As most of you know, I recently returned from a really wonderful visit to Australia.

While there, I was enormously fortunate to spend a bit of time with the magnificent and munificent author, John Birmingham, during which we shared one or two or three really excellent meals.

I returned from Australia about 10 pounds heavier than when I left.  Apparently, John gained a bit of weight too, for which he blamed me.s

In response, I admitted causing John’s increased girth and explained that I did it for revenge.  This is what I said:

“I readily admit it. Why did I go through so much trouble at such high cost and such low profit to “visit” Oz? I did it to prompt the otherwise preternaturally svelte Mr. Birmingham to pack on unsightly kilos. I did it for revenge. Revenge! Birmingham’s failure to model a significant recurring character after me demanded revenge! Murph gets to be president. The Rhino gets to be, well, the Rhino. What do I get? Zilch! Bupkis! Maffi! Nada! Nichts! Nothing (I added that last one for you out there who don’t speak any Yiddish, Arabic, Spanish or German. Fucking Philistines)!

I am not an unreasonable man. I realize that a short, bald, fart-joke-loving, seppo lawyer of mixed Greek and Irish ancestry doesn’t really lend itself to military/tech adventure novels or histories of Sydney. So? So what? This is about respect!

I am not, however,  responsible for the advent of the restaurant review season. That’s our own damned fault.”

Feeling rather pleased with my creative invective, I showed it to my wife, Lori.  After reading it, she looked up at me and said:

“I would be careful what I say if I were you.  For all you know, you might end up as a gay zombie in one of his books.”

I… didn’t consider that possibility.  But now that I have considered it,  I must agree with my wife: I need to be more careful.



  1. Zombies. With Sequins. And a kick arse dance soundtrack. This would not be a bad thing. It might be art.


  2. Don’t give him ideas.


  3. Oh and I had some excellent suggestions.


  4. gay zombie in a hot pink/fushia shiny jumpsuit with sequin killer heels and 6″ killer heels festooned with sequins. Nice image.


  5. If you are LUCKY you might end just as a ‘as a gay zombie’ could be worse you could be ‘red-shirted’ by a gay zombie


  6. In all honestly, my concern grows as your glee over the prospect manifests. I want to be the inspiration for an action hero, not a gay zombie!


  7. The action hero genre in a JB universe seems to be mostly populated by kick-arse women and pachyderms.
    Murph may be able to exert some influence. Get him drunk.


  8. JB’s girly heros aren’t real women. They think and act like men. Except for the sad little PMS-inspired sooky bits that he throws in because he thinks that’s what women do. But we don’t. Ever. And anyone who says otherwise can expect not to get laid for a very long time.

    Anyway, Paul, I thought you were already in JB’s books. There was a lawyer in WW who reminded me of you…. Yes, I know he was a big lump of a fella, but maybe JB hadn’t met you yet, and thought you’d be taller.


  9. No. Not ever Cat. I have never, ever known a woman to have a PMS inspired sooky episode. Ever.
    And in real life they never ever, do anything even remotely masculine or ‘traditionally’ heroic either.

    Mmm. Gay zombie lawyers.
    That gives me an idea.


  10. Fuck.

    I blame my wife (for all the obvious reasons).


  11. Haha. Huzzah!! I’ll read JB’s next book with interest. I’m sure he can squeeze in a gay zombie lawyer. I’ve gone under the radar so I don’t end up as a frizzy red-haired nutjob character (which I’m not: not totally anyway). ;-))
    P.S. Love your blog, Paul. Entertaining, informative, funny, great photos. Cheers, JG.


  12. Just so long as we’re clear on that, JB. **wanders off, mollified, to annihilate (with prejudice) the giant wolf spider in the bathroom, then devour an entire tub of Sara Lee French Vanilla Ice cream while crying over Days Of Our Lives**


  13. Man I would give anything to be a gay zombie in one og JB’s books – you lucky devil you…

    He used to depict me as some sort of drunken womaniser… but now that Lermantov is back on the scene there isn’t room for another one of them!


  14. Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to make a really good article… but what
    can I say… I put things off a lot and don’t
    seem to get anything done.


  15. paulboylan Says:

    Join the club. I’m here instead of working.


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