oh coupland. how i love thee. douglas coupland is the stephen leacock of this generation. i don't feel like explaining what i mean by that. just suffice to say that this is what i believe to be true. i got into coupland in high school when i read "polaroids from the dead" and then proceeded to read everything else he had written, and was especially keen on "microserfs", although g. much prefers "life after god". but then coupland when off on this little tangent where he wrote some stuff that strayed from his tried and true formula (see: "all families are psychotic"). however, all was not lost! he emerged from the other side with jPod, which was essentially "microserfs" updated for the new millennium. and the people rejoiced (yay!), or at least i did. and now we have "the gum thief", which is a good bit of fun. set largely in das shtoop (aka staples), the story is told through a series of diary entries, letters and emails. it all starts when middle aged alcoholic staples employee, roger, leaves his diary on the table in the staff break room where it is found by 20 something goth staples employee, bethany. this results in a round about conversation between the two, who develop a friendship. we are also privy to excerpts from roger's novel in progress "glove pond" about a couple of alcoholic academics trapped in a dusty 1970s tomb of their own design. i enjoyed this, and will eagerly anticipate coupland's next effort. oh, and jPod's been turned into a series on the cbc. and i promise that it has endearingly bad canadian production.