn't last long -- maybe it didn't like r -- or the caddie felt out of place in the  parking lot of u  --  

oh we forgot to mention -- no we did not forget -- we are mentioning it for the first time -- 

at the time e electrified r he was trying to finish his phd at u in la -- just think what his profs k  v and c said to each other the first time r came to the u in his white caddie and parked it next to their old jalopies -- in those days ps were still living in the poverty category -- but as we said the white caddie didn’t last long -- it died one afternoon just like that -- in the u parking lot -- a lousy chevy replaced it -- a corvair lemon that didn’t last long either -- but that’s another story -- 

so r-e got married ks and all  -- that was many years ago -- to be more or less precise -- let’s say more than 40 -- less than 50 -- wow that’s a long time -- here to be even more precise -- since the story of r-e is being told on October 1st and they were married on September 13 -- that much has been ascertained even thought e-r sometimes argue -- oh yes they do argue sometimes like all people who love each other -- that it was really September 14 -- in fact -- as we will relate and explain  later -- they got married twice --  

perhaps we better explain now why r-e got married twice before we forget --  

no – we’ll do that later when we describe the first marriage – otherwise things will get confused – 

in any case -- assuming they really got married on September 13 -- and today is October 1st -- then they have been sleeping together legally for exactly 40 years and 17 days -- can you believe that -- 40 years and 17 days that  r-e share the same bed -- except of course when one of them -- for whatever reason --  has to go out of town -- and sleeps in another bed -- not necessarily with somebody else -- r-e claim to have been faithful to each other -- more or less -- but that cannot be ascertain -- and besides it’s nobody’s business -- 

we will probably get into that later -- the trips out of town -- the business trips as r-e call them for tax purpose -- but without exaggeration we can clearly state that the electricity is still going strong -- you should see their electricity bill at the end of the month --

by then -- we mean when e-r got married -- a year or so after the initial electrical shock -- r was a bit better off -- he was now at u 1 -- teaching full time -- four courses -- but still trying to finish the damn doctoral dissertation he was writing on b’s experimental fiction -- b being a famous foreign writer whose work had totally taken over r’s intellectual existence and a good part also of his sentimental life -- more will be told on that aspect of r’s life -- r wanted to write the first intelligent doctoral d on b in a  -- we think he did -- but this remains to be determined -- so r took a full-time teaching job at u 1 to help with the daily bread -- even though still working on his d on b -- mostly during at night since he was busy all day teaching four courses of beginning foreign fiction -- and also taking care of the ks -- and of course loving e as much as he could -- 

u 1 made him an acting ap -- so now he was getting 6000 a year -- more or less -- quite an improvement if one considers that in fact r was still only a phd in progress --

though more often in regress -- and now married -- with three ks -- a family man with a ready-made family -- so to speak -- 

okay so you say the ks were not really his responsibility -- his financial responsibility since xh was supporting  them -- think again -- who do you think paid for the extra toys the lovely ks always wanted -- yes the 3 ks were adorable but they always wanted more -- that’s normal for ks who have a rich asshole of a father -- but not only more toys -- the movies -- r is a movie freak - so he always took the entire family to the movies -- that meant popcorn and candies at the movies -- oh no -- the fucking xh did not include the popcorn and the candies in his monthly support check for the ks -- and then after the movie there was the putt-putt when later the ks became addicted to putt-putt -- before they decided they too -- the ks -- wanted to learned to play golf like r -- their stepfather -- talk to us about being stepped on -- who was -- and still is -- a golf fanatic -- and a damn good one at that -- 6 handicap -- more or less -- we’ll get into r’s golf later – since e became a damn good golfer herself -- and still is - handicap 14 --  

so here they are now living in sb with r at u 1  teaching four courses to the freshmen -- or rather mostly freshgirls -- yes mostly freshgirls because the stuff r is teaching attracts mostly the female type to his classes --  future housewives or divorcees who love to read foreign novels in the original when they have nothing better do to -- oh we forgot to mention that r specializes in foreign experimental novels -- and in fact his d on b is about a foreign writer -- the nationality of b need not be mentioned here since it is totally irrelevant to r’s thesis --  

in any case -- r was teaching 4 courses of ff 101 -- ff stands for foreign fiction -- from 8 to 12 -- 8 to 12 straight on -- can you believe that -- slave labor -- then after a  

quick lunch and a round of golf -- his daily round of golf in spite of the guilt for not being home working on the d on  b -- golf for r is an obsession -- it’s r against nature -- r against n as he always says – we were saying – a quick lunch and a round of golf and r would rush to pick up the ks from school -- in the caddie at first until it conked out -- then in the chevy lemon after that -- we believe it was a corvair -- that disastrous car -- but this has not been confirmed -- that’s all e-r could afford -- not a new one -- a used one of course -- we believe it had something like 60000 miles on it when r-e bought -- more or less -- and then home -- home sweet home where e would greet r and the ks with love affection kisses and sandwiches -- milk for the ks -- a beer for r -- r likes his daily beer -- for e it’s a glass of chardonnay --  

after that to work half the night on the d -- but not before r washes the dishes -- vacuum the carpets -- put the ks to bed with one of the stories he invents for them every evening --  

if we have time we’ll tell you the story and palucci and his gang – sticky mirabelle elephant and bug – that r invented and which the kids even illustrated with colored crayons  -- it’s a great story - but we should get back to the story in progress – 


note: the names of fictitious beings will be given in full


amazing how quickly r got domesticated when e-r set up house -- but he loved it -- after all r was - if one may use such an expression -- familyless before he met e -- it’s a sad story or he became an orphan -- but that story should not be mentioned at all in this story -- it’s too sad  -- too depressing -- this is a happy story -- more or less – and besides it’s been told before several times – not by we – by r himself – 

r loved the beautiful house where they lived up on a hill in sb -- with a view on the sea on one side and a view of the mountains on the other -- on the edge of a precipice --  e-r had a banana tree an olive tree and an orange tree on their property and all kinds of exotic plants -- no sb is not in a foreign country -- it’s in a -- but in a part of a where exotic trees grow --  

of course, e-r had to borrow the dough to buy such a superb house up on top of a hill with a fantastic double view  -- but we should state right off that e-r from the day they decided to live together always lived above their means -- so they borrowed the down payment from e’s old man  --  what the hell -- as e-r always say and always do -- fuck it  -- let’s live it up -- above our means -- and if their means went up they’d live above that too -- and besides with a family like theirs  -- an experienced wife -- after all e already had 10 years of experience in marital matters when e-r started playing house together with the ks -- r had no previous experience -- no legal previous experience – we should emphasize – 


note: It should be noted that whenever e comes first in the r-e equation, it means that e was in charge of what is being related at that moment. 

e-r had to have the best -- that’s how they are -- so here they are at u 1 trying to make ends meet -- as the saying goes -- but we regret to have to say that  the ends did not meet too often and too easily -- e had expensive taste from her previous marital experience and it’s not easy to get rid of such bad habits -- and r couldn’t wait to become a good solid complacent bourgeois even though he claimed to be a socialist -- and even on some occasions he would claim to have been a communist -- after all r had lived long enough on the margin of society --  perhaps later in the course of this story we will have the time to get into aspects of r’s pathetic life on the margin -- for now let’s continue with their family life at u 1 --  

as we already mentioned -- r was acting ap at u 1 in the d of cl teaching 4 beginning ff courses to the fgs and trying to finish his damn d on b -- so e had to go to work -- but e was so smart -- so sophisticated -- so logical -- so practical and so beautiful -- that always helps -- and she still is -- she immediately got a terrific job -- we are not sure what it was -- blame that on memory -- but it was a damn good job -- an important administrative position in the f of l

we believe -- still the early years were difficult -- difficult not sentimentally or emotionally or intellectually or between r-e -- they were nuts about each other -- yes things between them were terrific -- le grand amour –  of course they did have little disagreements here and then -- all couples do -- mostly because of r’s inexperience with ks -- and also because of the difficulty the ks sometimes had understanding r’s way of doing thing -- but especially r’s curious way of speaking --  

r suffers of an incurable accent -- due to the fact that r was not born in but in f 1 -- f 1 being a distant foreign country on the other side of the sea -- r speaks his adopted tongue with an accent which he admits has been carefully cultivated over the years for social and sentimental reasons --  

in any case -- sometimes when r pronounces a word it sounds like another word -- to give an example -- one day r was home enjoying  the ocean view while smoking one of his favorite foreign cigarettes and cogitating what r would write later that night in his d on b when a friend of his -- also a phd in progress --came over to discuss the problems he had with his d on v --  

e was out marketing with the two older ks -- s and j -- but the little girl r 1 didn’t want to go with them -- r 1 stayed home with r because she wanted to play with the new barbie r had given her for her birthday -- she was now 4 -- we did mention that s and j were boys and r 1 girl --  

anyway –r and his friend --  m was his name -- fellow ap -- were discussing the problems they were having with their ds -- when little adorable r 1 –  cute like hell -- comes into the room where m and r were discussing their ds while smoking foreign cigarettes and says she’s thirsty and she wants a glass of milk -- so r goes into the kitchen followed by r 1 and gives her a tall glass of milk and a gentle pat on the derriere -- but r notices that r 1 is barefoot -- and it was a rather cold that day in sb that day -- so r tells r 1 in a fatherly tone of voice to go to her room and put on her slippers --  little adorable r 1 runs to her room and comes out a few moments later wearing her pyjamas and crying like it was the end of the world -- so r goes to her -- picks her up in his arms -- gives her a little kiss on the cheek -- she’s so cute -- so adorable -- you should have seen the big tears running down r 1's face -- r gives her another kiss on the wet cheek and asks why she’s crying -- still sobbing little r 1 says that she does not understand why she has to put on her sleepers in the middle of the day -- it’s not bedtime yet it’s only afternoon --  

you see what we mean -- sometimes when r pronounces a word it sounds like another word -- when r said slippers it sounded like sleepers to r 1 -- that’s the kind of problems r had with e’s ks because of his incurable accent --  

even though r has now lived more than 50 years in his adopted country – he was 19 when he came to a -- more or less -- damn our memory is really bad today -- maybe r was only 18 when he spoke his first word in his adopted tongue --  r always says that the first word he spoke in his adopted tongue was the word sob – but this cannot be confirmed -- 

anyway it was not easy at that time for r to keep up with life and his damn d -- especially since it was a race between the d and oscar --  

oscar was the name r-e gave to the thing that started growing inside e soon after they got married --  


note: The name Oscar is given here in full  because Oscar was never considered a real being until it emerged into the world.  Oscar emerged on December 7 -- pearl harbor day. On that historical day Oscar became s 1 -- s 1 since there was already an s in the family. Since Oscar in fact never really became a person – he cannot sue the author or be identified with a real living being by that name, and that is why it is safe here to use the full name Oscar. 


By the way the d on b was finished and defended 3 days before Oscar became s 1.  The dedication of the d states:  in spite of Oscar.


and now r is a dr -- okay not a real dr -- a dr of philosophy but that counts too -- his students now call him dr r when they address him -- r even got a raise from 6000 to 6500 -- but then r got offers for other us because his d on b was immediately published by ucp -- r got offers of other jobs because now r was a full-fledged ap with a phd -- and full-fledged aps with phds were in great demand in those days -- especially smart ones -- and suddenly r realized he was smart -- how did he realize that -- e told him -- so r got offers -- you won't believe the offers r got -- these were the golden years of his profession -- and one day eu in a 1 made a splendid offer to r -- eu wanted r so badly they flew both r-e to a 1 in g --  the people of eu wanted r so much they would even have flown the ks too if r-e had insisted --  r-e were treated at eu like they were royalty -- this was in march many years ago -- r defended his d in may the preceding year –  and as we mentioned a moment ago it was immediately accepted for publication by ucp  -- there were some revisions to be made so his journey to chaos came out a year later -- that means that when r went to eu in a 1 for an interview even though he was received like a king he had really nothing in print -- except for a couple of miserable poems in some obscure magazine -- and a couple of translations from his native tongue -- eh what the hell -- the translations helped amplify his rather meager cv -- but nonetheless eu wanted r so badly that without even looking at his meager cv they made me a terrific offer he could not refuse -- we think it was something like 11500 -- plus moving expenses and the assurance of promotion to fp as soon as the book on b is out – plus the 3 articles already accepted by scholarly journals -- wow was r in a hurry in those days -- well r had some catching up to do -- r was a freshman in college at the age of 26 -- that’s because of the his sad pathetic life before he came to a -- and now r was -- let’s see -- this was 64 -- in 64 r was -- well you figure it out -- oops the phone is ringing -- we’ll go on with the rest of the story of r-e some other time –