Greetings, gentle readers.
The kind and generous owner of this blog, Casey Lartigue, after noticing that I had been frequently posting in the comments section of late, has graciously offered to allow me to toil occasionally here in the fields of his wisdom. This demonstrates either that high intelligence and copious education do not always yield smart decisions, or else that Casey's getting lazier in his old age and simply wants to shift the burdens of his work onto others. Having known him for nigh on a decade and a half now, it may be that the correct answer is "both of the above."
Casey and I met while we were both working in Korea. Well, he was working and I was pretending to work. We were generous posters on the expatriate list serve there, Kexpat (motto: "Welcome to Kexpat. Now unsubscribe."), a rather hobbesian place where only the strongest and meanest survived. Needless to say, Casey flourished there and it was only through his guidance and protection that a delicate hothouse flower like myself was able to navigate the reefs and shoals of the list.
We were also prolific writers for The Korea Times, editorials and letters both. Because I was only pretending to work, there was ample time for me to stuff the KT's mailbox with letters, to the point where the editor, Mr. Kim, asked me to begin submitting letters with different noms de plume, so as to allow him to publish more of them. Hobbits are about the best fictional critters ever invented (natural anarchists, they are!) and my affinity for them is well known. It is well established that hobbits travelling incognito would use the surname "Underhill," and thus was born what was to become Casey's favorite nemesis, "John Underhill."
Although there were any number of John Incidents, two in particular stand out.
The first was a letter sent in September of 1996. This was the first letter in which John put a shot across Casey's bows. Though I had described my letter, in a side note to the editor, as a "stab-in-the-back," Casey felt it needed a neologism for best effect, and so today we have the word "frontstabber."
Better still, however is a letter Casey sent in to the paper in February of defending John...fully knowing that he (John, not Casey) was simply a figment of my imagination.
I also seem to recall citing one of John's letters on Kexpat, which drew a fascinating response from Casey regarding the issues of "citing myself."
Anyway...these touching historical comments are made by way of introduction and to say that Casey has long known what my aberrant personality is like when he invited me to guest host for him. Or help shoulder the burden. Or pay back 400+ years of bad karma. Hard to say. I expect to have fun lending a hand here and who knows - maybe he'll even let me stay around for awhile.
In the meantime....Welcome to the Casey Lartigue Show!. You know the rest.