Your path is preordained. At the instant he was christened, Evander Holyfield could assemble an autobiography from the letters in his name: Lived holy 'n' fed ear.
What, you may ask, is the matter with me? I suffer from a kind of brutally honest dyslexia, a cynical affliction that turns gods into dogs. I used to worship George Herman (Babe) Ruth. But then I saw into his soul: Home run tagger? Bah! Beer.
Which isn't to say that anagrams are omniscient. They aren't. No matter how cozy he was with his clients, baseball union chief Donald Fehr was not, I am certain, a DH fondler. But anagrams are as close as we are likely to get to a foolproof character reference. So you may have received a popular anonymous E-mail in which Monica Samille Lewinsky confessed, "Slick Willie's my A-one man" and President Clinton of the USA exposed himself—if you will—thusly: To copulate, he finds interns.
Myriad Web sites and computer programs now exist expressly to generate anagrams. You can, for instance, E-mail a name or phrase to the site www.wordsmith.org and receive an anagram in return, courtesy of the Internet Anagram Server (I, rearrangement servant), which posts such classics as desperation (a rope ends it), the Morse Code (here come dots) and slot machines (cash lost in 'em).
I have not personally used such artificial anagram intelligence. Rather, I require just a glance at a phrase, and the letters naturally jump into their proper (and devastating) order. With 51 characters, you can construct a dry statistical description of an athlete: Michael Jordan of the six-time league champion Chicago Bulls.
Or those same 51 characters, remixed on the palate, can compose a nuanced narrative. Here is a life: Jinx Ehlo, build a megafame. Our chichi cologne? Camel piss, that.
Thank you for indulging me. Next week, we'll return to our usual topic. Steve Rushin, or See his TV run.