It would be a pretty fearsome state then.
Well, I think we all agree we need a change. The current lobster is just too rich and delicious. We need something that’s sort of goat-like and meaty, and was clearly fed on blood. But just to finish my thought, obviously one of the central parts of the book is the hobo matters. And that I have enjoyed writing very much, and it does seem to have sparked a lot of interest among many different parties. People like the hoboes. But now, I am trying to move on to another distinct subculture that I refer to in the first book, but don’t really explore that much, and that’s the mole men.
The mole men. I’m not sure what more needs to be said. The civilization that lives beneath our earth. You appreciate that the earth is hollow and there’s a civilization inside, right? And that those people are mole men. And that they briefly came to the surface and attempted to expand their empire to the surface back in the colonial and pre-colonial era. And brought to the Puritan settlers enlightened ideals of representative democracy and that sort of thing — which they had gotten from Athens. Because the whole earth is just a series of tunnels to mole men. They respect no borders.
How many mole men are there?
Currently? It’s hard to say, because they live under ground. I think the best estimate would probably be around two million, two and a half million.
Wow, that's much more than I would have guessed.
Are you kidding me? For a global empire inside the entire hollow earth? There are almost five billion humans. And you’re pissed off that there are two million mole men? Get over yourself!
Have you spent much time among them?
No, no. I’m just reading history. And by reading, I mean making it up. The new book will have a list of 700 mole-men names.
In your book you point out that the true main course at the first Thanksgiving was not, in fact, Turkey.
Eels. Yes. Well, the eels had eaten all the turkeys. They’re ferocious creatures. And voracious. And they have a fondness for turkeys. Eel is eaten all over the world still and was a staple of the early settlers’ cuisine at that time. And yet there was a very ambivalent relationship between the colonial-era American and the eel. Mainly because the eel would stare at the colonial-era American in a very unnerving way.
They were very crucial to the economy as well. Talk about some of the jobs involving eels.
Well there was the eel picker. I can’t remember what the eel picker did. There was a scrimschonger, who would carve family portraits on eel teeth. That was very common. They’re deeply ingrained in the economy of early America. Y’know, if you just go back and look at some fairly typical colonial jobs, you see the eel’s presence throughout every strata of society. A paling man was an eel merchant. An eel picker was someone who sorted through the village trash to find reusable eels, in order to resell them. A ratter was someone who caught rats for pennies and then would throw them at eels to distract them. Because they just possessed this thousand-yard stare, and they would frequently slither up to a door, and knock on it somehow, by some mysterious mechanism, and you would open the door to find an eel staring at you. Which is very unnerving, as you can imagine. Once the eels were spotted on land, an eel checker was someone you would pay to come into your home and just look around for eels, and make sure it was clear. This tradition still exists in fine hotels. You can hire an eel checker. It’s pretty much really only in the finest, most traditional hotels. Because there are rarely any eels. And usually the only thing an eel checker will find are vampires under the bed or something. Tip them well.