Of The Farthingham Allens / 21 October 2003

People are always coming up to me and saying: “Josh? Josh Allen? Of the Farthingham Allens? Who manufactured date-rape drugs in his basement laboratory in high school and totally skirted jail time by blackmailing the judge with MacPaint-doctored Splash Mountain titty photos?” And I do a mocking bow and say, “Speaking,” and they say: “Where do you get those delightful subject lines for your emails?” And I explain that many roads lead to this shining destination—

  • Phrases that I shriek in my sleep, dutifully recorded by my shriek-activated tape recorder,
  • excerpts from the novel that I’m allegedly writing — in fact, if you stitch together the subject lines of every email I’ve sent over the past 30 years, you’d have the whole thing plus an audio commentary,
  • other people’s subject lines that still seem to work out of context,
  • parrot-squawk’d phrases,
  • half-remembered “safe words,”
  • maxims from my Kitties Hanging From Things And Thinking Funny Things In Thought Balloons 2001 desk calendar,
  • and ugly comments I’m afraid to make in the actual email itself.

P.S. It was [insert emotion here later] seeing this photo on a website yesterday because it’s just a few blocks from where I grew up and I remember, as cute li’l tyke in lederhosen, being concerned for the safety of the horsie perched on top of the roof. Fascinatingly enough — jaw-droppingly fascinatingly — I never actually went into that diner until earlier this year when my little brother took me to breakfast there. It was all right.

Joshua Green Allen

Fireland is a rickety old website by Joshua Allen.

A novel called Chokeville and a beverage-review site called The Knowledge For Thirst.

A great deal of typing is collected in the Archive.

Articles and whatnot for other sites, including The Morning News, Wired, and McSweeney's, can be found in External.

I've been involved in a number of Epiphany Sink pictures.

I record music under the name Orifex.

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The Sexiest Sentence Alive, Fireland Broke My Will To Live, The Black Pill Diaries, and a sampling of Old Fireland Designs.

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