Sunday, April 01, 2007

In an Ideal World They'd Pay Us for This

Yesterday OurDad was trying to tell us about this Philip Roth book he's reading. Usually we just remind him were ten and eight, and some times he stops, but something in yesterday's trip to lit land with OurDad caught my attention---Money.

So this book is set in Prague, Czechoslovakia during some war that was only fought during the winter. It's a totalitarian state where half the country is paid the spy on the other half. Next thing we know OurDad is off on some rant about the President and phone records and the FBI and the Attorney General and 1984 bla, bla, bla... The book is called The Prague Orgy and he thinks the President's domestic spying is obscene. I was giving him a couple minutes to get it out of his system when it dawned on me that maybe this spying thing could work here in the good old US of A.

This meant I'd have to ask OurDad about the book to learn just how this getting paid to spy on people worked, thus risking an hour long dissertation. If I could just make it sound like I was interested in Prague and this totalitarian stuff and not current events it might not be so bad.

"So dad how could people get paid to spy on each other--in the book?", I asked. It worked he was so happy that I'd actually asked a question about literature that he forgot all about Present Bush.

My ears are still a bit sore, but I think it was worth it. It boiled down to this. There were two writer friends. One was a good writer and the other "couldn't describe a shoelace." Well the state government was interested in what the good writer was doing, because people listen to good writers. So the government asked the bad writer to file reports on the good writer, but it was a disaster. The state couldn't make sense of the bad writer's reports. Worse yet the state thought he was faking it to protect his friend. The bad writer went to his friend for help, and the good writer agreed to write the reports on himself! Everyone was happy; the friends split the money and the government got excellent reports, but this too was a problem when the state wanted to promote the bad writer to spy on more important people and to train new recruits because his reports were so fantastic.

This spying bit basically ends with the good writer having to teach the bad writer how to write to keep the government from discovering the whole scam. Eventually the good writer broke off the whole thing by telling the bad writer, "How can you ever become a great writer if you are such a bad spy?"

Hey I think this Philip Roth guy is comparing writers to spies-- More like peeping Toms knowing the books he writes.

Anyway this whole spying thing sounds better than groveling for an allowance.

The GirlChild and I do hereby pledge to provide any and all information on OurDad to the satisfaction any state government willing to pay us the sum of one million dollars.

President Bush if you are reading this we'll be expecting a wire transfer soon.

A Swiss bank account and I'll never have to clean my room again.

1 comment:

SourDad said...

In the interest of protecting my children from the state I do hereby swear that I am not writing these reports for my children. Furthermore, these reports are the original and most accurate reports of and by my children an completely about myself.