This photo was taken at our summer house in the Hamptons. That’s me on the bottom! My uncle, above, was a notorious prankster. I remember spending days in his subterranean laboratory on our estate, helping him pipette various strains of his recombinant Ebola virus, or fixing his home-made calutron to separate out the isotopes of uranium.
My father’s great passion in life was his stand-up comedy.
The house where I grew up. That’s part of my 7th grade project in the center of the courtyard, a left-over from a Claymation video version of The Man Without Qualities. Tragically, my project, like the original, had to be abandoned after one of the cameramen lost his legs during the filming of an action scene.
My family’s heraldic crest. It dates to the 12th century and was used by Robert the Bruce, until he developed severe acid reflux and switched Scotland’s royal insignia to the Maalox logo.
One of my favorite toys as a child. Capable of speaking in an eerie monotone, this ancient Egyptian statue can predict the future, but it’s almost always wrong. My sister and I taught it to sing the theme songs of many popular television programs, and it eventually became the voice of a famous cartoon owl.
My childhood bedroom. A lot of fond memories there, mostly of huffing the butane from aerosol cans. An ideal preparatory regime for my later career as a world-famous author.
At my sister’s graduation from the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr. She went on to command the Space Navy at the Battle of Ophiuchus. We were so proud!
Our estate was guarded by an army of silvery robots. We delighted in making them act out scenes from The 120 Days of Sodom or Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis. Ah, it was a simpler, more innocent time.
A frog operating a chainsaw. I think this one’s self-explanatory.