Writer packs a punch
David Climenhaga can take on the heavyweights in more ways than one
Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014 06:00 am
David Climenhaga, Q&A
"I read a lot of good books, and my favourite tends to be the last one that really entertained or moved me. All-time most favourite? Or most influential, anyway ... Probably The Long Goodbye, by Raymond Chandler, 1953. (The 1973 movie with Elliott Gould, who I once saw in person walking with his mom at Columbus Circle in New York City, was pathetic. I didn't tell him that, though.)"
"Chinatown, 1974. (Yes, there's a pattern here.) I once rode in an elevator at the Empress Hotel in Victoria with Faye Dunaway and the two sides of beef in blue suits who were accompanying her."
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
"As noted, to be a journalist. Seemed like a good idea at the time."
What do you hope to see on your tombstone?
"A number higher than 2052."
Greatest accomplishment? "Raising two good kids to adulthood? Landing a job at the Globe and Mail? Earning my black belt?"
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
"This morning? A fried egg sandwich. Most mornings? A bagel and peanut butter."
"Many, I'm afraid, all completely irrational. I confess I sit on my suitcase like an old Russian before leaving on a trip."
If you could change anything, what would it be?
"I'd change the governments of Alberta and Canada."
"Radio news and traffic announcers who say "going westbound" and the like. You can go west. You can be westbound. But you can't go westbound. Got that? Like this, most of my pet peeves reflect the fact I earned my living as a copy editor for many years. (So don't say he died of heart failure. We all die of heart failure. If it was a heart attack, say so.) On a more serious note, I can't stand biblical literalists who pick and choose what to be literal about, which most of them do. (Also, most of them haven't really read the Bible.)"
Rolling Stones or Beatles?