Tuesday, April 19, 2005

And Then, All Will Bow Down Before Me

No one emailed me today, asking me what my master plan might be for Shatter*. No one asked this question because, as of this writing, you’re all content to lurk. Nevertheless, I felt no one’s question warranted a well thought out reply, and here it is. I fully expect no one to respond to this column to let me know his (or her – hard to tell with no one, that oddball) reaction. As with all great plans, I’m starting small. Page by page, I have been editing my medical website, placing eye-catching icons** linked to Shatter at the bottom of each page. The Medical Consumer Advocate generates a good number of hits. Some of those folks are bound to wonder what on earth a guy like me will write in his blog. When I get some sense that folks are actually reading this column, I’ll move on to step two: my discovery of the Virgin Mary in a square of matzah. That’s right, I’m going to find a matzah cracker with the Blessed Virgin’s image in it, and I’m going to post that image exclusively here, on THIS page, along with an article urging all readers to email this link to seven of their friends. If they do so, they will have good fortune for seven years; but if they fail to do so, they will be cursed with ill luck for the same interval. I believe this to be a sound marketing strategy. But to what end, no one asks? Well, once I have a real readership, I’ll serialize The Brakan Correspondent on my website. Periodic appearances of You Know Who – perhaps on rye bread, or in the iridescent sheen of an old slice of roast beef – may be necessary to drive my readers that way. We’ll have to see about that. In any case, the inevitable will happen. Tor Books will offer me a sweet contract, and my novel will become a smash overnight sensation. And then (says no one) all will bow down before you? Foolish, puny nobody. Not yet. Does anyone bow down to J. K. Rowling, John Grisham, Stephen King, or Dan “Well it was just a Cracker Jacks rebus” Brown? NO. Authors get no respect. Except on The Daily Show. With the success of The Brakan Correspondent, fellow yid Jon Stewart will have to invite me on the show. He’ll have read my book, naturally, and he’ll zoom in on one rather embarrassing detail, that the spider god’s name (Obrah, translated, ‘she who eats’) sounds suspiciously like Oprah, as in Winfrey; and, furthermore, didn’t I call Oprah Winfrey the Troll Queen in the story, “My Troll Lover”? And what do I have against Oprah, anyway? I’ll save the situation famously with some smart and snappy reply, so winningly in fact that Oprah, watching at home, will be quite charmed. She’ll have me on her show, and the repartee will make my stint on The Daily Show seem like a wake. Ratings will soar. Oprah will offer me a regular spot. And THEN all will bow down before you? Pipe down, you. No, my friendship with Oprah will merely ensure inclusion of my novels in her Book of the Month Club. I will become fabulously wealthy***. I’ll be offered movie contracts on my books weeks before I’ve penned the outlines. I’ll become close friends with Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, and Tim Burton; they’ll put me in the movie versions of my books – bit rolls at first, supporting rolls afterwards. I’ll suck, naturally, but that will hardly matter. What will matter – and this is the important bit – what will matter is, people will forget I’m a novelist. (My original profession will show up as a Trivial Pursuit question circa 2015.) They’ll know me only as a familiar face. That little, old, bald guy who always gets the girls. (What? Oh, come on! nobody says. And yet, if Jack Nicholson can snag Helen Hunt, why can’t I have Heather Graham?) At some point I’ll be elected president of the Screen Actors Guild; shortly after, Governor of California. I think you know where I’m heading. With my feet up on some big oak desk on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue**** and with my finger on one of those infamous buttons – you know what I mean, you’ve watched Dr. Strangelove – then, all will bow down before me. D. *This BLOG, okay? **Okay, so I drew this lame bird on Paint Shop Pro. If I manage to win the Fantasy Challenge with “My Troll Lover”, I’ll win the prize: Saborra will do some commissioned artwork for me. Then I’ll have a delicious icon at the bottom of each page. ***Michael Crichton will spare change me as I leave my Bel Air manse. Bill Gates will ask me to float him a loan or three. ****They say that in this country anyone can become President. Ample proof can be found by studying the careers of every US President from Richard Nixon on.


Blogger Pat said...

Hmmm... A solid, well-thought-out plan. I'm sure there's a flaw somewhere, one that only little, foolish Pinky can spot, one that will bring the whole damn thing crashing around your ears.

"Come on, Pinky, let's go back to the lab and plan for tomorrow night."

4/19/2005 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

PS, nice use of footnotes.

PPS, it's roles, not rolls. Maybe that's the inevitable Pinky flaw. You wind up with cinnamon buns while your arch-rival* winds up in the White House.

* Can't be me, by reason of country of birth.

4/19/2005 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

My chairman in residency, Dr. Dale Rice, was a great Pinky and the Brain fan. I suspect he thought this made him look cool. Whereas us truly cool residents were Ren and Stimpy fans.

Another potential flaw in my plan: I might accidentally eat my sacred matzah with a nice dollop of beet horseradish.

mmmm . . . beet horseradish . . .

4/19/2005 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Freakazoid all the way, man. "Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins."

4/20/2005 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

No, man. The Tick rules. On the afternoon before the marriage of Arthur's sister's wedding, the Tick primps his tux before a mirror, saying, "SHA-LOM! SHA-LOM!"

Arthur, in disgust: "Tick, what are you doing?"

"Arthur, I just found out we're Jewish!"

"No, Tick. I'm Jewish. You're . . . bluish.

I love that line.

4/20/2005 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Ok, then, what about Earthworm Jim? The funniest moment was hearing Peter Puppy, holding on for dear life on the back of Jim's pocket rocket (yeah, I know), whispering "I will not fear fear is the mind-killer fear is the little-death that brings total annihilation".

4/20/2005 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

That was not familiar, but I would have liked to see it. Is that from Freakazoid? Anyone who makes fun of Herbert is okay in my book.

Ever read National Lampoon's Doon (The Dessert Planet)? One of the few SF comedies that made me cry . . . that book, and parts of Venus on the Halfshell.

Okay, I'm psyched. I'm going to try to find those two from the online used bookstores. Maybe Powell's has them.

4/20/2005 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Earthworm Jim at TV Tome. Best villian name ever: The Evil Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-Filled, Malformed Slug-For-A-Butt

4/21/2005 06:32:00 AM  

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