Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mr. Ravioli

I recently bought the Complete New Yorker, a set of DVDs that contain the last 80 years of that wonderful magazine. I've had a subscription for the last seven years, and, after finding some favorite articles in those first few issues, I've had a hard time parting with even a single issue. But, having recently moved in with my Fiancé, Joli, I have been encouraged to minimize. The DVD collection not only allowed me to throw out 300-400 issues of the magazine, but I also found quite a few other unnecessary issues of other magazines in my collection. In the end, there are very few issues of Maxim magazine worth buying, let alone keeping.

One of my favorite stories to date was Adam Gopnick's "Bumping into Mr. Ravioli: A theory of busyness, and its hero," a piece about his daughter's imaginary friend, who never seems to have time to play with her.

I never had an imaginary friend as a kid. But my sister had something called "The Fireplace People," whom she could see lounging and crawling about on the guardrails of the winding Colorado mountain roads. I can still remember being envious of that. She had books and imaginary friends in the hills. I had Danger Mouse, Legos, and our strange neighbors' kids.

The original piece appeared in a September, 2002, issue of the New Yorker. It was also included in the 2003 Best American Essays collection. You can find the full text by registering with Access My Library. Or you can listen to the audio recording at Assistive Media.

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