Thursday, June 27, 2002

People ask me all the time, "Geoff, as a smart, sophisticated, funny, deliciously handsome, well-read, well-spoken man, why would you choose fruit salad? Why not something more complicated, something that more represents the true nature of your being?" I have often asked myself this question, though in the form of an answer, much like “Jeopardy!.” The answer (or question) is simple. Fruit salad is not only tasty and nutritious, it provides a deep and seductive metaphor for the world in which we live. The succulent cantaloupe may well represent the touch of a Chilean hooker. The sweet honeydew perhaps a symbol for the homeless woman who lives in the recessed doorway of the Rite-Aid across the street. The purple grapes, ripe and juicy, could be the fleshy fruit embodiment of a woman’s tender breasts. My friends, we are all fruit salad in our own way. Certain things go together, certain things don’t. When mixed together, the only way to find out is to taste. So, my friends, dig into the fruit salad of life! The thing I hear most often (second to "Did you eat paint chips as a child?") is "When will all of your finely crafted narratives be available in print? If the Internet somehow ceases to exist, how will I educate my children about you?" The answer sadly is it’s tough to say. Tomorrow, I will provide you with the plot outline to my newest novel, entitled Fountain and Fairfax. The title, derived from a song by the Afghan Whigs, is a fictional intersection at which two fated people meet for a brief moment. Let that whet your appetites, dear friends!

Geoff Wolinetz cannot be found on IMDb because the Hollywood community refuses to acknowledge the production of his seminal masterpiece Come What May, a gritty psychothriller starring a guy who kind of looks like Billy Baldwin and Erin Gray (formerly of “Silver Spoons”). If he were to be found on IMDb, his name would fall between “Geoff Witcher” and “Geoff Wood.” In addition to his imaginary film career, Geoff also maintains an imaginary career as a baron of industry, is lead singer of the imaginary band Kick Ass, Falco, holds an imaginary Olympic gold medal and is an imaginary Pulitzer laureate in the field of journalism for his investigative piece on the albinos of Alaska.

Wolindependence Day

A commentary by Lou Diamond Filipe

As it is the Fourth of July, what with the fireworks and bbq’s and slip-and-sliding, it is also an excellent opportunity to take a look back at the writings of our nation’s most prominent patriot, Geoff Wolinetz. No contemporary living author’s literary canon truly reflects Americana better than the varied body of work that is Mr. Wolinetz’s. Some prime examples:

Mammalia Mayhem Volume One: The History of the Aardvark (1971)
This was the initial volume in Wolinetz’s projected series of nine-hundred books, each one detailing the social relevance of the planet’s many mammals. True, he only got as far as Volume Seven: The Antelope, before abandoning his mammal studies to go west and write scripts for the television show “What’s Happenin’?,” but nonetheless, this book remains a stalwart work on any zoologist’s bookshelf, as well as the foundation of the series, cut short too soon. Also, it is the most complete book on Aardvarks ever written.

Cheese and Copper: Wolinetz’s Guide to Supercolliding Semiconductor Physics (1984)
This textbook may be the only work in the history of the English written language to serve as the backbone of both graduate school advanced physics classes and philosophy lectures. Here, in a simple, direct layman’s voice, Wolinetz explains the complicated mechanics of semiconductor physics and at the same time, waxes existentially about the nature of life, earth’s place in the universe, the meaning of God, and the value of cheese in a sandwich. That, and it spawned a motion picture spin-off, as well as three video games for Sega Genesis, not to mention scores of imitators, who all came up short.

In Search of the Sacred Tit of Indonesia (1991)
This book chronicles the author’s true adventures in South Asia, as he fought pirates, dysentery, and wild beasts, fathered a tribe, sparked a revolution, and founded a small but significant world religion, all while searching for a small mythological bird. He may have never found the bird, but thousands have since come to Indonesia to continue the search, hoping for just a small slice of the incredible life Wolinetz has found there.

Let’s Go Indonesia! (1992)
In his hospital bed, recuperating from dysentery, Wolinetz predicted the success of In Search of would inspire mass pilgrimages to the region, and so, he put together this book, detailing the best places to sleep, eat, and love in South Asia. Of course, his illness caused extended periods of hallucination and dementia, and this book wound up having less to do with Indonesia than it did with the “story-within-a-story” of Warblo, the magical singing dwarf and his adventures in space. And what young child doesn’t have a Warblo action figure, lunchbox, or T-shirt? All thanks to Wolinetz’s fever dreams in a makeshift hospital in the jungles of Indonesia.

Myopic Cheese: Wolinetz’s Guide to Optometry (1989)
Again, Wolinetz explores life, the cosmos, and sandwiches, this time as a foil to the otherwise droll, textbook-y optometry diagrams and eye charts. Paperback editions of this book come with an appendix of cheese sandwich recipes, as well as the rules for various college drinking games. This all has little to do with optometry, of course, but that’s where the fun lies. This book too sparked a motion picture spin-off, as well as a Saturday morning children’s cartoon, which has run for six seasons.

Captain Fitzpatrick and the Great Horny Toad (1990)
An adventure novel for everyone, young and old. This was the third in the Captain Fitzpatrick series, and widely considered the best. Here, we join Captain Fitzpatrick as he races to save the world from the Great Horny Toad, a monster that ranks up there with Dracula and Frankenstein in the pantheon of pop-culture bad guys. Along the way, the brave Captain must battle sirens, storms, dinosaurs, mutants, aliens, robots, and his separated-at-birth evil twin, Captain Patfitzrick. Also of note, in these pages, Wolinetz coined the phrase “Information Super Highway” six full months before Al Gore claimed to.

The Mighty Thor: “Here Comes the Hammer!”, Issue 431, September 1982
Wolinetz contributed just one issue of this comic book series, (writing and illustrating) in which the legendary Norse God of Thunder teams up with John Wayne to battle Hitler, Jesse James, Genghis Kahn, and Napoleon when a rift in the time-space continuum lands all of them in a Radio Shack warehouse in Illinois. This wacky yarn earned Wolinetz an Inky award, given for the best inking work in the industry.

Slick Willie and the Portly Pepperpot in Technicolor! (1999)
This parable, set in 1970’s Times Square, and starring a pimp, a prostitute, a corrupt cop, a transvestite and a magical singing dwarf, might be the most on-target satire of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal ever written. This won the author his fifth Pulitzer.

Cheese of Kentucky (1993)
Wolinetz returns to his cheese motif in this story about a poor, mentally disturbed woman who grows up on a farm, accidentally invents gravity-defying bubble gum, finds true love, and winds up in the Senate. This work was adapted (albeit with some major story changes) into the hit feature film Snow Dogs, starring Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Pickle This! (1974)
Here, Wolinetz chronicles his days in a shoddy, off-off-Broadway playhouse, where he started off as a backstage gopher fetching coffee and bagels for would-be starlets, and wound up singing and dancing in his one-man show, Mr. Pucker’s Pickle Problems.

Camels Have Two Humps (1971)
Wolinetz’s first novel is a semi-autobiographical account of his boyhood summers spent as a waterboy in an Arabian shiek’s harem of one hundred women. The line between fact and fiction is blurry, as Bolinetz, his alter-ego, causes mischief and mayhem, impregnating each and every one of the sheik’s wives. In real life, Wolinetz caught syphilis, and was expelled from the Arabian Peninsula.

Mustache of the Gods(2001)
This mighty tome (1200 pages!) gives men’s facial hair more analysis than could ever be asked for. Wolinetz provides extensive and thoughtful insight to the mustaches of hundreds of famous lips in history, from Fu Manchu to Hitler to Tom Selleck. His chapter on David Arquette is particularly cromulent.

The Eternal Winter of The Yipaho, or 49 Words for Snow, But Only One Encompassing All Flavors of Cream Cheese (1977)
Wolinetz spent eighteen months (only six of them in daylight) ice-fishing and dog-sledding with the Yipaho tribe in Northern Alaska. These Jewish Eskimos emigrated from Spain during the Inquisition, and made an incredible journey all the way across Asia to the northernmost parts of the Western Hemisphere. Here, Wolinetz reveals that the tribe was aiming for the Holy Land, but took a wrong turn somewhere in Turkey. He painstakingly details each and every monotonous night spent in the snowy darkness, and provides the only written guide to the Yipaho language and culture.

I Get My Jive on I-95 (1982)
This witty and optimistic novel takes us, along with its blind-deaf-and-dumb protagonist, on a journey through the heartland of America. The book explores the displaced lives of Puerto Ricans in New York and Cubans in Miami, of Jews in Baltimore and the Irish in Boston. We get a taste of the music, the food, the cultures of many Americas, as not-experienced through our near-catatonic narrator.

A Watched Boil Never Pops (1971)
Banned in universities throughout the nation, this explosive, dark novel chronicles the free-love hippie movement, all told by a bed-ridden narrator who suffers from a debilitating case of Bubonic Plague. Wolinetz spent a year and a half living in a San Francisco commune as research, then disappeared into the Arizona desert for eleven moths, tripping on mescaline. He was found naked and incoherent in a bus station in Phoenix, clutching a sack full of grapes and a legal pad in which this manuscript was sloppily written in crayon. To this day, he claims no recollection of writing the book, although, that did not stop him from accepting its many awards.

Some Dogs Go To Hell (1996)
This, his first children’s story, was written in response to an encounter Wolinetz had with a roving pack of wild dogs while foraging for automotive parts in a junkyard. Wolinetz lost the use of his left pinkie toe when a mutt chewed through his leg, causing permanent nerve damage. This incident was inspiration for the author, and gave birth to Grumbly and Foamy, the beloved pair of rabid dogs that get into one misadventure after another, a canine Laurel and Hardy for a new generation of Wolinetz’s fans.

The Yipaho in Boca Raton (1981)
This charming fish-out-of-water story recounts the true tale of Ippy Apahopaho, the first Yipaho tribesman to boldly leave his home. Ippy accompanied Wolinetz on a busride tour of America, before permanently resettling in the warm climate of a retirement community with his long-lost, many-times-removed cousins, Stan and Estelle Goldfarb. Wolinetz served as translator between the reunited family members, and conducted a series of interviews with all members of the Goldfarb clan as Ippy quickly assimilated to Florida life. Sadly, Ippy died in a tragic accident at Sea World before this book made it to print.

Fruit Salad
And on that Note, Let's Cue the Music . . . As I sit here behind my desk at a major media company, my right leg laying prostrate in an immobilizing brace due to a knee injury incurred a week prior, I can not help but laugh. Are there not more...

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


RSD | RSS I | RSS II | Atøm | Spanish

Support Submit
From the Y.P.aRchives
Fun, Fickle Fiction (for Free!)
Fact, Opinion, Essay, & Review
Spectacular Features, Calendrical Happenings, Media Gadflies
Poetry & Lyric
Advice, How To, & Self-Help
Semi-Frequent Columns
Letter from the Editors
Disquieting Modern Trends
Interviews with Interviewers
One-Question Interviews
The Book Club
Media Gadflies
Calendrical Happenings
Correspondence (Letters To and Letters From) Letters from Y.P.R. Letters to Y.P.R. Birthday Cards to Celebrities Pop Stars in Hotel Rooms Shreek of the Week of the Day Polish Facts: An Antidote to the Polish Joke The Y.P.aRt Gallery Illustrious Illustration Photography Photomontage Graphic Design Logo Gallery What's Up with That? Fuit Salad Nick's Guff Vermont Girl The M_methicist Daily Garfield Digest New & Noteworthy Contributors' Notes Et Cetera, Et Cetera, Et Cetera The Y.P.aRchives

This journal is powered by Movable Typo 4.01.

Y.P.R. & Co.