Q. Hi Phil. What’s new?

A. Just got back from Hawaii.

Q. Hope you had fun. Surf much? What else have you been up to? How’s your love life?

A. I get a lot of offers — for a wizened, balding middle-aged man. I guess it’s just the unassailable aura of self-confidence I exude. I think if I have to see any woman more than once a fortnight I suffocate. What’s up with that?

Q. [Science fiction writer] Scott W. got married in Australia to an Aussie, according to a mutual friend.

A. You marrying types. I can see Scott with one of those weird hats with the brim plastered to the side, his gangly, pasty legs poking out of khaki shorts, careening on a jeep in the outback, wildly waving the Foster’s in his hand to emphasize his rambling, esoteric points. What woman wouldn’t go for that?

Q. I heard you’ve been looking for regular employment. How’s that going?

A. I’ve been asking a lot of people for jobs — I want to work in publishing but am having trouble because of my “felonies.”

Q. The job market is tight right now, really tight.

A. I was recently introduced to Peter M., who apparently doesn’t care about criminal records.

Q. Do you want to do something next week?

A. Sure.

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I can’t see too well in the dark. My mom says it had something to do with my diet when I was a kid.