Richard Thompson is an anomaly; an unrepetent folkie who plays a killer guitar. Like a wizard he plays, in a sharp spray of rock'n'roll notes and electricity that is breathtaking. Our old pal Patrick in Philadelphia was a big Fairport Convention fan and we thought he was mad, but now we get it. "The universe is an asshole," Mrs. UF (ex) just e-mailed us to say, and we agree. If it weren't for the compensations, like coffee and sex and Richard Thompson's guitar, the whole shebang would be insupportable. Just two days ago Mrs. UF (ex) caught a mouse in a glue trap, and we wondered how it must feel to just sit there, stuck, and waiting to die. It's an unbearable world, it is, and we're all mice stuck in glue traps and waiting to die, that's what we thought at the time. But now we realize that unlike that mouse we have diversions, like R. Thompson's great guitar. And that counts for something, to have diversions, like a good meal or whatever. We still feel terrible about that mouse though. Richard Thompson wouldn't be much of a diversion for him, stuck the way he was, nor would a good book or a movie or anything else. Mice have no tastes, except for food, and it was food that got the poor fella into such a fatal fix in the first place.