posted: Jan. 25, 2006  |  Feedback

Just an FYI: Stay tuned for an extra-special edition of "The Curious Guy" running tomorrow. I'm proud of this one.

In the mean time, you may remember my riff in Friday's mailbag about not caring about spoiling "24" plot twists in my column, and only because a real "24" fan would watch a new show within 72 hours unless they didn't care that much in the first place (my logic at the time). Well, the e-mails have been pouring in. Some readers pointed out that it's much more fun to TiVo the show for like 10 weeks, then watch the episodes all at once. I can certainly understand this because the Sports Gal and I watched all four seasons in about five weeks last spring, including a stretch when she was days away from giving birth and battling pre-labor, "I feel like I'm about to burst" agony ... but insisted we keep watching the episodes even though she could barely see straight. I think there was one day where we watched like 15 episodes in a 24-hour span. So I can see why someone would tape the shows and play them that way.

Also, readers in foreign countries pointed out that Season Five won't be airing overseas for a few more months. Whoops. Wasn't aware of that. While we're here, I was amazed by some of the postmarks on these e-mails -- Brazil, Amsterdam, Japan, you name it. I need to run an all-foreign mailbag one of these days.

But here's the biggest reason why I screwed up ...

Yeah, I know it's a bit late. But in response to your "What real 24 fan hasn't seen the new season yet" question: my answer: ME. And many other men and women deployed to Iraq that don't have TiVo or any other access to mainstream America besides our limited Internet time. Thanks for blowing this new season. Love the columns, wouldn't stop reading them for the world. Just thought I'd let you know that there are fans out there who enjoy the show but are unable to watch it.
-- Zach Mott, FOB Warhorse, Iraq

All right, all right... I feel terrible. The thing is, I get e-mails from our troops from time to time, so I know they're reading, and it's pretty safe to say that some of them also got hooked by "24" before heading overseas. I blew it. Terrible job by me. Please accept my apologies. In the future, I will confine all "24" talk to the "Cowbell," with a giant "SPOILER ALERT" in bold caps before anything's revealed.

As an apology to everyone fighting overseas, I want to write an All-Troops mailbag for everyone over there. Feel free to send along any potential mailbag questions, or even an e-mail describing your life over there that we can run in a separate column. Sometimes I feel like people aren't thinking about you guys (and girls) enough ... it's pretty easy to go through everyday life without remembering each and every day that there are people out there fighting to protect your safety. For instance, when I was signing books on my tour and thinking about things like, "I can't feel my right hand anymore" or "I think my back is going to go out any minute," invariably, someone would bring up a book and say, "Can you sign this for so-and-so, he's over in Iraq, we're gonna mail the book to him, he loves your columns" and snap me right back into reality. And Zach's "24" e-mail was a little like that for me this week.

So for all the troops out there, we created a special mailing page for you: CLICK HERE. We would love to hear from you if you have the time. Thanks for reading, stay safe out there and we're thinking about you.

January 2006