I'm currently reading 'Heloise and Abelard: A New Biography' by James Burge, 'God Bless you, Dr. Kevorkian' by the late Kurt Vonnegut (may he find peace) and 'Killing yourself to Live' by Chuck Klosterman.
Now is as good a time as any to talk about why Chuck Klosterman must die. And he must. You can tell me ten million reasons why Chuck can live, and I'll give you twenty million why he can't.
The first and most childish way to argue this point is best illustrated by a heated debate that took place in Government class during my senior year in high school. I don't remember what hot-button issue was on the table, so let's just say it was the death penalty. Rodney Gourde, best known for his half-bored, couldn't-be-bothered disdain for nearly everyone and everything, made some maddenly smug point. It was a good one, one with which Craig Schultz took supreme and personal issue. He held out his freshly sharpened pencil, with the veins in his temples pulsing out the beat to 'Boom, Boom, Boom, Let's Go Back to my Room,' and, by way of rebuttal, loudly invited Rodney to 'SIT AND SPIN!'
Rodney now runs a successful veterinary clinic.
So, the first minute of my argument will go something like this:
-'Chuck Klosterman is a freak of nature, granted, but surely he doesn't deserve to die.'
-'Sit and spin!'
The next minute will go similarly:
-'But he's an important writer, a voice of his generation! He's a novelty, man! You can't just kill a farm kid from North Dakota!'
-'But why? What did Chuck Klosterman ever do to you?'
Now we get to the bare bones of the issue. What did Chuck Klosterman ever do to me?
What didn't Chuck Klosterman ever to do me?
His crimes - his capital crimes - follow:
He's the best writer ever. When I read Chuck Klosterman I want to die myself. I can only read a chapter or so before I feel the despair wash over me with such totality that I must take a break. I sit, my lips in a death grip between my thumb and forefinger, unblinking, and silently mourn all the things I would not mourn if Chuck Klosterman were dead. This encompasses everything, beginning with how much better a writer he is than I, and ending with the very real probability that we will never marry.
My need for Chuck's demise is merely my survival instinct asserting itself.
It's either he or I.
To quote the most famous fictional manic-depressive ever, Romeo - after his rival kills his best (maybe even like, super-best, if you know what I mean) friend: 'Either thou, or I, or both must go with him!'
So seriously, Chuck; throw your mistempered weapons to the ground. I'll call the dogs off if you quietly go away and never write another thing. I'll send you a case of shitty tequila, whatever, just shut the fuck up. Don't you understand that your existence negates mine? I'm at the end of my rope, here.
Now, let's assume that my next-door neighbor comes over to use my fax. In exchange, he lets me use his time machine. I get in, punch in the date, whatever it was, back to the year 1987. I will be 16 and Chuck will be 14. We will both be at the same state speech competition. We will actually be competing against each other in the catagory of extemperaneous speaking. Chuck will snag the gold. I will not. Now keep in mind, this happened. I simply had no way of knowing the future significance of the event. I get out of the time machine just in time to introduce us: 'Chuck, Gretchen, Gretchen, Chuck. Gotta go!' I return to the present just as my neighbor's fax is successfully sent.
Chuck asks me if I would like some tea. I don't want any, but I say yes anyway. He is doing shots of Durango tequila and chasing them with warm Mountain Dew. He is doing this over the sink in case he vomits.
Okay, obvious flaw. I must return to a time before now, let's say, like, four years ago. Yes, 2003, perfect. I will still be allowed to consume alcoholic beverages for four more years, and I can do the bulk of this with Chuck.
Chuck asks me if I want some shitty tequila. We finish the bottle, over the sink, in case we vomit, and somewhere in the middle Chuck fires up a J the size of a toilet paper roll. We drink and smoke contentedly until we should be dead and still manage to come to a successful conclusion about why no one seemed to understand 'The Royal Tenenbaums.' It is 3:24 in the afternoon.
All this bliss, because I went back in time and introduced us when Chuck was young and impressionable. I would have practically been Mrs. Robinson to 14-year-old Chuck.
Please do not entertain the notion that I believe myself to be making one ration of sense.
I know that I am not.
I'm just trying to be fair, to come up with a loophole, one where Chuck doesn't have to die.
And so this ends as it began:
-'Chuck Klosterman surely doesn't deserve to die, simply because he's alive!'
-'Rodney, SIT AND SPIN!'
Your faithful and deranged chronicler, who clearly needs a hobby.