Wednesday, November 30, 2005


From Jay Lake, who got it from somewhere else.

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often) please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me. It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you.

(Evil Monkey: "Ah--that explains that stupid story you told in the last posting." Jeff: "It wasn't stupid. It actually happened to me. Jay wasn't involved, though." Evil Monkey: "How have you managed to live to the age of 37?")


At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Clare said...

When I was on work experience many years ago I came across a child in the meerkat enclosure at our local zoo. He was in a bad way. The meerkats had got him, shoved him down one of their burrows so only his head was visible and were snarling and snapping at his nose and ears. Obviously I had to get him out of there so I said, 'Loook TV cameras!'
It had the usual response: each one of the little devils instantly stood upright and assumed their accustomed look of sweetness and defencelessness. So preoccupied were they at preening themselves for their next appearance on a wildlife documentary that they didn't notice me dig out the defenceless Jeff (for it was he) and take him to see the elephants.
'Are you all right?' I asked.
'Oh yes,' he said, 'forgotten the whole thing already.'
But he had an odd twitch just above his right eyebrow which made me feel uneasy.

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Keith said...

The first time I met Jeff, he and this other guy were staggering drunk across four lanes of traffic, with a sheet over their heads. They fell into a heap on the highway and I didn’t want to arrest them but the other cops were looking at me and so were the irate drivers so I figured I’d try and scare them sober a bit and hauled them down to the sheriff’s office. Though he probably doesn’t remember, I was the one who convinced the Sheriff to let him and his friend go with just a lecture. The Sheriff, he was a mean SOB. We called him Hang ‘Em High Hank, on account of his name was Hank and he wore his socks up to his knees. Also, he liked to take the lunch money form the kids at the elementary school and give them all wedgies. Hank died a year ago, today, the son of a bitch. I don’t even miss him.

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Claire Weaver said...

I first met Jeff at Eastercon 2004, in Blackpool. He was strutting around the con proclaiming loudly to anyone who would listen (and anyone who wouldn't) that he'd just suceeded in climbing the Blackpool Tower using only one hand, some monkeys and a lot of imagination. I didn't believe him until I saw the photos... man oh man, that guy's got skill!

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Gwenda said...

Remember that time we went shopping for the complete set of Dean Koontz's dog's books*? And we had to fight with his Biggest Fan for them? Good times.

*Inspired by his recent bizarre Mr. Teriyaki speech

At 11:49 AM, Blogger cleek said...

Jeff and I used to play kickball out in front of my house ( because I had the yard in front of the manhole cover that was 2nd base and the utility pole that was third and the first block of sidewalk next to my driveway that was 1st ). Because we were the oldest, we could always kick it the farthest, and so we always had to play on opposite teams. One day Jeff didn't show up and my team won by an embarassing 30 runs.

At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Jay Lake said...

You'd built that gingerbread house out of freeze-dried mushrooms and some kind of tofu paste. You brought it into school when we were kids, I remember. The dried squid pasted to the roof should have been a clue, and some of us were like, whoa, Vandie's doing it again, heh heh, but there were some other kids who weren't paying attention. You know, the slow kids that grew up to be critics and publishers and stuff. They ate a few bites...some of them...then we had the Festival of Fresh-Tossed Squid.

And people wonder where you get your ideas. Truth is always stranger than fiction.

At 12:42 PM, Blogger Rajan said...

I remember that time we were both scuba diving off the coast of Ibiza. It was sunny and hot and the water was particularly clear. That was the day that we found that sunken ship and we swam through the wreck, delighting at the sea life there, the crabs and the anemones, the fish living in the old galley and, of course, the squid who eyed us warily before changing color and swimming away through a hole in the side. Then we found that toilet on board and you had to sit down on it. I was preparing to take the picture when the eel shot out of its home and bit you on the inner thigh. The suit protected you, but I'll never forget the look on your face through the mask - surprise, yes, and a touch of fear, but beneath it all, a sense of sublime satisfaction. I, of course, got scared and swam away. I was relieved when you made it back up to the surface because I would have felt guilty if you'd died.

At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Paul Jessup said...

Ah, I remember that one week, when we got into that knife fight with the Philipeno child prostitutes. Who knew thirteen year old could weild a machete like that?

I still have scars.

At 1:29 PM, Anonymous deborahb said...

There was that night we passed each other, bellies to the ground, pulling ourselves forward on our elbows through the slime and dusky stench of the giant anaconda's gut.

Good times.

At 1:57 PM, Anonymous marmot said...

One day, while patrolling the hostile waters of the Canadian shore of Lake Superior for the Merchant Marine, I saw a figure struggling to stay above the water's surface. I quickly stripped to the waist and removed my socks and shoes (folding my socks into my shoes so I would not lose them, and to make putting them back on the correct feet a little easier) and dove into the swirling, turgid lake. When I hauled the near-lifeless form onto the deck of the trawler and was fully resocked, I began to perform CPR parts A and C. The figure, who I later learned was noted author and socialite Jeff VanderMeer, coughed and gasped and expelled a great amount of filthy lake water, as well as some larval insects. Then his eyes rolled back into his head and he spoke to me in an unearthly voice, like the voice of a wolf and a goat mixed together with a little squawking noise thrown in the mix. And a funny little wheeze. "You have saved me from a certain death" said the voice. "I am in your debt. Name your reward." I suggested cash, fame, and an end to my sea-faring (lake-faring) career. Jeff replied, "Perhaps something else. Something a little easier."
"Okay then. I wish to follow you for the rest of your days and when I command you, you will tickled whomever I signal you to. The signal will involve me touching my thumb to my earlobe and pointing to the victim with my elbow."
"It shall be done," Jeff replied.
We have been inseparable ever since. It has been 18 years, and I have yet to perform the tickle signal, but Jeff remains ever poised and vigilant. And in the meantime we have developed a shared and undying love for modern dance.

At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deborah--Sure that wasn't in Blackpool?


At 4:47 PM, Anonymous deborahb said...

Blackpool -- what the? Are you on crack?

At 8:44 PM, Blogger The Head said...

And Jeff was so desperate for advice. So I quietly murmurred "Why not call it the City of Saints and Madment?"

It was then that I saw the light dawn in his eyes.

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Among Amid While said...

Hey, remember when you were out here in Australia, and I gave you that pair of platypus-skin gloves to take back to Sharyn November? You told me you'd email about the Look On Her Face when she opened the parcel. *raises eyebrow, taps fingers*


At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, Margo, I plumb forgot!

At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Dan Read said...

My favorite memory of Jeff is the first time I saw him at a fan convention, all dressed up in full costume. He was dressed like Ernie Hudson's character in the famed 3-D 80's movie Space Hunter: Adventures Beyond the Forbidden Zone. He had a single-piece jumpsuit-style space pilot costume, just like in the movie. It had three accordion-style hoses about two inches thick wrapped around the arms, as if they were trasmitting cool air through the suit. I think these hoses were pool cleaning hose painted silver. I remember also that he had a cool, faux-aged-and-beaten space helmet under his arm, propped against his hip like he was standing on a flight deck waiting for the robots to finish preparing his ship for takeoff.

I complemented him on his costume, and I remember he told me that he wanted to dress up as Michael Ironside's character, The Overdog, but couldn't do it because it would have required wiring himself up as a giant cyborg with six mechanical arms (each with a different grabber, chomper, drill, and other implement) and a face like Michael Ironside. So he went as the Ernie Hudson character instead because he said Ernie Hudson is really cool after his big Ghostbusters role and all.

I never saw Jeff go to a con in costume after that, though, which is too bad. Jeff made a cool Ernie Hudson. He would have made a good Michael Ironside, though, too. I can see him waving his six arms, screaming, "I like her! I like her for the maze! Into the maze!" as he feeds another space vixen into his Death Maze.

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