Let’s not either of us pretend you care that I haven’t posted for a while. One of the beauties of RSS is that you don’t need to spend too much time trawling un-updated blogs, only to be disappointed. Now you can be disappointed only when there’s something new to be disappointed by.

So, it’s Superbowl Sunday! As I write this, Americans around the world are sitting on their couches surrounded by nachos, beer and friends celebrating the pinnacle of their television calendar – the 42nd Superbowl final between NFC champions the New York Giants and AFC champions, the New England Patriots. Some of them will have painted their faces in the gaudy colours of their team.

Like all of the 6,344,905,379 people in the world who aren’t eligible for a navy blue passport, I really couldn’t give a toss who wins, but I gather the Patriots – the first team to have a perfect undefeated season since the Miami Dolphins in 1972 – are the favourites. Go Pats!

Of course I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, Paul, you don’t know the first thing about any of that stuff. You looked it all up on Wikipedia to make yourself look smart and cool. And you’d be absolutely right. Apart from the face painting which I remember from an episode of Seinfeld. I did have a brief but genuine, interest in the game last year – even to the point of trying to learn the rules and watching in puzzled awe the play-by-play on NFL.com – but, well, we all know how that ended.

Still, it strikes me that knowing the rules to American football is a useful skill to pick up for surviving the 21st century. Like learning to say ‘let’s do lunch’ in Chinese or ‘don’t point that fucking thing at me’ in Russian.

In fact, I’m pretty sure you could hold a conversation in any American city or town with only two pieces of knowledge: the rules of American football (and the ability to use them in metaphor) and the 27 amendments to the Constitution in order.

Expression, arms, soldiers, search, incrimination, trial, jury, punishment, flexibility, delegation, immunity, POTUS/VPOTUS, slavery, slavery II, Slavery: With a Vengeance, income tax, senators, prohibition, women, terms, antihibition, getting started, DC, poll taxes, succession, 18, greed.


And if you want to extend your abilities north of the border, just add a list of twelve famous people who are actually Canadian.

Aykroyd, Shatner, Meyers, Sutherland, Moranis, Cronenberg, Anderson, Perry, Carrey, Furtado, Lavigne, J. Fox, Cirque de Soleil

And you’re set.

In other American news, I’ve just had an email from New York, from my editor who is at a conference there. Apparently the book is still being libel read, which either speaks to the thoroughness of the process or to the defamatory nature of the material. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I’ve made sure it’s all double or triple sourced, so I expect we’ll be fine. I just wish I’d known what the thing would turn in to when I signed the contract. I should have asked for more money, a case of Havana Club 15 Años Gran Reserva and an icepack.

It also looks like the publishers are going to go with Oli Barret’s title suggestion, along with my subtitle. I’ll tell you what they both are when I know for sure.

Next: cover art. That’s going to be a blast.

But first, tomato soup.