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A Man Walked Into a Bard One Day . . .

His shoes are Vinnci, he says, lifting his right foot to show the label.

He said he never went to university, never had a boss, never had to get up at a certain time. He does drink a lot: "There are people who are happy and relaxed and creative without alcohol," he said, "but I am afraid it doesn't apply to me. I need my fix -- and not just any alcohol."

He said that he thinks he would be "monosyllabic and taciturn" if he didn't drink but that his "compulsion" for alcohol has gotten him in trouble. He offered that he has been arrested for stealing alcohol from a supermarket. He has done "petty, minor" things wrong and was not a "paragon of virtue," he said, but he said he certainly didn't pull off the Shakespeare heist.

But now that this has happened, he said, he is rather enjoying the celebrity. Maybe he will get a slice of the value of the book, which Massey placed at around $2.5 million (Scott thinks it is higher). Anyway, all this hubbub is a break from what he calls the "trivia of life," like vacuuming.

"I think I was preparing for this all my life, really. I just felt that I was destined for something a bit more than 9-to-5. I just felt that eventually, maybe I would make my mark on the world."

Montgomery reported from Washington, D.C.

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