Archives for May 2019
Sometimes, the word appears in parenthesis; sometimes the word is “Writer.” Same difference. When the word follows the person’s name, there is seldom a comma, which calls into question the so-called author’s grasp of punctuation
But never mind that.
Granted, I have not explored all the nooks and crannies of this cyber-wasteland, nor do I have any desire to, but it seems that “Author” is the only term applied in this manner for I have yet to come across anyone called “Appliance Repairman John Doe” or “Jane Doe Neurologist” or “Bob Smith Ramada Inn Concierge” or “President of General Motors Joe Schmo.”
Frankly, if I wished to add a profession to my name, I would not choose “Author,” as this vocation is a lonely practice characterized by many years of toil, endless rewriting, general anonymity, frustratingly inattentive agents, awful reviews, a tragic paucity of groupies save perhaps for the random starry-eyed librarian, and that it seldom produces more than a poverty-level livelihood.
On the bright side, it is a passable form of self-expression when accomplished with style and eloquence and, more importantly, requires only a laptop computer and a cursory knowledge of basic spelling and sentence structure which most people with an ounce of wit can recall from their school days and thus easily reproduce on a grocery list. Or 250 pages filled with words and called “A Novel.” I have noted that many of these so-called novels are published by a company known as “Createspace,” which must be quite profitable as this name appears with amazing frequency.
Is there perchance some glamour or status in being an author that I am not aware of? Is it the librarians?
Now if I were to add a profession to my Facebook moniker, I would choose something really cool, albeit equally far-fetched, such as “Rock Superstar John Blumenthal” or “Owner Of Strip Club Franchise John Blumenthal” or “Yankees Pitching Sensation John Blumenthal” or “Swashbuckling Pirate John Blumenthal,” or “John Blumenthal King of Belgium.”
But “Author”? Surely you jest. Everybody’s a goddamn Author.
An ex-CIA assassin goes on one last mission.
It’s Britain, 1845, and the comely young daughter of an Earl falls in love with a man below her station.
A dysfunctional family gathers for a reunion.
Newlyweds buy an old, decrepit house.
Two drifters find an abandoned suitcase full of cash on the side of road
A retired detective re-opens an old unsolved murder case.
Four young women go on a wild trip to Las Vegas.
After a retired pilot singlehandedly repels an alien invasion, he is separated from his family and must find them.
Two guys who don’t like each other go on a road trip.
A retired gunslinger reluctantly straps his guns back on when a rich landowner and his gang of hired killers threaten his family and his town.
A teenager is unpopular in high school until he gets a touchdown in the state play-offs.
A deadly virus threatens to destroy life on Earth.
A mediocre boxer gets badly beaten up in the ring but wins the fight because he is stubborn and courageous.
It’s 2045, the Earth has been destroyed by climate change and a man and a woman must fight a nasty band of futuristic bikers to survive.
Astronauts are stranded on a strange, forbidding planet.
A bookish ten year old walks into a closet and suddenly finds himself in a fantasy land.
Sinister things happen to two campers in the woods by a lake.
Accused of a murder he didn’t commit, a man is convicted and sent to jail, but his crusty lawyer doesn’t give up and uncovers the identity of the actual murderer.
A cantankerous older cop is partnered with a young arrogant rookie.
Three old friends in desperate need of money rob a bank
I don’t know if there are any empirical studies on this phenomenon but if you put these words into a search engine:, “Why do bad people outlive nice people?” you get some pretty convincing, albeit anecdotal, evidence. Even religions struggle with this question but they usually come up with the tired philosophy that God works in mysterious ways.
Everybody I know thinks of me as a nice person. I go out of my way to help people; I’m unfailingly kind and compassionate; I give money to charities without thinking about the tax deduction; I treat people with respect and patience, even customer service reps who require me to spell my last name 35 times.
But from now on, I’m going to be an asshole. How, you ask?
From this day forth, all my Facebook comments will consist of shit pile emojis.
Unfortunately, all this niceness will probably put me in an early grave.
And then there’s the phrase, “The good die young,” not to mention the book, Why Bad Things Happen to Good People.
So I’ve decided to abandon niceness and become an asshole.
The next time I’m at a strip club I’m putting coins in the strippers’ panties.
On my next wedding anniversary, I’m giving my wife a diet book.
If I see a slightly plump woman, I’m going to ask her when the baby’s due.
Want me to let you slide in ahead of me in merging traffic? Not going to happen.
On rainy days, I will make a special effort to speed through puddles that are near pedestrians.
I will eat copious amounts of broccoli before every trip and fart as often and as loudly on the plane as humanly possible.
That elderly woman limping toward the only vacant seat on the bus? Forget it, lady. I’m getting there first if it kills me.
Allergic to cats? I’m bringing mine over the next time I go to your house.
I will flush the toilet 15 times when people are in the shower at my health club.
My best friend is late for a flight. Will I drive him to the airport? Not in this lifetime.
That homeless guy who panhandles near Barnes & Noble will now get an out-of-date Bulgarian coin the next time I see him.
I’m wearing an umbrella hat at theaters that feature subtitled foreign films.
From now on, I’m eating garlic before every dental exam.
Disposing of dog shit when my dog craps during a walk? Forget it.
The next time I’m invited to a gourmet dinner party, I’m bringing the host a bottle of Thunderbird and placing a box of Pepto Bismol on my bread plate.
From now on, I will never use the words “spoiler alert” when telling a friend about a movie.
I’m going to wear a Grim Reaper costume the next time I visit a sick friend.
Who’s the asshole that put Krazy Glue on the barbells at the health club? That would be me.
The next wedding present I give will be a fifty-dollar gift certificate for a divorce attorney.
Instead of throwing a shovelful of dirt into an open grave at the next Jewish funeral I attend, I’m renting a bulldozer.
Anyway, you get the picture. If you don’t, do me a favor — drop dead.
I wrote a book last week. I’ve never written a book before but so what? They’re just words on a computer screen, right? I’ve written stuff before — emails and lists of things to get at the hardware store — so I have experience. Anybody can do it.
It all started when my friend Bert said, “You know Bud, you should write a book about your crazy family.” I thought about it for a minute. It was a totally unique idea. So I wrote it. The words just flowed out of me like diarrhea.
It took me a pretty long time — three hours — to think up a catchy title. I finally came up with, My Crazy Family. How could you not sell a million books with a grabber like that?
I slapped together a cover — my niece Sarah Jane (she’s so cute) helped with the finger-painting — and uploaded it on Amazon as a Kindle and a paperback. Heck, the uploading was harder than writing the book!
The next thing I did was change my Facebook profile. It used to say, “Works at Plumber.” Now it says, “Works at Author.”
Then I had to do some marketing. My first idea was total genius — I got all the members of my crazy family and a bunch of my friends to write customer reviews on Amazon. In a few hours, I had 20 reviews and a 5-star rating!
Next, I pasted the Amazon link on Facebook, which is also a really clever idea that’s probably never been done.
I heard that Amazon has a freebie program where you give the book away for free to create what they call “buzz.” I knew this would work. How often have I stood in line outside of Walmart to get a free set of beer coasters or an umbrella hat?
I ended up selling 8000 books for free. Now I had a following! I thought about trying to get reviews from hoity-toity newspapers like the New York Times — (it’s pretty simple — you just send them a copy of your book with a nice letter) — but the Post Office was going to charge me $9.95 for Priority Mail, so I didn’t bother.
The book sold pretty well (getting my friends and relatives to buy it was another brilliant marketing scheme — has anybody tried that before?)
About a week after publishing the book, my son caught our dog Bowzer tearing out the pages and eating them (everybody’s a critic, right?). It was the cutest thing! My son got the whole thing on video and made a YouTube and pasted it on Facebook. The damn thing went — what do you call it? — virile in two days.
The next day, I sold 150,000 copies but poor old Bowzer was constipated for a week.
A few days later, I got a call from a guy named Marty from Hollywood. Said he loved my book and wanted to make a TV sitcom out of it. He asked me if I have an agent and I told him I did. (Mickey Bergan has been my insurance agent for 20 years.)
But I told Marty I didn’t want to sell. I figured I could shoot a TV series myself. How hard could it be? Most TV sucks. All I had to do is shoot an episode and send it to a network and they’d pay me a ton of money and run it on TV. My family is pretty excited about starring in a TV series.
plan to use the video on my son’s smartphone. We start shooting next week.