The New Bryson
Good evening, dear friend. I should like to take this opportunity to forewarn you against reading any of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything in bed late at night if you are not particularly sleepy, as the questions raised therein are particularly disconcerting. The way Mr. Bryson puts into perspective the very slim odds that we should exist at all has caused me to become particularly agitated and depressed on several occasions to date, most recently keeping me from sleep well through twilight, at which point I slept only fitfully while the neighbors' landscapers trimmed their Monday morning hedges and blew the leaves. I admit that on one of these occasions I did seek refuge in numbing Talisker, which left me fairly ruined for the rest of the day after I had napped. I did not dress or shave, and wandered the house simply in my robe and slippers. I do need to make more of an effort to put up best appearances. Lord knows I would be alone in such a crusade.