Thursday, December 14, 2006

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.” -- Groucho Marx, as quoted on Lucille's mouse pad

I woke up late this morning after a grueling night of satiating myself on female flesh so I had to dump most of my morning cup of Kahlua into a travel mug and race like mad to get to the coffee shop on time -- these days I need to get there early so I can score an outlet for my laptop Lucille. The poor thing needs to be on external life-support or she remains comatose. Luckily I made it just in time, so now Lucille's awake and reasonably alert and I am happily ensconced at the redundantly-named Nina's Coffee Cafe. And I want to write a book.

I know, everybody and their Aunt Marge in Cincinnati wants to write a book. What, you think I'm too old and decrepit to still be able to jump on a bandwagon? Hardly. These days bandwagons are required by law to be curmudgeon-accessible. Granted, it has to stop and lower a special platform that I can hobble onto that then raises me up to the same level as everyone else, but making all the rest of you chafe for ten minutes on your way to bestsellerdom as I creep aboard bitching about the shitty bandwagon service these days pleases me to no end.

One thing that makes me different from you (unless you're Anne or Amanda or...) is that I've already published a book. Two books, in fact. A few years back I took a stab at being a children's book author. As I found out however, and much to the chagrin of both me and my creditors, this is a much harder market to crack than appears at first glance.

My first children's book, A Lutheran Boy's First Book of Tits, didn't do particularly well as far sales were concerned, although it did receive some critical acclaim in Canada. I'm still a bit puzzled by this lack of success. I did a lot of research prior to writing it, and carefully selected the models so that none of the women depicted in the book had a cup size bigger than a C. I already knew, never mind how, that lusty little Lutheran lads tend to be intimidated to the point of dysfunction by tits bigger than C's. Fine, no problem, lots of lovely breasts out there that don't require structural steel in the manufacture of their brassieres.

I also somehow managed to convince my publisher to print the book with washable pages and little flap thingies that you could lift up to get beaver shots. They drew the line at scratch-and-sniff, however, the cheap bastards. Unfortunately, all this effort was to no avail. Lutheran parents stayed away from the bookstores in droves. I still have a garage filled with unsold copies of ALBFBTs, which, by the way, make great Christmas gifts, send me an email.

I'm sure you'll be relieved to hear that I emerged bloodied but unbowed from this initial foray into writing for the younger set. My next book, A Child's Treasury of Single Malt Scotches, was even more thoroughly researched than the first, but it too landed with a thud that rattled the chandeliers. To this day I privately believe that the reason most people don't start drinking single malts until they reach middle age can be directly traced to the failure of this book on the shelves.

But at last I think I'm ready to jump back into the ring like Stallone and crank out another book or two. Initially I thought I'd combine the current craze for zombie stories with my hard-won children's book expertise so I started working on a young-adult title called Zombies Ate My Homework. Sadly, I had to abandon this project when my publisher informed than young adults today are neither willing nor able to read books.

My next thought was that I could forget young adults as easily as I seem to forget everything else and go back to children's books, and yet somehow still keep the zombies. However, after much agonizing thought I decided that young children weren't really ready for large-format illustrated books of zombies staggering around with partially-chewed human flesh hanging from their decaying lips so I had to abandon my first few story ideas. Great, no problem, I'm a creative guy, I'll figure out something.

At long last I came up with a new concept that I'm pretty pleased with: werehamsters. It still has all of the disturbing and bloodthirsty elements of occult/horror that seem to be so popular today, yet it wraps the unrelenting gore in cute little hamster packages that are easy to market. Perfect.

Imagine: Jimmy the Ex-Hamster lies dead and buried in the back yard because little Billy used him for a badminton shuttlecock once too often. Night. The moon is full. The hamsterbane is in full bloom. All of a sudden, the earth over Jimmy's shallow grave stirs, a shoe box appears [note to self: call kid's shoe companies, get tie-in, so to speak], the cardboard lid is pushed ajar, and out staggers Jimmy. This Jimmy, however, has inch-long fangs, can suddenly speak in an Eastern European accent, and has a craving for blood. Pet blood. Blood like that flowing through the unsuspecting veins of Doris, Billy's beloved Shih Tzu lying peacefully asleep in the dog house near the driveway....

The franchise is worth billions. The netsuke straps and omijukis alone will buy me that candy apple red AH64D Apache attack helicopter I've had my eye on.

Remember you saw it here first when the cheesy copycat were-guinea-pigs start appearing.

-- Hulles


Hulles said...

I already know that Jimmy has a disconcerting number of vampire characteristics but if I say he's a werehamster he's a werehamster.

La Espia T. said...

I ADORED this post. I think it's my favorite so far!!!

Hulles said...

Thanks T., lots. I really had fun writing it. I want a little plush Jimmy with "Real Snap-Action Fangs!" and where you squeeze his tummy and blood shoots out of his ears. See, I've thought about this....

Kari said...

I'm so sorry to say this, but I think some fanfic writer already tossed a werehamster into a Deep Space Nine slash episode involve Worf and a Ferengi. Love the action figure, though. Can't beat Snap-Action Fangs.

Heather Harper said...

OMG. Werehamsters...

That is effing hysterical.

(And I think you should write a book.)

Hulles said...

Kari, it's a sick world when someone can steal your idea before you even have it. I really hope Deep Space Nine slash episodes aren't what they sound like.

Heather, thanks lots, XOXO but don't tell you know who. I also think I should write a book. Who do I talk to? My old publisher (ALBFBT and ACTSMS) won't return my calls.