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November 29th, 2006

Two more days until the end of the job.

And it sounds like not a moment too soon, because friend Heidi is about to supply me with episodes of “Torchwood”, the Doctor Who spin-off, ummm, borrowed from the BBC.

He may not know it, but Neil Gaiman should thank you.

I don’t know if I’ve ever come out of the closet, and described by job on this blog. But with only two days left, I think I can drop the details. I work (soon to be worked) for a Lutheran charity for people with developmental disabilities. A very worthy cause, believe me. But not exactly a laugh riot. The department is still not sure what to do about my main cubical decoration: a vulture.

They are mostly angel people.
Clearly, I was born under a different sign.
Wings is wings, say I. And the vulture is just as much a creature of God as a bluebird. Only with more disgusting eating habits.

I work in the development department, which is the technical term for the fundraising branch. I am a prospect researcher, which means I gather information about potential donors and turn it over to the real fund raisers to help locate people with deep pockets and a desire to empty them for us. I spend a lot of time on the internet, tracking down home addresses and dead spouses and property tax bills.

So, basically, I’m an internet stalker. For the Lord.

And occasionally, I look for Neil Gaiman. Because I like Neil Gaiman.

He is English.
And he lives in Wisconsin. By choice. This ups the cool quotient of our state by 10 points at least.
He is very dark. I never knew that the prince that kissed Snow White was a necrophiliac, until I read Neil Gaiman. But of course, it makes perfect sense…

And he wrote “American Gods”. And proves what a lot of us have long suspected: that The House on the Rock, in Spring Green, Wisconsin, is not of this earth.

I remember when House on the Rock was just a Prairie School rip off. To my seven year old self, the place was a little slice of heaven, if heaven had with shag rugs and indoor fountains (It was the 60’s. 60’s heaven probably has shag carpet on the walls).

And then it began to expand. First there was a small collection of coin operated musical instruments. Then a larger collection. And a hell mouth. And a car museum. And a calliope. And a carousel.

And all of a sudden, it became this endless string of rooms, full of scary collectibles, with not nearly enough bathrooms or emergency exits. It takes hours to go through, and by the end you’re racing through the weirdness, experiencing materialism induced claustrophobia. By the time you hit the carousel room, it’s like being trapped in a movie flashback, the kind with the fisheye camera lens and the psychedelic soundtrack.

The fact that the ceiling of the room is hung with store mannequin angels, half naked but with big, red, glued-on nipples? Let’s just say it gives me one more reason to stick to vultures.

But back to Neil Gaiman.

Some days, when I should be working on more promising prospects, I look for Neil Gaiman. He’s local. Sort of. Five or six hours away, as the crow flies. And one never knows when I’ll be reading his blog and he’ll express a sudden desire to drop the gothic facade, come out of the closet as a devout Lutheran, and be eager to give all his money to charity.

And then I will find him. And talk him out of it. After taking a donation for the cause, of course. Got to keep this searching work related.

But in the most recent blog entry, Neil says he just got pirated “Torchwood” episodes in the mail. I would like to point out to Mr. Gaiman, that these are not technically legal, copyright, blah blah blah, mumble mumble, and he should turn them over to a responsible party, who can get rid of them.

Me, for instance. I’ll just hop on the internet, and begin checking property tax bills, and using map quest, and get right in the car and head up to…

I’m getting my own Torchwoods?

Oh. Never mind then.

And thus was Neil Gaiman saved from an internet stalker.

And we all lived happily ever after.