Daniel Pinkwater, the greatest sf writer in the universe, is serializing a story on the Internet. Many writers had an influence on me when I was growing up, but no single writer did so much to inspire me to write as Pinkwater: a gifted humorist and storyteller whose savage wit and nerd-positive message comes across in stories from picture-books to young adult novels (including the blisteringly, savagely funny Young Adult Novel). Two Pinkwater omnibuses (5 Novels and 4 Novels) collect nine of his finest.
I'm so excited to see him doing this great story on the net — I'm going to devour it as soon as I post this.
I didn't always live here. And by here, I do not mean the La Brea Tar Pits, where I am writing this down in a notebook–I mean Los Angeles. When I was a little kid I lived in Chicago.
On Wilshire Boulevard, in Los Angeles, there is a restaurant shaped like a hat. It is called The Brown Derby, and that's what it looks like–one of those derby hats, with the round top, and the little brim all around. There is a sign outside that says, "Eat in the Hat." And people do. I knew about this because I saw pictures in Look Magazine. The pictures showed the restaurant, the "Eat in the Hat" sign, and two movie stars–I think it was Bette Davis and Laird Cregar–inside the hat, eating cheeseburgers. They were eating cheeseburgers with knives and forks! This was interesting too. I had only found out about cheeseburgers a short time before–and had only actually eaten two of them. I did not know that some people eat them with knives and forks, but I thought of them as grown-up and sophisticated food, even before learning that movie stars ate them.
Anyway, when I read about the Brown Derby and saw the pictures, it became one of my life's ambitions to eat there.