Friday, March 31, 2017

Love Me

By Garrison Keillor

Larry is just an ordinary guy living in Minnesota. He wants to be a novelist. And he succeeds. His novel is a big hit. He's famous, acclaimed, money pouring in. Now he wants to take advantage of it all and move to New York and work for the New Yorker. But he's married and his wife refuses to leave Minnesota. She is not interested in the advantages that New York offers. So she stays in Minnesota and Larry goes to New York.
New York is everything Larry wanted. He loves life in the city. He loves his apartment, especially the terracer. He loves being at the New Yorker. Only two things are messing it up for him. He's got writer's block and his wife is adamant about staying in Minnesota.
The years pass. His writing career is in the toilet. He is drinking too much. He is chasing after women. His wife is leading her own life. He ends up writing an advice column for a newspaper. It isn't until he thinks his wife is becoming attached to someone else that he finally returns home to Minnesota.

I enjoyed this story quite a lot. It got my attention from the very start, always a good sign. It has some fun and rather silly bits and the advice column stuff is really great, maybe one of the best parts of the whole thing. One of the advice-seeking letters is from a famous George:

"I grew up in Midland, Texas, and went to Yale though I am no reader and married a fine woman who supported me through my Lost Weekend years when I goofed around in the oil business and got high as a kite on weekends and went around making a fool of myself. With the help of dear friends, I was able to sell my bankrupt company at a handsome profit and then obtain a major-league baseball franchise and get public financing for a ballpark, whereupon I sold the team for a fabulous profit. What a lucky duck. Now that I'm off the sauce, I am considering taking a stab at politics (my dad was a politician though not a very good one, IMHO,) but I hate hanging around with dull people who yak about the fine points of public finance or Whatever! And my wife says, "Why don't you try writing? You have so many good ideas." What do you think?"

And since I included the George letter, I want to also include Larry's rant about Republicans:

"...Bullet-headed ideologues devoted to prisons and sterile office parks and McMansion developments and pumping oil and destroying the Alaska wilderness to power their SUV's while taking away funds for homeless children sleeping in doorways to pay millions to fat-cat farmers and ranchers firmly attached to the right hind teat of federal welfare." 

 The only thing I didn't care for in the whole story was the ending, which was depressing and disappointing. Oh, well.

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