—Billy Barf, whose acquaintance with anything Italian was limited to the deuteragonist of Donkey Kong and a few canned-pasta commercials, insisted on speaking with his imperfect idea of an ethnic accent until Isaiah Two Four, detecting not only its inauthenticity but also its potential for insult, drew the young band eponym aside for a word or two, though Ralph Jr., who had talked Californian all his life, had only taken it for some kind of speech impediment (Pynchon, Vineland 95).


My mother called me.

—When you come home for the holidays, don't bring any red or green clothes.


Dave Harris once asked me what my parents did for a living. I told him my father was an insurance salesman and my mother was a ceramics student at a local community college.

—Does your mom smoke a lot of pot? he replied.


I don't want to suggest that my mother's crazy, but I have a marble attached to the antenna of my cell phone to —prevent the radiation emitted by the phone from warping my brain.


I got an A+ in Chinese 1A fall quarter. I didn't think it was possible to get an A+ in college. I assumed it was a grade exclusive to elementary school.


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