Empanelled! Also, questions and more questions.


I guess my cardigan and the cat hair I couldn’t lint-roll off of it must’ve screamed “truly, I have renounced every aspect of being an attorney,” but, in light of my background, I was surprised to be selected for a civil jury today.

Evidently the trial is an expedited, one-day affair. I’ll be at the courthouse tomorrow. Can’t say more, but you get the gist.

To mark the occasion, here’s a link to “Regarding the Insurance Defense Attorney,” a story I wrote in early 2003. Looking back, it’s a pretty amateur piece of work, although I still like a handful of lines. Or at least the one about the thong.

With a single exception, all the sentences are questions; in that sense the piece is a pretty blatant rip-off, structurally, of Donald Barthelme’s “Concerning the Bodyguard.”

It was Padgett Powell who introduced me to Barthelme’s fiction, in a college writing class. And now Powell has published a new book, The Interrogative Mood, which is composed entirely of questions. You can hear him asking some of them in the video above.

Gregory Cowles enjoys The Interrogative Mood most in small doses. Me too.


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