Thursday, March 26, 2009

"I Dunno... Whatta YOU Wanna Do?"

I'm making it official, here and now: The Official -- hey, I said I was making it official -- Grand Re-Opening Day of The Lair of the Silver Fox will be Monday, April 6th.

In the meantime, as the Beatles would've said... "HELP!"

My StatCounter tells me that people have been checking out this blog virtually every day throughout the month of March, in spite of my "Closed for Remodeling" and "Re-Opening Soon!" designations. To me, that signifies that there are quite a few of you out there who honestly give a damn about this blog.

Glad to hear it. Or see it. Whatever. You know what I mean.

Do you care enough to give me a little... assistance? (Non-financial, don't panic!)

Before my brief sabbatical, I had begun a series of posts about something I called "The Reunion of the Super Pets." That got interrupted because I was waiting -- and still am waiting -- for a "snail mail" letter from the artist of that project about his involvement with the project.

To kill time while waiting for his letter, I started a series called "The Story of 'The BIRD' and Me" which was originally going to fill in some "before" and "after" behind-the-scenes details on a character I co-created over twenty years ago. Before I knew it, however, that project morphed into a history of how I became -- in no particular order -- a comic book collector, a comic book dealer, a professional writer, and (briefly) a professional comic book writer! And although, as I said, my comic writing "career" was fairly brief, telling about it and everything else was -- you know me! -- much less so.

Now, I've been wondering whether I should just stop waiting for that letter about the Super Pets and resume posting by finishing that storyline, or if I should follow through with "The Story of 'The BIRD' and Me" regardless of where that takes me, or whether I should postpone both of them and resume posting with something entirely different...

Finally, I figured that I'd involve you -- all of you -- in this decision, since you're all (presumably) what they call "interested parties." Forget, for the moment, that little section at the bottom of this blog that says, among other things, "The Lair of the Silver Fox will not always be what you expect it to be, or even -- sometimes -- what you want to see. But then again, if it were, it'd be your blog, and not mine, right?"

So, here's what I'm asking you to do: Leave a "vote" in the form of a comment on this post -- as short or as long as you care to make it -- telling me what your choice is, based on the list below. ("Votes" sent via private email will not be accepted, sorry!) You can vote, and even change your vote, at any time, starting now, up to and including 11:59 PM on April 3rd.

Here goes:
  1. First, I should finish "The Reunion of the Super Pets," whether I hear from the artist or not.
  2. First, I should finish "The Story of 'The BIRD' and Me" no matter how long that turns out to be... although I'll try to keep the individual chapters at a manageable length!
  3. I should start with something else out of the three or four ideas I've been playing with lately. I won't describe them, because that could "stack the deck," as it were. Just think "Oh? Something new and -- hopefully -- exciting, as opposed to that other crap stuff? Oh, let's!"
  4. Finally, maybe you have an idea you'd like to toss out among my other readers as far as what you'd like me to do first? A challenge, of sorts? "You always used to hint about [fill-in-the-blank] on your David'Z RantZ blog. How about telling that story here?" Or, "Hey, David, I've always wondered if you could write an interesting story about amoebas? What do the rest of you people think?" (This, of course, is where the option to change your vote would come in handy. "Hey, yeah! Change my vote! Instead of the Super Pets, write about amoebas! Cool!")
And keep in mind, you may never get a chance to "influence" this blog like #4 again.

So. The "voting" begins now, and ends at the very last minute of April 3rd. And if you don't vote, and April 6th brings a post on a subject that doesn't exactly thrill you, you'll have only yourself to blame!

And if I get stuck writing about f***ing amoebas, I'll have only myself to blame!

Thanks for your time.


  1. Here are my votes, but I'm happy with whatevah comes next.

    1) Start something new!
    2) Join Subtorp's Theme Thursday group--they do cool stuff and it would be fun to see what you did with the themes.

    I'd also like some french fries, but that seems off-topic.

  2. Note: I'm voting for you to do both things I suggested and write a coupla posts a week--might be more manageable, at least for right now?

    I'd hope that you would come back to the other topics eventually, 'though.

    And, I'd still like some fries.

  3. Interesting idea, or should I say "ideas?" (You're just trying to get two votes outta this, little missy!)

    And... fries? I knew it'd come to that! ( See #3!)

  4. April 6 - good date - start of the baseball season for most teams, my daughter's birthday...

    Sorry, i get hung up on trivial details.

  5. Redbeard: Okay, so that's one vote for... HEY!

    Ishat: Somehow... I knew you were going to say that!

    Get it? "Somehow, I knew... " Never mind.

  6. David,
    I'd enjoy it if you wrote an in-depth bloggy-story about the Eisner-Award-Winning store that you worked at! Wouldn't that be very interesting?!

  7. Hm. Tallying up the votes so far, we have:

    1. Something new. ONE VOTE
    2. Theme Thursday. ONE VOTE
    3. Psychics. ONE VOTE
    4. That's Entertainment, the Eisner Award Winning Pop Culture Emporium ONE VOTE

    Uh-Oh. That's a four-way tie. We need one or more tie-breaking votes by the very last minute of April 3rd.

    Otherwise, I think there's a 47-chapter "Dover Street" story lying around here that I can dust off...

  8. Swinging soothsayers.

  9. Crystal Ball... Crystal Ball...

    Why does that sound so familiar?

    Oh, yeah. I think I dated a stripper named Crystal Ball. Had an aunt named Lucille, as I recall...

  10. maybe not cousin saulApril 2, 2009 at 6:22 PM

    I also vote for a blog story about the Eisner-Award-Winning-Collectibles store, That's Entertainment. There...that's TWO votes for that story. We win!

  11. Lucy, gotta love meApril 2, 2009 at 8:13 PM

    Swinging Shagging Soothsayers

    Chrystal was a dancer, Mister!

  12. A dancer? Didn't I write "dancer?" Ohhh, I wrote "stripper!" Must have been a typo... or I was misquoted... or something...

  13. Hey! I'm New Around Here!April 3, 2009 at 3:14 PM

    I am a disinterested party who is entirely subjective and just wandered in out of the blue in a wandery sort of way.

    Right away, I can tell that this Sparkle Plenty seems to have a lot of good sense. Why an old man such as himself is named Sparkle I'll never know, but to each his own.

    So. I, too, vote that you try a few Theme Thursdays, just for the fun of it.

    And: Why not write something new about the swingin' psychics who work at the That's Entertainment, the Eisner Award Winning Pop Culture Emporium? Work in Redbeard's daughter somehow and bob's your uncle. Unless your uncle is also named Sparkle.

  14. Hi, "Hey!"

    The story behind Sparkle's name(s) is long, complicated, and frankly, rather sordid in parts. And thus, I present:

    The Secret Origin of Sparkle Plenty!

    He wasn't always the old man you see stashed away, working at the desk in his workshop, of course. In his youth, he was just a young Jewish lad (whose real first name is unknown) with a dazzling -- I should say "sparkling" -- smile, named Cohen. (That is, the lad was named Cohen, not the smile.)

    The writing bug bit him early -- as did the occasional bedbug, and then there was that unfortunate bout with crab lice (I told you part of his story was sordid) -- and he worked briefly as a comic book writer in the late 1940s, when the comic industry's many Jewish writers and artists tended to change their names. There was a new, popular character named "Sparkle Plenty" in the Dick Tracy comic strip, so Sparkle Cohen thought, "Of course!"

    (By the way, many of the comics Mr. Cohen wrote are available at That's Entertainment, the Eisner Award winning pop culture emporium with branches in both Worcester and Fitchburg, Massachusetts.)

    Cohen (still using the pen name of Sparkle Plenty) struggled for several years as a freelance writer, until finally arriving at the offices of Popular Mechanics. By this time, Sparkle looked prematurely old, as most of his once-sparkly teeth were gone. Other Popular Mechanics staffers started calling him "Pops."

    Finally, Sparkle Plenty was given his own column, a question-and-answer column. The higher-ups wouldn't allow him to use a pen name swiped from a comic strip. He decided on "Sparkle Cohen," reverting to his original surname, but a prankster in the typesetting department changed the name to "Pops Cohen" at the last minute.

    Cohen reasoned that "Pops Cohen" sounded to much like "popcorn," so he decided to chuck the entire "Sparkle Plenty" thing and became, instead, "Pop Mechs" (from "Popular Mechanics," of course,... although the rest of the magazine's staff never got the joke).

    But naturally, all of that was years ago. Once the age of the internet had arrived, he ended up creating a blog for himself, and decided to revive the Sparkle Plenty pen name. I suppose it is rather curious that an elderly man should keep using the name of a female comic strip character, but it makes sense if you consider that his blog consists of fruity stuff like photos of flowers and animals, and discussions of things like cream-coloured slacks and Easter hats. Not that there's anything wrong with that... wink, wink, nudge, nudge... know what I'm sayin'?

    (The above biography of Sparkle Plenty is 100% true... except for the parts that are total bullshit.)

  15. (Okay, seven, actually. 11:59 p.m.)

  16. (Not that I actually expect anyone other than myself to be awake and monitoring the comments section at this ungodly hour, of course... )


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