Monday, September 15, 2008

2008 Goudey... or The Final Writings of David Foster Wallace

Editor's Note: This post is a slightly modified reprint of a post from Thorzul Will Rule.

This was not the way I wanted to get bumped up a notch. Over this past weekend, America lost its greatest living writer, David Foster Wallace. He left behind, among other works, Infinite Jest, the novel against which all others can only be judged "wimpy." Before hanging himself last Friday night, Wallace had the foresight to send me a handwritten manuscript detailing the contents of and process behind a retail pack of 2008 Goudey. A transcript and some hastily-assembled scans appear below.

08 Sept., Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment
And but so then appeared a red concentric ring, humming with life, a sick buzz cutting through a sub-suburban evening, joisting with jiggeredoo, atrocities on the horizon involving motorized cart-return machinery, the in-and-out journey speculatively lasting less than the amount of time required to disconnect flange A from duct B on an upright, 22.6 cubic foot Frigidaire PowerBox Elite Series, a pre-post-doubleyou-doubleyou-eye-eye paquette by the nomenclature Goudey entering my purview, hoping against hope that the status of B.P.O.A.T. (Best Pack of All Time (a theoretical impossibility involving the calculation of a staggering amount of matrices)) would be achieved. From a bird's eye view, a gargantuan winked at me first, reminding me of the smells wafting in from the bay, the stench of walrus hide mixing with the ghostly aftersheen of Mays and McCovey, the buried, blissful, against-all-odds memory of a madman, thumping, spitting, enraged frenzy, a roiling, boiling ball of intimidation, a smile in spite of the fourteen stitches in the head of Johnny Roseboro, this Marichal fellow, near the close of the Year of the Necco Wafer. His tipped collar juts out of the top of his uniform. Underneath, mouth agape, an identical brother from the mouth of the St. Croix, a former demonic sunbeam, Delmon Young craves post-season glory that might never come.

As the third eighth is revealed the plight of Native Americans (1) struts to the forefront, a knight in shining eye-black, a Grady in the time when there were no Gradys, when parents were naming their offspring with random syllables or geographical points of interest, a son of Cleveland fighting the good fight, leading off and propelling the Tribe to the basement, no better than former Texas ball-man Mark Texas, a stout, rotund, brave man who marks on a calendar his days remaining in the eastern national quadrant, eschewer of Sherman's march to the sea, not even born yet on the day the two guys circled the four bases with H.H. Erin the day he then but tried the brush-off, trotting number 715. More tears are shed for the fifth in the stack, shed for failure to recycle, or, perhaps, in some way, at the very least, somehow, but maybe attempt surreptitiously to clean a public park in a very public service announcement, another Indian addicted to his current handle, nameaholic unable to shed the moniker of Travis Hafner, short-a'd first syllables causing the announcer to tingle as the ring of sweat gathers around the bottom of a complimentary Sprite, followed by my dream boy, capable of hurling the Haitian export with even red stitches the better part of 135 miles per hour, Max Scherzer, R.C.I.D. (2), western reptile mascotted, Mizuno glove sporting, brandishing a young smile, playing a bit of the pitch and catch in the humid desert. Then there's #188, David Murphy, outfielder for the Texas Rangers.

Succumbing below the weight of all that pulpy, inked-up future landfill corporate excellence, a throwback, a Zenith lacking the color pallatte and remote switching capabilities, I do believe this could be your hometown hero Thor, the best of the firsties the year before this one, measured as the Y.R.F.A.C.C.S. (3), he of stretched bodily material, core-centric, bruised and hollow, hallowed in Brew Town, Brawny Ryan, paper towel magnate, moustache-free, ever adjusting between every pitched pitch (4), short printed, strong. But so then rounding it out, all in all not a bad pack.

(1) The most interesting of which have not popped up in the Hollywood filmed entertainments such as Wolf Dancer, pushed aside and forced to live on reserved land mostly but not all south of the Great Concavity, militant in their grammar.
(2) Rookie Card Insignia Denotee
(3) Year of the Robitussin Fast-Acting Children's Cough Syrup
(4) Set down bat at crotch, adjust gloves, tighten, pick up bat, strong exhalation, batting helmet touch, cup, pants leg, chest of shirt, shoulder touch, helmet again, jersey again, step into batter's box.

Set aside a month of your life to read Infinite Jest.


Dinged Corners said...

We liked 'A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again.'

This is brilliant.

The Angels In Order said...

I did not know of him. But I now see that genius and brilliant are putting it mildly.

Though not a Texan but living amongst them, I appreciated the abbreviated description on the David Murphy card.

Billy Suter said...

"Infinite Jest" was all right, but for some reason, I felt like it was missing something. I dunno. Maybe I should read it a little slower next time.