My father was not Hannibal Lecter crossed with Mussolini, as a few have apparently thought I've depicted him in my book. His teasing sometimes hit the wrong note, but I think half the time he said things simply because they were too clever to suppress.
Joseph Heller's crowd was not, shall we say, exactly Gertrude Stein's Parisian Salon. Dad's evenings of recreation and creative amusement ended more as Midnight at the Rickshaw Garage than Midnight in Paris.
I prepared for my book reading the way I prepare for most new life experiences: I broke out in hives, didn't sleep for a week, misplaced the mascara, was limned in a perpetual clammy sweat, couldn't breathe and felt bizarrely seasick.
I witnessed the spectacular transformation of my father, Joseph Heller, as he started to become a celebrity and a charmless believer in his own schtick.