Deven Desai, Deven Desai, Every Single One of Us is Deven Desai

Happy birthday to Deven Desai, who is a charter member of the Scalzi Inner Circle, the entrance requirements of which — well, let’s just say if you’ve had the initiation you wouldn’t be forgetting it. No, this is not an invitation to speculate on what the initiation might be. It’s not like that, you sick freaks. Damn it, just let me wish my friend a happy birthday in peace. Sheesh.

The title to this entry, incidentally, should be read with INXS’ song “Devil Inside” running along in your head. Yeah, it’s a high school thing. For all you kids who only know of INXS as that lame reality TV show band, here’s the video for the song:

That Michael Hutchence, not a bad singer. Too bad about that death by auto-erotic asphyxiation thing.

I shoot the first person who makes an association between auto-erotic asphyxiation and initiation to my inner circle. Don’t give me that look. I know how you people think.

23 Comments on “Deven Desai, Deven Desai, Every Single One of Us is Deven Desai”

  1. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, father of pangolins

    No, I won’t make that asociation.

    We know you gotta be a “maarsie” to get into the Scalzi Inner Circle.

    INXS was awesome. Hutchence was a great singer. It’s such a shame he died young and the way he did. Should teach some of our younger ones to not play with teh kink.

  2. My dear freaky Lord! I was twelve when that song came out. Now I feel all old n’ stuff. Think I’ll go put on Suicide Blonde now.

  3. Chang, he say: …you gotta be a “maarsie”…
    Oooo-kay. I’ll bite. Why do you have to be one of those tattooed New Zealand guys who sticks out his tongue and screams at people to be in the SIC?

  4. Happy happy Deven Desai.

    Yep, Chang, you’d think there would be a “Hey, he DIED from it” effect. But it’s more of a “What this?! Gotta try that” sort of effect. I think in Ohio we had like 8 some teen death last year from kids trying it (or multiple use, who knows, obviously not the people who should be watching).

    “I know how you people think.” (whistling, rocking back and forth on heels, and looking at everybody but John).

  5. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, father of pangolins

    Firstly, Happy Birthday, Mr. Desai! I’m sure the scars from the initiation tingle extra on your birthday!

    Hentosz: You’re thinking Maori. A “Maarsie” is one who derives sexual pleasure from marsupials, specifically lesbian koalas. Look it up.

    Buccheit: Yeah, I figured. I think we had some in Boston, too. Doesn’t anybody do it the old fashioned way anymore?

  6. Am I the only one when INXS was popular first pronounced them as INKS?

    “Oh yeah, I listen to Inks and Metal lick ah!”

    Sings all ‘Marilyn’ like..
    Happy Birthday Mr. Desai

  7. @Kate: no, no you weren’t. Though mostly I made fun of the ‘cool kids’ by asking about this band “Ink-sis”. Which nowadays would rhyme with “linksys”. Hmm. If anyone starts a gloom-metal-hair-nerd band named LNXS, I want royalties…

  8. I remember that song too. Good one. Now I’m trying to remember what music video it was I used to drool over him in (Him being in the music video; not a music video of me drooling over him. Obviously! That would’ve been boring). *Googles* Oh yeah! “Need you tonight”

  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEVEN!! I have not seen you since Johns wedding…you look the same!!!! Anyways, thanks for being such a good friend to my favorite little brother.Hope you have a wonderful birthday!!!

  10. I shoot the first person who makes an association between auto-erotic asphyxiation and initiation to my inner circle.
    Hey, Scalzi, you open up the can, you gotta expect the worms to crawl out. What can I say? If the ligature fits …

    Happy birthday Devan.

  11. Thank you, Mr. Scalzi! Thank you so much for inflicting this earworm on me! I haven’t had nearly enough cheesy ’80s music stuck in my head since my friends subjected me to all ten episodes of Yacht Rock last Saturday.

  12. It’s the lesbian koalas that are into the auto-erotic asphyxiation–let’s get our facts “straight” people.

  13. I knew immediately, before reading the entry, which song was the theme music for this post.

    When that song first came out, in my tween innocence, I didn’t understand the words. Now I understand far too well… ;-)

  14. Happy birthday, Deven!

  15. I know how you people think…Well, however it is, it makes us like the stuff you write. So don’t judge us too harshly.

  16. Dude, don’t make fun of INXS. Their Hutchence’s death stuff rocks. Absolutely rocks.

    And, although the album wasn’t great, the show I saw with JD Fortune (the guy who won Rockstar) was awesome.

  17. If you’re a rock star “died from auto-erotic asphyxiation” looks a hell of a lot better on your tombstone than “choked on a ham sandwich”. Hmm, even if you’re not a rock star…

  18. Dude, we don’t have to think that way. You already beat us there.

    And many happy returns to the birthday person, too.

  19. Obviously membership in the Inner Circle does not include requirements that beings be able to write in a page-turning, excitably interesting manner. Mr. Desai’s USF Law Review article on erecting a legal and moral structure for the use of private military companies for governmental ends addresses a serious issue but there was not nearly enough bloodshed and not a single BEM.

    Old Jarhead (BEM-Lover)

  20. Auto-erotic Asphyxiation (AEA) is also known as “scarfing” for those who are interested.

    I was fortunate enough to see INXS when they toured the UK in 1992 or ’93 (I think, memory’s a bit hazy). They toured small venues and Hutchence was absolutely mesmorising, a fantastic gig. The “new” INXS are touring again this spring/summer but I can’t bring myself to go.
    Oh yeah… happy b’day Mr Desai.
    Happy birthday to you
    Squashed Tomatoes and stew
    Bread and Butter, in the gutter
    Happy Birthday to you.
    My kids have particularly horrible alternate versions which are not fit for publishing here!

  21. Hutchence lost his sense of smell and about 80% of his sense of taste in a car accident and suffered from depression.

    Happy birthday Mr. Desai. :)

  22. This is way late to be asking this, but was Sameer Desai named for Deven?

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