So I had no idea who Claude LaBadarian was until Bill C. e-mailed me a while back to let me know it was up my alley. Dining Late with Claude La Badarian is an epistolary story (which is a fancy way of saying it’s done as a series of letters–there, my English degree was worth every penny) written by William Monahan (scribe for The Departed, that’s his picture there) and published in the New York Press back in 2001.
It’s a completely mental adventure of the aforementioned Claude, who is both an Utter and Complete Pretentious Bastard and also hilarious. He starts off by blackmailing a publisher into granting him the titular column and money. He then goes through marital mayhem, being on the run from the law, mysteriously getting laid a lot despite being apparently not physically in his prime (shall we say), and having confrontations with his nemesis, who happens to be William Monahan. It’s meta-licious. Here’s one of my favorite snippets, where he’s talking about a previous relationship:
It was one of those times when, basically, you don’t get much writing done. She used to wake me up, sometimes holding a knife, and tell me how fucking talented and handsome I was, how extraordinary in my person–she plotted out exactly how I was going to be President of the United States–gesturing with a cleaver she planned the seating arrangements at my Inauguration–but she never actually let me do any work. Nothing much was done about my political career, and I was in serious trouble with my thesis. Being Catholic, I was going to marry her–not despite the situation being unpleasant, but because it was–do you understand this, you Protestant filth?–no, you don’t–but in August her family descended and after a brief, realistic confab between me and her pretty okay dad–a well-known titan of American manufacturing–“Do you want to marry my daughter?” he asked, dubiously, “Your daughter, sir, has been trying to take her own life since June.”
If you want to read more about it and get links to all thirteen letters that comprise Dining Late, the
Wikipedia Squidoo article is your best bet. Thanks again to Bill for the headsup.
P.S. Saying the word “epistolary” always stirs Siege from a sound sleep. So that’s fun too.
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