MITZI GAYNOR (The Total Meaning of Real Life) is not the real name of the writer. Rather it is the name of the person the writer most admires. Mitzi Gaynor stands for peppiness and love. So does the writer. On most days, in fact, the writer can be found working the street near the All American Hamburger on Sunset Boulevard in L.A. When she is not on the street, she is in the All American writing to Mitzi, of Mitzi, or in Mitzi's name. RIFF DIXON (Dark Pocket) Dixon's pen became his axe when he realized the limited opportunities open to a bop-inflected swing tenor saxophonist. He writes it the way he'd play it. He earned his nickname imagining himself in the late 50's Ellington reed section. He still thinks for pleasure. Whatever his actual activities, his main influence is Paul Gonsalves. DR. ARTURO de la GARZA, M.D. (The True But Nonetheless Terrible Catalog Raisonne Of An Emotional Disaster) is one of Latin America's most eminent living Surrealists and a two-time (1958, 1972) recipient of the coveted Prix Huysmans. A fascist and avid sportsman, he has also written numerous articles for Field & Stream under the name of George Lane. He currently makes his home in Ensenada, where he is recovering from a gunshot wound. BECCA POGSON-JONES (Blinky's Personal History, Such As It Is) A legend in the American and British Rock Scenes of the 70's, Ms. Pogson-Jones has been living and writing her novel since the early 80's in virtual retirement on the White Mountain Apache reservation near Tucson in the American Southwest. JOHN CHEESE (Elmer and Macabre Elegy) A rational biped, was born on a stepladder in Slip, Montana. After many years as an itinerant handyman and amateur inventor (the runcible scissors, jigger-chaser and electric fork are all his original patents) he began to travel. Decades later, a sadder but wiser man, he encountered the notorious Mu factor in a shantytown, near Porkey's Bar on the planet Mars. Immediately he commenced composition of his CHRONICLE OF THE MADNESS OF SMALL WORLDS, of which ELMER is a part. RAINBOW (Lech) has developed a ground-breaking series of child day care centers throughout Orange County, California. "Lech" is his literary debut. "I would like to dedicate the publication of this piece to the survivors of Pan Am flight 103. Your struggle is my struggle." PAOLO DIHN (Behind Enemy Lines) fervently believes the connection between writer and reader is an ethereal one that is only harmed by the intrusion of egotistic details of "personality and profile". For this reason he prefers to remain merely a name. Hiding from the limelight comes naturally to him since the tender age of seven when that horrific train accident left him at the mercy of the townschildren who proclaimed him "King of the Toadstool Faces" and pelted him with pennies kneaded into cow's dung, even up to his own door, which his mother, that vitriolic bastion of lower middle class morality, would not open as a lesson in civics. JACK HAMMER (Festering Backwater) Born in a shallow depression outside Mussel Shoals, Alabama, Jack Hammer was early deprived and soon depraved. A member of the puffin family, his legs are set far back on his body, making him clumsy on land, where he seldom goes except to nest. Previously Hammer was, among less congenial incarnations, khedive of Egypt (1879-92, acceded to office when the Pasha was deposed); and King of Poland (1697-1733). He commanded the Imperial Army against the Turks (1693) but was soundly drubbed. Also breeds oysters. JERZY PLATES (The Big Cool Long Hard Hand) was born near Leipzig in 1944, the son of a Lutheran clergyman. He attended the famous Pforta School, went to university at Bonn and at only twenty-four was appointed to the chair of Classical Philology at Basel University. He is currently at work on the tender story of a young girl's coming of age in rural Winnepeg for Miramax Films. SAINT KATABASIS (A Manifestation of Good Living) kuh TAH buh sis, the retreat; the drop; the whirlpool of defeat. St. Katabasis first fell from grace with the advent of platform shoes and his girlfriend's dream that his penis was a pencil. That was in the early 70's. Since then, he has experienced nearly 2,000 episodes of degradation, the most recent of which culminated in a disproportionate swelling of the anterior thorax. He writes confined to a convertible futon in the wreck room of his Loma Linda condo, and earns a living from the profits on his patent for the ATA-BOY-GO-GET-EM ceiling fan.