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So. Remember how a couple three entries ago, I was talking about Joe Frank, the radio performance artist?

Well, believe it or not, a few of you must have actually gone and checked him out, because his people found me! I got an e-mail from someone at the website (Hi Michal!), who first kindly thanked me for my review, and then asked me to take out the links to the specific shows and just leave the link to the main site.

Since he was so nice about it, I agreed and changed the page. I then went about my business for a good half-hour before I realized that he must have read the part about how I mentioned that his boss ought to do phone sex for a living.

Heh. I was kind of embarrassed at first, but then I thought, hey, maybe Michal will pass the idea along!

If you're still reading, Michal, I'm kidding. No, really. I am. Totally kidding. You can go away now.

(As for the rest of you, I'll keep you posted on "1-900-JOE-FRANK"...)

A couple of weeks ago, I took a day off, a Friday, for no other reason than I could. I did all the things you're supposed to do on your day off, like watch "The Price is Right" and eat four Eskimo Pies for lunch.

At 4:30, there was a knock at the door. I should know better than to answer the door during working hours, but I did, and there stood a nice young pregnant girl who gave me the whole spiel that they give you before they finally tell you what they're there for, which is to sell you magazines.

So of course, I now have a subscription to Jane, which is the coolest trashiest girl magazine ever, and Games, which is the coolest non-trashy puzzle magazine ever. (She was pregnant, okay? How could I not?)

In this month's issue of Games, there is a contest that I have been obsessing over for two days. It is in the form of an acrostic, which is the kind of puzzle where you get general knowledge-type questions, and each letter of the answer has a number underneath it. When you've filled in the answer, you transfer each letter to the corresponding number in a big grid at the top, which usually spells out some witty quote or another.

In this one, though, the questions are like this:

"Cube of the difference between the ZIP codes of two towns in adjacent states, not county seats, with the same name, which, with another name that is a county seat in each state, comprises the subject of a book published 17 years after the author's travel book titled American Notes."
Not all of them are numerical answers, but a few of them are. There are a lot of county-related questions (thank God for, a lot of cube multipliers (the name of the contest is "Cubic Challenge"), and a lot of cross-referencing to other answers ("Lake due east of state capital due south of island with same name as seat of county of O, and due north of town, with same name as province adjacent to both Cuenca and Badajoz, in the palindromic province mentioned in A").

Here's one of the easier ones: "For Count Rasoumovsky, three are 59, but for Berkeley it is a sphenisciform." (This one is cool.)

Anyway, since I have nothing to do at work, I spent the entire day working on it, and believe me, it included more time with the calculator than I have spent with one since high school.

There is now only one answer that I can't get. There is a stamp (I think it's this one), and I need the cube of a number that is supposed to be on it (besides the "8" of the 8 cents), but I can't get a good enough picture of it. Of course, the thing that the answers spell out is yet another question that I have to answer, and unfortunately, since the one clue I'm still missing is a number, I can't guess (i.e., fill in an "H" in between a "T" and an "E", like I could if they were all words). Lord help me, I'm actually considering buying the stamp just so I can get the last clue.

If I do, and I figure out the question, then I just have to write the answer on a postcard and send it in and possibly win $1000! Not bad for two days' worth of geeked-out entertainment.

Okay, here you go. How well do you know me?

(I'm sorry, there are just some bandwagons I am powerless to resist. And a friendly warning, you might find yourself in pop-up hell afterwards. But hey, what are a few pop-up ads when there's a quiz you can take that's all about me?)

(Don't think about that one too long, actually.)

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