I may as well admit it. I’m in love with Roy Blount, Jr. I’ve never met the man, but I love him helplessly. When he speaks on “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” in that rumbling gravelly voice, I get a grin on my face like little kids get when they hear the jingling music of an ice cream truck. Roy — I call him Roy as if we were old friends — is also the president of the Author’s Guild, which just goes to show how selfless he is in wanting to help other writers. And that’s not even including the fact that he’s a fantastic writer. His monthly columns in the Oxford American were so good I wanted to go out and buttonhole people and say, “You have to read this!” He has a way of summing up human beings like nobody since Mark Twain. He knows how to get the most out of words, playing with them but with a little bite that lets you know there’s a keen mind in the background that eats stupid people for breakfast.
Not to worry, Roy, you won’t see me outside your window stalking you. I’ll just be a virtual groupie, swooning over the way you tame wild words and make them purr. Right now I’m reading Alphabet Juice, which should be on every writer’s bedside table. Sometimes I read it for stretches of time, sometimes I dip into it during TV commercials. I learn something every time about words and how to use them. I am also reminded that some of the most brilliant minds live amongst us in very nice, humble people.