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Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers
I have, inadvertently, plaid a cruel joke upon a friend on the occasion of her birthday. I purchased her a copy of The Firesign Theatre's Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers…
My reasoning was quite simple, and quite benign. I found this in the bookstore, and said to myself, "This is widely regarded as the strongest work of the greatest comedy / social satire / audio theatre group in the history of the world. It is also one of my personal favorites. My friend teaches English, specifically Digital Technology & Culture. She should enjoy and appreciate this." So I took it home.
Upon further consideration, I began to believe that I was committing a faux pas equivalent to buying someone who has never read Joyce before a copy of Finnegan's Wake.
The Firesign Theatre is complicated. Their work is essentially a contiguous, branching narrative with recurring characters, themes, settings, styles, and gags. "Dwarf" is at the center of this narrative. The beginning would be a less daunting place to start.
I think I'll buy her a copy of How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All and throw it into the package. Along with this blog post and my previous one. Also a copy of the Lexicon.
I suspect it will be one of the strangest gifts my friend will have received in a while. But heartfelt. Definitely heartfelt.