This is a gag I thought of when scripting the last stix, but it would have broken up the momentum there. Walter lobotomized people other than children in 1961, of course, and lobotomized children in other years, of course, but that is the year, coincidentally, in which he lobotomized Howard Dully, author of My Lobotomy, making this perhaps the most obscure shout-out ever.
Here is a piece of cheerful news: Bela is bubbling in his little bowl, something he has not done in his tank since I got him a filter that agitates the surface of the water. To blow durable bubbles a male betta first works up a mouthful of spit, and this is audible: in the bowl it sounds like a marble being rattled around in a glass Coke bottle far away. CLANK CLANK CLANK, hello ladies, like my nest?
Next the less good news: I am flying out of JFK on Tuesday and I'm a little scared. I don't know what to expect when I opt out. Hostility? Abuse? Just getting sent through the metal detector? Total professionalism? It could be anything. I live a life in which bravery is not often required, and I'm nervous. So think nice thoughts for me on Tuesday morning, OK?