Another Proud Alum

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Sure, I'm blogging for the Onion AV Club now, covering "Beauty and the Geek," but I'm also back on the "Dancing with the Stars" train for the LA Times, too.

I was once again honored when the Macarthur Foundation contacted me to nominate a interviewee to select as one of the recipients of the famed "genius" grant. It was a hard decision to make, but I think I picked a good one.

First, obviously, I had to eliminate George Saunders and Atul Gawande from my list of contenders, because they have both already won the prize.

So I had to go back to the list. "The MacArthur Foundation supports highly creative individuals and institutions with the ability and the promise to make a difference in shaping and improving our future," said MacArthur President Jonathan Fanton to me as we played squash. So I had to keep that in mind.

My first thought was JT Leroy, but he was disqualified on the grounds that he doesn't really exist.

My next nomination would have been Rick Moody, but he's already received a Guggenheim fellowship and you know how the MacArthur foundation is about the Guggenheim foundation: me-ow!

"Maybe Jonathan Sharkey?" I thought, but apparently in the fine print the MacArthur foundation has a "no vampyres" rule.

I considered Tucker Max, briefly, but he was kind of mean to me so I finally exacted my sweet revenge.

Then, I thought maybe my mom would do, but the Mac people said that that might strike of nepotism. Then I nominated my dad and they explained to me what nepotism means.

Then it struck me. It was so obvious! Stuart Dybek! Sure, he's my homeboy, but he deserves to be rewarded for the short stories that he writes that pay tribute to the literature and iconography of the Old World while exploring the imaginations of contemporary American communities. That's what I told the MacArthur people, anyway. "Plus, he has a great mustache."

"Once again, nice job, Zulkey!" they told me, and gave me a sack of money. Oops, I wasn't supposed to say that.

Suggestions for next year's nomination are being accepted. And by "nominations" I mean large bills.

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