Volunteer Luke Geddes is a bit of an enigma. In the office, he’s quiet, yet at home writes stories involving things like Wonder Woman, in an airport bathroom, finding herself short of feminine hygiene products. Things like castaways from a destroyed Earth traveling through space with only reruns of Gilligan’s Island to entertain them. He has a collection of such comi-tragic pieces coming out from Chomu Press (I Am a Magical Teenage Princess). However, to our knowledge he does not himself possess an invisible plane or a large starship. Further, he does not sport Robinson Crusoe–type (or Tom Hanks–type) rags. He wears a bow tie. Regularly. Which puzzles us. So, in order to better understand Luke, we decided to hire some private investigators to tap his phone and hack into his email. Unfortunately, we discovered nothing of an illuminating personal nature—but we did find this rather insightful confession (which resulted in disciplinary action).
Luke Geddes: I wish I could say otherwise, but my first read-through of David Yost’s “The Carousel Thief” was frustrating—but only because my cruel tormentors, the CR senior staff, had charged me with the task of entering their copy-edits into the story’s electronic file. I tried to stay focused on the editorial notations, but so seductive was Yost’s prose (deceptively straightforward and rife with surprising, vivid details—such as epic lists of regrettable QVC purchases including ostrich steaks and embroidered His and His bathrobes, and of equally regrettable extreme-eating competitions involving cow brains, SPAM, Ramen noodles, and pigs’ feet); so wittily and realistically developed were the characters (a quirky gay couple struggling to live above their means in the dreary Midwest); so unique, expansive, and expertly re-created were the cultures surrounding antique carousels and competitive-eating contests, with the latter’s bizarre but plausible rules about “chipmunking” (stuffing your cheeks without swallowing) and “reversal” (vomiting); so wry and hilarious was the first-person voice; so clever was the way the story combined and subverted the domestic and heist genres, I kept getting sucked into the drama and humor and could not concentrate on my editorial assignment. (In other words, the story was so good that only a long, self-indulgent, semicolon-abusing sentence can capture its greatness.) I hope my evil overlords in the CR offices will forgive my gross insubordination, but if they don’t, I blame author David Yost for writing a story that’s too damn engaging.