Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's a small world, after all.

It's a very small world, and getting smaller every day. The internet is bringing the world to our front door. If we don't answer, like a nosy neighbor, the world is going to peep through the blinds.

You may remember a piece I wrote a few weeks ago titled Dear Anonymous. In it, I wrote about the lack of anonymity in small towns, and how much I enjoyed becoming just another face in the crowd when I moved to Dallas/Ft. Worth. I also wrote that I was abandoning my anonymity, that I was becoming Mark Pettus, the small town boy with a talent for making up stories. Little did I know...

Twice in the past week, I've gotten emails from people who want to know if I'm the same Mark Pettus who went to their high school. Both times, my answer has been yes, and my question has been, "Do I know you?" So far the only answer I've gotten is from someone who might be a character on Seinfeld. Crazy Stalker Woman refuses to tell me her name, but knows my birthdate, asks about my brother, and signs her email, "The Game Continues..."

If you're a Stephen King fan, you probably know how much grief he got for calling the little town where he taught high school english, "The asshole of the world." I'm not going to make the same mistake. Although my hometown has its share of hemorrhoids, most are attached to the assholes who live there, not to the town itself. It's a small town, and has its share of great people as well, some of whom are undoubtedly going to discover that I'm writer, a great writer, a Faulkner for the new millenium... okay, so maybe that was a little over the top (but if you ever have to introduce me, for a reading, a Pulitzer, the Nobel... you could use that line, it wouldn't piss me off).

Since I'm already attracting some attention, I guess I need to lay down some guidelines for people from my past:

  1. If you are angry because I once slept with your sister, you have me confused with my brother. He lives near Miami, and drives a white Yukon. I can send you his plate number and address if you like.
  2. If you are nursing a decades-long case of unrequited love, I look forward to meeting you. I'm still a pretty good looking guy. I love candle light dinners and long walks in the park... but I must insist that you never tell your brother that you know where I am. Never. I'm not kidding.
  3. If you are thinking that I can somehow help you finance an organic dairy farm, you should know that I work for a newspaper, my novel is unpublished, and I don't have an agent. When I get an agent, and my agent sells my novel, you can get in line behind my ex-wife, the IRS, the people who are trying to collect on my defaulted student loan, and a guy named Vinny who keeps threatening to repossess my grandmother. If, after I pay them, there is any money left, organic dairy farming in a the desert actually sounds like the kind of hair-brained scheme I'd fall for. Call me.
  4. That whole thing with the underwire bra was a joke. No one at the reunion wants to hear about it. I know those pictures look like me. You never heard of Adobe PhotoShop?

p.s. to Crazy Stalker Woman.

Are you married?

Mark Pettus,
Wednesday, December 07, 2005


10 comments so far. Thank you, Blogger Dennie McDonald, Blogger Kira, Blogger Mark Pettus, Blogger anne frasier, Blogger Dennie McDonald, Blogger Bernita, Blogger serenity, Blogger Mark Pettus, Blogger Caryn, Blogger Dawno,


Let me know what you think

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10 Comments

at 9:05 AM Blogger Dennie McDonald said...

Great post - glad you are not drowning in work too much (or are you - sheesh!)

 
at 5:34 PM Blogger Kira said...

It's a strange feeling to suddenly be found by people you once knew.

And creepy. Absolutely creepy at times!

 
at 9:07 PM Blogger Mark Pettus said...

Dennie, it's great to be back posting. Hopefully I can update a little more frequently.

Kira, I may have scared Creepy Stalker Woman away. I hope not. I could really use a stalker, or a woman who gives obscene phone calls. Ah... the good old days.

I don't know how someone who does what you do can call anything creepy. I did stories on the Marfa lights and on the San Antonio ghost kids, so I've met my quota for real ghost stories. Besides, I'm getting old, I like to go to bed early.

 
at 11:01 PM Blogger anne frasier said...

a stalker is considered a positive sign.
i predict a book sale in the near future. Early February. ;)

 
at 5:38 PM Blogger Dennie McDonald said...

I will say, there is some perverse pleasure in finding someone after many years and seeing what they are up to (and their current is fat and ugly or dumb as a post).

Stalking: the new sport of the soccer mom!

Not that I would ever do that! =)

 
at 1:09 PM Blogger Bernita said...

Mark, you have the passive-aggressive tease down to a fine art.
Hope the "Game" is not the "The Most Dangerous..."

 
at 4:29 PM Blogger serenity said...

I always feel mildly unsettled when anyone I haven't seen in over a decade actually applies effort to tracking me down. Particularly if I can't come up with one good reason why that person would have any reason to want to find me. *squirm*

 
at 3:30 PM Blogger Mark Pettus said...

Anne - Great. The first good sign I get and I've scared her off.

Dennie - I saw a bumper sticker the other day:
Are You Stalking Me?
Cause that would be Super.

Bernita - I'm not sure what tease you're talking about, but if it's passive-agressive, I'll guarantee you I learned from my ex.

Serenity - I'm sure she didn't mean to creep me out. There is no way she could know my personal history... or why such a thing would bother me. I hope she contacts me again.

 
at 7:47 PM Blogger Caryn said...

Great list. Quite funny. Hope the stalker lady deal turns out okay. I've thought a lot about what name to use if/when I'm published. Still can't decide: maiden, married, or pen name. Guys only get two choices. :-)

By the way, my blog moved. It's now at http://wordplay.lastpromise.com. I still have my old one up, though, with a link to redirect people.

 
at 10:53 PM Blogger Dawno said...

I'm feeling a bit like a crazy stalker woman...I keep coming back here looking for a new post, lurking around, checking comments...generally loitering with the occasional hit on the refresh button, just in case...

Don't fall for dairy farming in the desert scheme. I lived in the California Mojave desert for 18 years and *nobody* tried to raise cows, dairy or otherwise. And the Mojave is actually quite pleasant, for a desert.

Turkey ranching used to be big in the Antelope Valley where I lived (no antelopes live there anymore, sadly). I wonder why that stopped. Probably made more money selling the land to developers looking to enlarge the suburbs of L.A. than they made in a lifetime of farming.

Ok, bye now.

 

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