Act II and the curtain rises again on Colin Beavan, 43, the man gently shat on by a lengthy NYT H&H profile yesterday—you remember, the guy who doesn't use toilet paper in hopes of landing a book deal. Not content to have his exploits splashed across the newsprint carcasses of dead trees (plus he did NPR!), Beavan also has a blog to chronicle the gradual dissolution of his marriage and answer the "million" pressing questions readers are struggling to comprehend. These range in scope from, "Does your wife use tampons?" to "Was making the choice to leave academia easy or difficult?" [Answers: "Disposable culture is a problem" and "What a random and fun question," respectively.] Strangely, the germaneliest question went unanswered: If dude's so concerned about no impact living and disposable culture, why is he trying to write a book that hundreds will buy and in the process, kill thousands of acres of the rain forest. Or something.
Meet Colin Breavan, 43; Michelle Conlin, 39; and Isabella Beavan, 2, your cast in the hurlyburly tragicomedy that is today's Times' House and Home section. (And is also another exhibit in how House & Home is killing Thursday Styles.) Colin Breavan, a writer of historical nonfiction, had been cast adrift by the vagaries of publishing and was looking for a new book deal. His Faustian agent thought a book about living a year without wiping might sell well. FSG thought so too.