Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Idea 100 - Give Me A Book Deal: The Book

My exciting story so far:

I've spent nearly nine months leaking amazing book ideas all across the pages of this fine web log. Nearly one a day, which is incredible. And yes, I'm offering every idea for individual purchase to book publishers or anyone else with money.

Among the 100 highlights (still available at prices that'll make ya smile):
I don't want to overwhelm potential money-givers with too many options, so I figured I'd stop -- FOR NOW!!!!! -- at 100 little chunks of genius.

I'm a nice guy. So I'll offer you -- just you -- the chance to buy EVERY SINGLE IDEA AS ONE BOOK. You'll get all of the amazing previews in this blog (already written, no lead time) which you can publish as "Give Me A Book Deal: The Book". Or whatever else you want to call it. I'm flexible. Text me.

Lastly, a big thank you to all the celebrities and readers who've been "spreading the word" about this great project. You're welcome.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Idea 99 - Leon and The Magical Slacks

Who says children's books have to just be for children? You? Well shut up then, because I think grownups deserve some patronizing empty-headed fluff too.

Imagine a wonderfully shallow fairy tale set in the modern workplace... better yet, I'll imagine it for you:

All the other workmen at the smelting plant were amazed by the beauty of Leon's magical slacks.

"Gee Leon, my workpants are dingy on the outside and scratchy on the inside! How did you find such beautiful slacks?" asked foreman Bob.

Leon smiled a happy smile. "Foreman Bob, I didn't find these slacks! They found me! They chased me through the forest, tackled me from behind, yanked off my other pants, climbed onto my body, and now it hurts if I try to take them off!"

All the dirty workmen in the sooty factory were crowding around Leon, hoping for a chance to touch Leon's magical slacks. "Cough, cough!" said the factory workers.
"I'm next, cough cough! I'm next!"

This story was inspired by that feeling you get when you try on a new pair of pants for the first time, and they just fit perfectly. It feels like you were born to wear them, or vice versa. I think there's magic in that moment.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Idea 98 - Shining Foreheads of Hope: Men Who Weren't Completely Destroyed By Baldness

One of the things I think about alot is male pattern baldness. Or just male baldness, I don't think it really matters if there's a pattern involved or not. See, as several hundred of my readers know, I have a really nice head of hair. But I'm getting older, so now I spend my mornings staring at my hairline and quietly screaming. What if it leaves me? What'll I do? More than anything, the purpose of this book is to make me feel better about the possibility that I'm gonna be a shiny-headed freak.

Patrick Stewart
Beloved Pontiac pitchman, Shakespearean actor, pretend spaceship captain
Stewart definitely put his eerily bald head to work. He used it to hook up with the raven-haired space-woman Deanna Troi on that space show he was on, and as I recall she was the closest thing to hot they had on that ship. Her character was supposed to be psychic, so maybe she could focus on Stewart's soul and not his horrifically exposed scalp.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Beloved West Point junior varsity football coach, guy who orchestrated the Allied invasion of France and Germany as depicted in the beginning of Saving Private Ryan, pretty sure he was President
Hitler wasn't bald. Eisenhower was. Ike was famously enraged by this. It was his order to "scalp them Germs!" which inspired the real-life scalping purveyed by the real-life death squad which inspired the hysterical Holocaust movie 'Inglorious Basterds'. Of course, when you scalp a guy, you make him bald. 'Nuff said.

Marie Curie
Hottie, flirtatious Frenchwoman, discovered something
Whatever it was that Curie discovered, it apparently caused her to go head-hairless later in life. But "Skinhead Marie", as she was affectionately called, rarely let her repellent appearance drag her into a foul humour -- in fact, she owned a wonderful collection of wigs and drugs.

Obviously I realize that Marie Curie isn't technically a man, but I figure that once a woman goes bald she's definitely not female anymore either, so it's only fair that I include her in this book.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Idea 97 - Happily Angry: The Conundrum At Work In The Minds Of Girlfriends

I saw a cool-sounding book title in a review I almost skimmed: Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. Turns out it's all full of amazing sociological experiments and junk like that. Basically, bait for intellectuals. So here's my amazing spin: I figure about 40% of those geeks are male heteros, and I bet I can trap them with a brainy sciencey book about how their failed relationships aren't their fault. Check this bitch out:

In one experiment, we offered 110 girlfriends a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why we hadn't cleaned the apartment like we said we would while she was away for Ladies' Weekend.

Our control group was made up of 106 girls from work who seemed like they'd be cool and not freak out about little stuff like that. Because, I mean, come on, no one's going to die just because I had some other stuff come up and then Jeff came over on Sunday and my mom called later on and she WOULD NOT shut up. So, whatever.

I don't want to give away the results, partially because I haven't done the research yet. And I generally wouldn't be interested in actually doing the research at all -- sounds too much like work to me (LOL) -- but then again those girls from work sound pretty cool.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Idea 96 - Nuggets o' Fun

I'm an early adopter, so I always bring my iPhone into the bathroom. But lots of people still read paper stuff while "indisposed" in the "shitter". Aside from magazines and game manuals, people seem to love those cool "bathroom reader" books -- collections of simple puzzles, old-timey jokes, quirky facts, brain-teasers, mind-fuddlers, and so on. I love this genre because a) the quality bar is very low, and b) I can have the book printed in the shape of a toilet (saw one like that at a friend's house the other day -- hysterical! Who knew that was even possible?) Anyway, let's get down to business:

Q: What did the limerick say to the haiku?
A: Not sure, but I bet it was dirty!
(Remember, these people are in the middle of crapping, they can't leave!)

Did you know?
70% of all facial tissues aren't used for the face.

Little Timmy was walking down the road with his fishing pole. Mr. Abernathy stopped his van to chat.
"Hey Timmy, how was the fishing
down at the creek?" asked Mr. Abernathy.
"I wasn't at the creek," said Timmy.
"Oh -- well then how was the fishing at the pond?" asked Mr. Abernathy.
"I wasn't at the pond," said Timmy.
"Well gee, Timmy -- where the heck did you go fishing, for Pete's sake?!"
Timmy frowned. "Went fishing for brassieres in the girls' locker room. But they were all too small -- had to throw 'em back!"
(The nerve of that kid!)

Jesus, this is easy. Talk about a captive audience! And desperate, too -- I know I've found myself staring blankly at the ingredients on a shampoo bottle, just so I wouldn't overthink what I was doing in there. After that, I usually start singing to myself.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Idea 95 - Green Is Murder

Holy God, I haven't jumped on the green bandwagon yet! I had been waiting for 'giving a shit' to go out of fashion, but apparently there's still some life left in the fad. I've been hearing a ton about all these damn DIY projects where people try to live off the land for a year and all that -- then they write non-fiction memoirs and get fucking book deals out of that boring garbage.

Wait a second... something brilliant just hit me... maybe I can split the difference between those stupid things and Super Size Me...

By the 18th day, I could hardly stand to look at an ounce of raw goat's milk cheese from my neighbor's sustainable farm, much less eat an entire pound for breakfast. My cheeks had become sallow and pale, and I had begun sweating a clear liquid that smelled like rotting grass clippings. The emergency herbalist who was overseeing the project was just about fed up.

"This is disgusting. You're disgusting. Why are you doing this? You're wasting the food these people and animals are working so hard to make. I honestly don't understand the point of this." Sandy was cracking, but I couldn't afford to give up.

The family was out in the fields, trudging through a sweltering July morning. As I lay on the picnic table, fading in and out of cheese-shock, I was dimly aware that lunch was coming, and with it another 11 pounds of suckling pig and endangered heirloom tomatoes. Thankfully, a cool woman-shaped shadow appeared above me. "Please... please leave," intoned the farmer's wife. "And please don't call me 'the farmer's wife' in your book -- I'm a farmer too. Are you even listening to me? If you keep stealing our food, I'm calling the cops."

I appreciated her concern, but we both knew I had to keep pushing.

As she walked away, I let out a braying burp that was literally purple. It reeked of beets, bile, and carrob. "I may not survive this," I thought. "But the movement will."

Is it possible to inspire yourself? Because that's what I just did. So yeah, I guess it is.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Idea 94 - David And God In The Bathroom

Apparently young adults are reading books, which is weird. Regardless, people are making a shitload o' dough off the little tykes, which means I need to grab some of it. I'm thinking of a male version of Are You There God? It's Me Margaret. NO, I DIDN'T READ IT. But I do know that she talks to God about periods. Listen to this:

David's armpit hair had become impossible to hide. Even when he tried hugging his bicep to his ribcage, it looked like he had a Troll doll in a headlock. "Gross!" he cried aloud, revolted by his sweaty garden. "Why me?! The guys in the locker room are gonna call me 'Pube Pits' and 'Triple Crotch!'" His desperate eyes swung wildly around the bathroom. "Scissors! I need scissors!"

"Wait, David. I made that funky hair. And I didn't intend for you to trim it. That would be weird." The Voice of God was male, but British.

David plopped himself down onto the fur-covered toilet seat. "Oh. Hi God. Hey, didn't we decide that You wouldn't talk to me during bathroom time?"

"Don't be a baby," God intoned. "I've seen it all before, pal. Anyway, quit being embarrassed about your pit hair. A lot of guys wish they could have as much as you. Especially guys who have been severely burned."

David couldn't help but smile. "Yeah. I guess you're right. It's just that... why won't my... other hair start growing? I look like a Greek statue of a cherub down there."

Man, I can't help but think about how valuable this book would have been to me when I was 14. I was about half as tall as most guys, and my voice was higher than my sister's -- it didn't end up changing until my mid 20's. Turns out that one of my testicles hadn't dropped yet. A doctor finally had to coax it out with this little toilet-plunger thing he pressed up behind my scrotum. Nice guy.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Idea 93 - A Gathering Of No One

It's always difficult to see people in horrible crisis, especially children. That's why it pains me so much to see teens, still rich with the potential for cool and sexy lives, strangled by the choking ivy of dorkness. This book will be both a cautionary tale for prospective parents and a melacholy ode to all the full-on geeks out there. You are not forgotten:

Palms pressed to the shop window glass, Barrett peered intently at his fate. His eager breath, thick with the pheromones of tragically non-sexual longing, fogged his view of his inanimate beloved. Beyond the transparent barrier lay a spanking new edition of Magic: The Gathering cards.

"Hey douche," intoned Cal Nathan, a member of the school's well-adjusted elite. His entourage was already in pre-cackle. "Store's closed. Maybe they have that shit at Suck 'R' Us." Now the guffaws came. And could the cool kids be blamed? Magic cards were -- and are -- the equivalent of eating pig excrement in front of a school assembly.

And yet Barrett simply didn't know. Earlier that day, an exchange with his father, Daniel:

"Honey, what's the plan for the day?" Dad was ensconced in Scientific American.

Barrett couldn't hide his glee. "The new Magic cards are out -- I'm so psyched! Gonna go pick 'em up I think!" He nervously wiped aspirated spit from the corner of his mouth.

From behind the magazine's cover image of some type of nebula, Barrett's father said nothing. His son had just enthusiastically admitted to something as self-destructive as cutting, or taking home ec seriously. After a moment, realizing his son had said something, he looked up from his magazine. The front door was swinging shut. The bullet of social suicide was out of the gun.
If this book can help just one kid not get the crap kicked out of him, I'll be thrilled. Thrilled and jealous.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Idea 92 - Ultimate Immortal Legends Of Lacrosse

Holy living crap, I can't believe I haven't done a sports book yet! I love sports! Especially lacrosse! And you know what, I think America's ready to fall in love with lax - and I'm just the person to force them into it:

Very few people know or care that NFL great and scary blaxploitation hero Jim Brown was one of the greatest lacrosse players of all time. In fact, Brown simply dominated "The Little Sport That Didn't" while attending Syracuse in the mid 1950's. Yet he's only known for his football prowess, merely because it's a sport that's vastly more popular and entertaining.

The Brown Era passed, no one noticed, and lacrosse would wait 40 years for a breakthrough talent to not help it break into the mainstream.
It was the non-heralded Gait brothers, Paul and Gary, who finally approached Brown's boring mastery of "The Fastest Game With Lacrosse Sticks". As none of us know, the Gaits are synonymous not just for their 1999 Mann Cup (sp?) with the Victoria Shamrocks (sp?), but also for tearing down racial and cultural barriers by returning "The Invisible Game" to the hands of wealthy white prep-school dicks.

Man, there's so much history here -- I could probably spend five hundred pages talking about recent advancements in stick lacing and aquaintance rape. Pre-order now! (That's what I'd be saying if somebody bought this idea.) (still available)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Idea 91 - The Mallardic Proposition: Revelations About Time, Space, and Our Place In The Multiverse

I think space stuff is really fascinating, like that Hawking dude's books and those shows on Discovery Channel about quarks and crap. Turns out there's probably more than one universe, which is pretty fucked up.

What's weird though is that all these scientists supposedly base their crazy ideas on facts, but they're facts none of us would ever be able to understand or verify -- so they could make up pretty much anything they wanted and we'd have no idea. Which stinks like an opportunity to me:

For the simple layman, I'll attempt to summarize my assertions over the last 17 chapters:

According to my ground-breaking interpretation of string theory -- the widely accepted "theory of everything" -- our universe is much like a large duck. Try to keep up.

By astutely observing our universe, scientists believe that we can learn to see its true nature -- much like a typical mouth-breather like yourself learns to recognize a duck floating on the surface of a pond.

Our problem, children, is that the true nature of the universe (and all universes) sits "beneath" our currently known plane of existence -- like the duck feet that paddle mightily beyond the penetrative limits of an idiot's vision and imagination. And so the entirety of nebulae and black holes and neutrons and housepets and quote-unquote gravity is merely the fleeting shimmer on a duck's iridescent neck feathers.

And it is only I who have seen the
duck's feet.

See, I just made you feel like you're not smart enough, which is the whole reason people buy books in the first place. And so what if the whole thing is made up? Who's going to object? Leading astrophysicists and cosmologists? Bullshit.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Idea 90 - The Face Crusher: A Graphic Novel In 146 Parts

I read The Watchmen recently -- pretty entertaining, and I found it a fun challenge to convince myself that it's as important as people say it is. I think I could pull off something similar, as the key seems to be making it ridiculously long, and I've got nothing but time since I got fired from my volunteering gig.

I'll need a hero with a dark past and questionable morals (but not Batman, The Punisher, The Crow, or Halle Berry's chilling Catwoman). Enter Clarence Melon: The Face Crusher. To make sure it's long enough, I'll need to start... at the beginning:

(Over cool drawings of deep space, nebulas, and cosmic explosions, some intro text appears on those banner things look like they're sort of peeling up from the page)

"Clarence Melon was born of infinite darkness. More specifically, his dark and brooding subatomic building blocks were formed at the beginning of time, during The Great Bang. Over the eons, they were violently rent asunder a billion trillion times -- a fact he would eventually bear like a jagged quantum cross in his dark and interesting heart."

(Next page: super detailed but creepy picture of a male baby with a furrowed brow)
"It wasn't until his dark and foreboding infancy that he crushed his first face."

(Several quick frames of a happy 50's housewife entering a gaily decorated nursery)
(little musical notes near the text so it's clear that it's all sing-song-y)
"Time to wake up, my precious innocent little--
(her face goes from joy to abject horror in two frames)

(close-up frame of baby Clarence's eyes, cutely oversized but also tainted with a ghost of exciting darkness)

(the next couple frames are a sequence of dramatic close ups of his baby cheek, then his baby shoulder, then his baby elbow, forearm, wrist... and then on the next page, a hugely overwrought full-page frame of his fist, which is convulsively gripping a large crumpled doll head. Its face has been crushed, of course -- its dented nose has been flattened against the back of its skull. Clarence's first.)

There you have it, folks. The birth of a franchise. The big theme will be about how Clarence is always walking the line between good and evil while crushing people's faces. By the way, if you know how to draw, text me. (Quick)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Idea 89 - Even Better American Short Stories, 2010 Edition

I'll often pick up those cool "Best American Short Stories" compilations, mostly so I can look smart without having to focus on anything for too long. I figure I can come up with a competitor, or at least force my way into the original, as long as I stick to the formula the editors seem to look for:
  • write like you couldn't be bothered to care about the subject, but that it somehow makes you sad
  • don't be funny
  • avoid action or a plot
  • it can't hurt to write about growing up ethnic
Bottom line: boring = talented. Some ideas:

"The Sitting Room"
Boston, 1935. An Irish immigrant family sits in mildly tense silence. They are in a sitting room. The youngest boy scratches his dirty fingernails across his patched short pants. The grandmother glares at him. Time passes.

"Life and Tea"
A middle-aged man changes a tire. He thinks about various types of tea, and the depth of his analysis subtly reveals the lack of purpose in his life. A crow squawks in the background, although the man ignores it.

"My Mother Is Asian"
A thirty-something Asian-American woman quietly chafes at the extended, nonsensical Maoist rants purveyed by her non-specifically ill mother. Several fluttering, tentative hints within the text seem to possibly indicate that the woman may or may not wish her mother dead.

You know what, I'm thinking about changing that last one -- the whole death wish thing might be too exciting. Maybe I'll just end it with a thing about how the woman's mother never approved of her choices in home decor.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Idea 88 - Another Word for "Evil"

I've never trusted crossword puzzles. They always seem like they're mocking me -- I can practically hear them laughing while I desperately attempt to decipher garbage like "world waist, never bitten". What the hell could that be?! Whatever, I don't even care. But I do think it's high time that someone exposed these asinine attention-traps for what they really are. Solve this, America:

Cruising at 35,000 feet, oblivious of an exultant sun cresting the distant horizon, Karen stared glumly at an empty row of tiny insulting boxes. She could plainly see that 46 across was the keystone of the entire puzzle, but for the life of her she couldn't crack the clue: 'hosiery unbound'.

"Is it 'loose leggings'?" she asked her oblivious neighbor, who could only roll his semi-drunken eyes. "No, dammit, that's 21 letters too short." She rubbed her nose angrily, an unusual itch serving as a welcome outlet for her puzzle-related frustration. "Recently pardoned pantaloons? Fuck."

Karen's blank, dejected gaze fixed on one particularly empty box which suddenly filled with blood.
It took her a moment to realize that it had come from her own flared nostril. Of course, she had no way of knowing that at that very instant, tens of thousands of people across the country had also sprung a vicious nasal blood leak.

For most, the first droplets had fallen in line 46
. Others had been unrelatedly punched in the face.

Oh, I can't tell you how cathartic this is. I've always thought that the contorted language of crossword clues felt Satanic, and I can already tell that putting the facts to paper will be positively orgasmic. I'd also like to lay into Sudoku, but that feels a little racist.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Idea 87 - Dancing Through Severe Spine Pain -- The Natural Way

Most people don't know that I was hit in the back with a javelin when I was 17. Yep. I was at a regional high school track meet in '93, working in crowd control. Some toddlers had run into the long jump landing pit, so I was yelling at them, and then all of a sudden I was impaled from behind. Some kid had chucked his jav' way left, and my spine paid the price. I never thought I'd smile again.

But then I discovered "Expressive Dancing", a therapeutic artform in which one whirls around and gestures in a way that both expresses and relieves the sensation of horrific physical injury. I'd be a dick if I didn't share it:

For real bad spine pain, like hit-in-the-back-with-a-car-type spine pain, you're gonna need to REALLY whirl around. Imagine that your hands are on fire and you need to put them out with the wind. (Bonus: accurately imagining your roasting hands will also help distract from your crippling, unending spine pain.) Once you're fully in dervish mode, try hopping from foot to foot, raising each knee as high as you can without blacking out. (Due to your spine pain)

I learned alot during my 71 months of recovery, especially after they removed the javelin, and I'm really excited to share my learnings. One thing I'm extra jazzed about passing on is this trick for paralyzing your tear ducts so you never have to burden your loved ones.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Idea 86 -- Sarah Tangle, Undercover Bag Lady

Sleuthing. Mystery. Female detectives. Homelessness. If these themes intrigue you, it's because you're like everyone on the planet. Oh, hello can't-miss book, nice to meet you:

"Can you spare some change, Mister -- I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name." Behind Sarah's filthy dreadlocks shone an eye keener than a caffeinated owl's. Now it peered up at the man who had killed Agent Barnaby.

"The name's Osiris Keller. Now go get a damn job." Keller snarled as he threw small change at her bare, weathered feet. Sarah couldn't help but smile, and Keller couldn't help but fall in love with her decadent mouth -- severely chapped lips or no severely chapped lips.

"This is my job, Mr. Keller. And while it brings me in frequent contact with disgusting vermin who don't deserve to live, I find a certain pleasure in making sure they never see the light of day again."

As much as Sarah enjoyed toying with him, she saw a flicker of suspicion in Keller's murderous eyes. So she peed herself. It was the only way to maintain the illusion.

If you thought that was weirdly hot, wait til Chapter 14, when Sarah has a dangerous encounter with either a homeless Russian spy or just a homeless guy who thinks he's a Russian spy.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Idea 85 - Baby Cats In Adult Cat Situations

As even the dumbest among us know, cats + anything sets the Internet aflutter. Then you've got those ultra-popular posters where toddlers in formal wear do grownup stuff, like propose marriage and kiss. If I can combine the two in a crowd-sourced photo-book, I'll definitely be able to retire before I die. Get ready to gush over setups like:

-a teacup-sized female hissing at a tiny male "suitor", even though her raised haunches and deeply arched back indicate her willingness to copulate

-a proud "mama" kitten appearing to nurse a litter of preemie kittens

-a little calico kitty "pretending" to undergo treatment for late-stage feline leukemia.

By the way, I want these to be very classy like those romantic toddler posters, so I'll make them all black and white. And also like those posters, I'll add a transcendent touch of emotion by softly colorizing one key element, like the bouquet that's in 90% of them. In the first one, the colorized part will be the male's emotionless green eyes. In the second one, it'll be mama's little pink teats. And in the last one, it'll be the syringe.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Idea 84 - Alien Snipers

"Write what you know." That's what they say, right? Well I've seen pretty much every movie and TV show about aliens, including "Aliens". And when I'm playing video games, I almost always choose the sniper character -- and let's just say that if the war in Afghanistan was fought on Xbox, all the Afghani solidiers would be like "Damn, where is that guy? Oh wait there he--" and then they'd be gone. Feel me:

In one moment, Clarence was walking his mindless way to work, still waking up, literally whistling Dixie. In the next, the head of the guy next to him had a huge hole in it. A clean hole. A cauterized hole. A deadly hole. After an absurd pause, the man's body slumped to the ground, a marionette with no puppeteer.

He had been sniped. From space. By an alien. An alien sniper.

"WHAT THE CRAP?!" Clarence yelled instinctively. Others were screaming now. A homeless woman fainted. No one noticed.

"Get down! Get behind something! Find a helmet!" A meter maid had snapped into action, hollering directions at the panicked citizens who seemed focused on waving their arms and running back and forth.

Clarence couldn't help help but notice that a) the meter maid was hot, and b) her uniform was tight in all the right places -- and in some of the wrong ones.

"Meter maid! Let's band together!" As she snapped her head toward him, her chocolate syrup hair whipped around in slow motion. They locked eyes. A hint of relief touched one corner of her mouth, then the skull of a nearby skateboarder suddenly became a wind tunnel.

Somewhere in orbit, the alien laughed through his shoulder-mouth.

Okay, so I just freaked myself out. What if there WAS an alien sniper? Who would be safe? Could he shoot through buildings? Anyway, if somebody publishes this I could post the news on any gamer message board and this shit would sell out in about 11 seconds.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Idea 83 - The Boldest Blogger

Most of you weren't born yet, but there was a time when blogging didn't even exist. And then came a time when we bloggers were reviled -- considered laughably vain and shallow, just because we felt that our non-astute observations were worthy of other people's time. The outlook for our kind was dim -- until Harrison Tangiers came along. That's right, Harrison Tangiers. The Johnny Appleseed of bloggers:

"Hello Mother.

Yes, I'm still writing my 'little diary', as you call it.

Mother, it's known as a blog, and it's not
'little' at all. It's very important to me, and I receive nearly a thousand hits a day.

Hits, mother. Visits. Unique-- you know what? I'm not having this conversation."

Later that day, Tangiers' on-screen index finger shook as it hovered above the "publish post" button. Was it really worth it? Why commit oneself to so much ridicule? What if my boss finds out? A silent tear escaped his clenched eyelids, only to die a tiny death on his Alf mousepad.

His mother's dismissive, uninterested tone echoed that of nearly everyone in his life.
Bit by bit, insult by insult, they had eroded his will to update '', his accessibly snarky account of life in the offices of one of the world's first online sock distributors.

After what felt like months, Tangiers made a fateful choice. "They won't break me," he muttered, unaware that he was speaking aloud. Those words would famously be reported by Joan Middleton, his co-worker and sometime poker buddy. "They won't break me."

When Harrison opened his eyes, the tip of his index finger lay on the left button of his ergonomically architected mouse, although he claims to this day that he has no memory of depressing it. And so that historic post, "Somebody In Here Smells", was committed to the nascent Web as if by the hand of God herself.

And who today, in the age of Gawker and HuffPo and this very site, could possibly argue that God was at work that day? I mean, if God exists. (Probably not.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Idea 82 - In Defense of Cowardice

Believe me, it takes real gumption to buck social imperatives and run screaming from a fight. I've personally backed down from more challenges than you have the guts to imagine, including parenthood and Brazilian stickfighting. And I think it's high time for somebody to cautiously stand up for those who always lose bowel control at the first sign of trouble. Of course, I'll do so anonymously. Check it:

In the animal world, those who are desperately unwilling to fight for territory, social standing, or attractive mates are naturally de-selected from breeding. Yet hundreds of millions of human wusses survive to this day -- for proof, just visit at any large gathering that ends with "-Con".

So can we quietly surmise, then, that cowardice has been selected as an essential part of the human condition? That, in fact, the continued survival of the scared-est is a testament to our hesitant importance? Or do we wonder, with noticeable frightened shivering, whether our extermination has simply been delayed -- that perhaps the collective cocky-people consciousness will soon notice our cowering presence and violently "noogie" us out of existence?

Oh shit. Oh my God. We're doomed! This is gonna be just like high school! RUN TO THE BOOKSTORE! The complete version of this book is packed with tips for surviving the coming waves of weakling-cleansing!!! RUUUUUUUNNNNNNNN!!!!

See what I did there, publishers? Fear-based marketing. Once again, you're welcome. (Call me)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Idea 81 - Everything's Dirty!!! The Fun Guide To Germophobia For Kids

I've known a lot of people with serious dirt/germ-related anxiety issues over the years. And yes, I've tried "positive berating" to help them understand how stupid their worries are, but they never change. So I figure that if these freaks aren't going to fix themselves, they'll have to explain their weirdo behavior to their kids. You got it -- it's excerpt time:

What Not To Lick
Golly lolly, everybody loves lollipops. Especially staphylococcus. Sure-dee-do, this creepy sleeping killer can lie dormant on the surface of a pretty candy all the way from a poorly-regulated factory to your warm, life-giving mouth!

Why We Can't Have Chili
Super-smarty scientists say that the average square inch of yummy zesty chili has been touched by the bare hands of over eleven grown men! Imagine eleven Daddies -- fixing oily cars, pulling ticks off of sick dogs, screaming into their fists -- then grabbing chili by the handful and throwing it into your mouth. Tell your friends!

I think you get it, and I don't have room in this space to go on further, but if you want I can email you my favorite chapter, Your Little Arms Are Covered In Mites.

NOTE: I don't have the energy to google it, but I'm sure that Baby Purell exists, in which case I accept their sponsorship in advance.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Idea 80 - The List (part 1)

People keep Tweeting me, and they're all asking the same thing: "What were those keys to success that you mentioned the other day at lunch?" See, I've developed a simple list of one-word concepts that are crucial for winning in life, love, art, and business, and I'll often mention them to people over sandwiches or whatever. The List is actually part of a much larger system that includes a lot of breathing exercises, but I'm considering releasing just The List as a very short book because people hate reading.

So here's part of the now-famous List for your blogging pleasure. The right way to use it is to recite the entire List, in your head, mentally, just before important life events like interviews or telling your spouse that you want a divorce. Make sure you think in all caps, and loudly. Here we go:


For the rest of the List, you'll have to buy the book. Or follow my Tweets -- I'll be revealing two more words every day for the next 8 months as a teaser for the full list.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Idea 79 - My Friend Jeff: The Unauthorized Biography

I think it's kinda bullshit that it's only famous or interesting people who get biographies. What about the everyday heroes who slog through this life without ambition, interests, or any important deeds worth noting?

Plus, me and my buddy Jeff always totally rip on each other in really funny ways, and I always thought it'd be hysterical to publish a dense tome about all the dumb embarrassing shit he's done over the years. He'll be so pissed, but he'll have to laugh, you know? Here's a snippet from Chapter 3, "An Adolescence More Painful Than Most":

Perhaps Jeff's most horrifically lame exploit occurred early in his disastrous sophomore year in high school. Despite his virulent and sizable acne, he had somehow scored a ride to the big Steve Miller concert with Kelly McCarthy, one of the Junior class's most nubile and socially important young women. Historians uniformly agree that only reason this came to pass was Jeff's mom's friendship with Mrs. McCarthy. What follows is an attempt at reconstructing this extraordinarily repellent event.


"Oh shit." Jeff stared glumly toward his faded and ill-fitting shorts.

Kelly quickly glanced toward her zit-ridden passenger, then followed his gaze downward. "What the heck is... Oh my God, gross! GROSS!!'"

As the historical record shows, what had occurred had been gross indeed. Jeff had drunk far too much Bud Dry during the concert's early stages, and was now paying an unholy price for his pathetic light-weightedness. For when Jeff awoke from a brief blackout while riding home with Miss McCarthy, he couldn't help but notice that he was sitting in a gloppy orange pool of processed pizza, thanks to his overly relaxed colon.

"OH MY GOD!!!! JEFF!!!! GROSSS!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!"


The best thing was that she pulled over right then, right on the highway, kicked him out of the car, and drove away. Totally left him there. Funniest thing ever. Seriously, nobody tell Jeff about this book until it comes out, I want to see the look on his face, he's gonna freak.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Idea 78 - The Sexy Heiress With The Sexy Battleship Tattoo

Here's one for all those sad people who get erotic fulfillment from books instead of mobile porn. I've been checking out the racks at airport shops, and it looks like all I'll need to draw the suckers in is a mostly black cover with an ethereal, youthful female form, mostly draped in shadows, with just a hint of rebellious body ink exposed on one ivory shoulder. Also, look at the title: you'll notice I used the word "sexy" twice. That was on purpose. I'm always thinking:

Into a haze of languid clove smoke, she disappeared like a dream at edge of sleep.

"Was she real?" Robert asked, his own voice foggy in his thudding ears. The erotic rock concert had just ended. But Robert was desperate for an encore -- a private encore, featuring her and her alone.

"Oh yes, she's very real. And that picture of a battleship on her back? That's a tattoo." Alexander knew so much about her. But how? "Her father is a wealthy importer/exporter." Alexander regarded his martini as he spoke, stirring it lazily with a slender and long-nailed pinky. "No one knows who her mother is, but many suppose that she must have been some type of contortionist."

Robert was confused and aroused in equal and considerable measure.

In his mind, the prow of the battleship roared mightily over a creamy shoulder blade, slicing the wet wind in two as she pounded, rhythmically, across a silken gossamer sea. The ship's imposing cannons rose ominously, exposing their darkened caverns. Each would soon bloom with unimaginable heat.

Robert was suddenly overwhelmed by that accidentally-wore-my-younger-brother's-pants feeling.

Sorry, I should have made it clear that this excerpt was Not Safe FW. What can I say, my talent for stroking that most erogenous of human organs -- the genitals -- can get a little, shall we say, out of hand at times. I think we shall.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Idea 77 - Angling For Disaster

It seems like film producers and sheltered intellectuals alike all love those extreme adventure memoirs, like Into the Void and crap like that. And yeah, maybe I haven't climbed anything or sawed off/eaten any crucial body parts. But what I can do is take a very pedestrian "adventure" I've undertaken and make it enthralling via my word-magic:

The bass struggled mightily, whipping its entire 14-inch body against the line that threatened to pull it into my straining 10-year old arms. It was at that moment that I first cursed the Gods. They had listened to my prayers -- my endless requests to land a largemouth as big and heavy as a small Nerf football -- and cursed me to my present torment by delivering exactly what I had asked. Those pricks.

I knew that the fight could last up to three minutes. And I knew that either the mighty bass or I would be dead when it was done. Or my line might break. Or the lure could just pop out of its gaping toothless maw, which could open as wide as an inch and a half and slam shut hard enough to snap a wet saltine in two.

As the the very lifeforce drained from my rail-thin frame, I was dimly aware of my hardy fishing partner Ian, who was catching tiny sunfish and putting firecrackers in their mouths. My fellow adventurer simply didn't know fear.

Wow, what a cliffhanger! It feels just like that movie, Cliffhanger.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Idea 76 - The Game Of Death

Maybe I can make some money by stoking panic and hysteria. But what kind of -- oh wait! I could goose the snoozing dragon of parental concern about video games!

Lucas and Sanji swore viciously through gritted and braced teeth. They had nearly finished the third level of MomKiller 3D.

"Dam*! Cr#p!! Chr&$@t's an@s on a jumped-up sh%*garti€£s!!! You shot that old woman in her @$$! High-five me!" Sanji had been a Hindu altar boy until this past Christmas, when his kind but negligent parents purchased a sin-filled Play-Station. That morning, his blood-curdling shriek of delight had been a dark portent of deteriorating penmanship and carelessness with matches.

Lucas spat out Funyun flecks as he screamed chilling instructions. "Get those ding-€@&ing explosives!!! We'll head to the crap€^*%ish PTA meeting and take our fat $&@nus#%ard parents hostage!!!

"I can't wait!" hollered Sanji. "Then let's turn gay!"

All we need is some simple banner ads on leading "mommy blog" Once word gets out, parents will buy up the whole first run just to burn them in the town square and shake them angrily in front of local news cameras.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Idea 75 - The iPhonebook

Okay, so this one's such a shoe-in that it'll easily fund all my children's college educations, even the ever-expanding gaggle of "Illegitimies" who keep popping up.

Basically, if I write anything at all related to the iPhone, I'm going to get what I cal "viral buzz", which equates directly with sales (duh). And I don't blame the masses for slavishly fawning over the iPhone -- I've got one myself, and I would literally exterminate an entire pet hospital full of sad handicapped animals if it was somehow necessary to protect my touchscreen lover. Granted, it gets horrible phone reception, but whatever.

All I need to do is make the book physically large enough to explain the exorbitant price (which will draw Apple fans like spiders to a baby's ear). So here it is:

Wait for it...

Literally the phonebook, but for iPhones. I'll just reprint the yellow/white pages -- hundreds of editions in their localized entirety -- but add a nicely designed cover, like a photo of the iconic "walking fingers" traipsing across the surface of a 3GS, set against the quintessential black background. Holy shit, it's so compelling it's like mind control!

Huge upside: no actual writing required. Maybe just a preface about how Windows Mobile phones 5ukk ba!!zz, to get the attention of the early adopters/fanboys.

Possible buzz partnerships: Keyboard Cat, LOL Injureez, Engadget Mobile, Cute Granneez, Yellow Pages if they still exist (not sure).

Friday, July 31, 2009

Idea 74 - Look No Further: The Responsible Use of Real X-Ray Glasses

Agreed: with the pace of technological innovation increasing at a nauseating pace, real x-ray glasses are obviously right around the corner. But I'm pretty sure that their arrival will unravel society itself, as the impulse to look through inappropriate things, like everybody's clothes, will overwhelm even the most respectful eunuch. Widespread moral degradation and rioting will ensue. But not if this book has anything to say about it:

Chapter 7: Things not to look at via your new x-ray glasses:
  • Genitals -- The appropriate behavior is to steal a quick glance at the underwear, which is enough to titillate oneself but not visually abuse someone else
  • Colonic interiors -- Eating habits are private, and it's simply not your right to peer into a stranger's innards and guess what they've ingested in the last 16-24 hours
  • Pastries -- When someone bakes a pie, what they're really baking is a surprise. A major part of the excitement of a filled pastry is what's called The Gushing Moment, when secret goo meets lips and teeth. (Also tongue.) Even if you've been told ahead of time that it's a blueberry croissant or a Boston creme, you are doing the chef an egregious disservice by "skipping ahead" to the wet part. For shame.
That's a huge relief for me, just to be able to put my concerns on paper, as it were. And I know I speak for millions of enraged citizens when I say that the time for x-ray vision legislation is NOW, not after the scourge of wanton see-throughery spoils our streets with sodden shorts and spoiled sweet surprises. That was a lot of s's!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Idea 73 - The Legendary Myth Of Legend

Maybe I can get some attention by "discovering" a new Greek or Roman myth -- something akin to a newfound Gospel, but it won't be about the bible so people won't flip out about it too much. The best thing is that I can just make up random weird events and it'll sound like a real myth:

From the armpit of Athena burst a small tuft of golden wheat, the flowing fronds of which soon bore a star-shaped fruit. As she walked, this star-fruit fell to the fertile soil at the foot of Mount Olympus, from whence soon sprung a stone goat with nine faces. It was named Goatus and thus mankind received the name we call our modern goats.

After 100 years of silence, Goatus beheld a young human maiden named Sallyus, who was hot. He was so entranced by her beauty that he belched, and the belch became a half-god named Cletus, patron of home-made wine, and thus mankind received the name we give to our modern white trash.

See, I came up with that in about two minutes and I just explained two mysteries of our time. What could I accomplish if I had some funding? Who knows? Oh wait, I do.

NOTE: I mean no disrespect to those who still believe in those Greek/Roman gods but at the same time you have to admit that all that stuff definitely didn't happen. Also, it does concern me that kids who read those myths might think magical stuff happens when you fuck animals.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


The flood of valuable ideas will resume on Thursday, July 30th.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Idea 72 - Financial Freedom and Unholy Slavery

Seems like the masses can't get enough of those how-to self-help wealth-acquisition books, even religious ones. Seriously, there's a large crop of books about how Jesus can help you get rich -- turns out He was being sarcastic about that rich man/camel/needle thing. So I feel like this is a great opportunity to put my passion for The Dark Lord to good use:

The cat blood futures market is still in its infancy, but when The Reaping comes you'll be sitting pretty atop your cauldron of feline plasma. As the Lorde Of Hell strides the charred Earth forcing the Innocents to find and guzzle inordinate amounts of kitty juice, you'll have long lines of The Desperate Doomed wrapping around your house, each one willing to empty their bank accounts on your lawn to receive slightly milder Death Sentences.


ALWAYS remember the 3 C's of the Apocalypse: Candles, Candles, Candles. The growing Horde of Deviants will require a vast amount of candles to create their own Pentagram alters, so it's wise to consider an investment in widely accessible retail chains like Wicks n' Sticks and even Bed Bath & Beyond. NOTE: Remember to avoid Yankee Candle like one of the coming Plagues, as The Walking Demoncock has a thing against that place (understandably).


Even the most sociopathic Heathen needs a diversified portfolio. 'Nuff said.

I don't want to push my religion on anyone, I'm just all about giving people options and tools that can help them flourish in this world before they spend a thousand eternities repeatedly devouring their own bowels and crying tears of battery acid.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Idea 71 - A Portrait Of The Dork As A Young Dork

I've always found Joyce to be very inspiring, or at least the first 40 or so pages of Portrait Of The Artist, which is the only fraction of his work I've ever been able to slog through. But I kind of like the dreamy way he talked about his childhood even though it's nearly impossible to read, understand, or enjoy. That in mind, let's journey to the center of the me:

The TV gave forth its glowing glory, unspooling an unending stream of glorious gossamer goo. Cable had finally reached our middling hamlet, and I was only just beginning to understand its romantic and tactile potential. For I would soon chance upon Cinemax.


"Foul!" I cried, my reedy tween voice ringing out in the rippling heat above suburban summer tarmac. Quiet descends as nominal friends shake their sweaty heads. Basketball rules swim in my stay-inside mind. This calling and shaking and swimming lasts years, later I learn that never but never does one call fouls on himself, even if he's Catholic.

I feel like I can inspire a lot of children. See, I was a little outcast-y when I was a kid, but pretty soon I'll be an accomplished author, as long as some publisher finally sprouts a sack and buys one of these damn things. But so far it seems like they're all content to let little loser nerd kids just suffer without any inspiration, which is pretty fucked up.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Idea 70 - Meine Deutsche (I'll Look Up The German Word For 'Adventure' Later)

You might not guess this, but I'm pretty fuckin' cultured. I've been all over, including Belgium. But this particular riveting travelogue is about my time abroad in Germany, in a very quintessentially German college town called Freiburg, nestled Germanically in the foothills of the Black Forest. Hitchhike with me down the dusty road of time:

We were well into another session at O'Dwyer's, one of Freiburg's top three Irish bars. The four of us -- Carl, Justin, Byron and I -- were pounding fine German lager as if it were discounted Natural Light. We were truly sucking the marrow out of our time in a distant land, although there were no Germans in sight, nor any sign of German culture. Soon we would stumble out into the night and return to our cozy student apartment, where we lived with no actual German students.

The evening was destined to end with us playing a fun game we had invented called "The Refund Game", where we embraced Freiburg's environmentally-conscious lifestyle by throwing large beer bottles out of our fourth-floor window in the general direction of the recycling bins roughly 30 yards away.

Sure, some of you might be saying "You could have done that stuff at home" or "what an embarrassment you were to your country and yourselves". But you're forgetting the fact that I'll be changing all the names of people and places to German versions in the real book. Instantly, I'll sound wild but worldly. I'm like eight steps ahead of you.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Idea 69 - The History of the Rug

Sometimes we take important things for granted, like the air we breathe and milk. Just this morning I was sort of spacing out and looking at one of my toenails (not sure if I need to clip it yet) when I noticed our burnt orange rug, softly lounging under my comfy feet. Zounds!, I thought. It's been here the whole time! This rug! Obviously, someone needs to build a sprawling John-Adams-sized retrospective to our forgotten supporters. Get lost in the wonder with me:

The weaving of rugs itself is a tradition that has been passed down and learned over the centuries across numerous cultures around the world. In fact, ancient scriptures provide reference to this; however, no documentation has been discovered as to whether these ancient rugs were flat weaves or pile carpets.

The Pazyryk Rug, the oldest rug in existence, dates back to the 5th century BC. It was discovered in 1947 by Sergei Rudenko, a Russian archaeologist. It's a pile knotted rug, which used 200 Turkish style knots per square inch. The rug is actually fairly ornate with borders and reverse coloring. There are even horses that have what appear to be smaller versions of the Pazyryk Rug on their backs.

It's believed that the style consists of Assyrian, ancient Persian Empire, and Scythian designs. The only way the Pazyryk Rug was preserved was to be frozen in ice for all these centuries. The history of rugs until this discovery was impossible because they could not last 6000 years.

NOTE: EVERYTHING YOU JUST READ IS COMPLETELY TRUE AND BASED ON ACTUAL RESEARCH. Normally I would just make up the "facts" involved, but for this subject, I can't bear to just bullshit it.

ANOTHER NOTE: To be clear, I plagiarized this entire excerpt from an entry on

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Idea 68 - The Only Official 2009 Retrospective

So I'm planning ahead with this one, obviously (duh). Anyway, there's always a glut of glossy year-in-review books that come out every winter, which apparently means that there's a market for them. I don't know, I guess there's a certain appeal to holding history in your hands, or at least holding brief, artless recaps of recent events you remember clearly in your hands. Regardless, let's think backward:

As Barack Obama addressed the nation as its first black president, it was a sunny day. We came together as one and took a break from work. As many as several thousand people were involved.

(pictorial montage commemorating the Celebpocalypse of '09)

Our attentions returned to Iraq where increased sectarian violence killed hundreds whatever whatever (JUST A PLACEHOLDER FOR WHATEVER REAL NEWS STORY HAPPENS IN NOVEMBER)

So I'm thinking we'll need to draw some attention to the "official" aspect to set us apart. We'll make a big foil seal, maybe a hologram of Obama's face turning into the main character from the Family Guy. And who's gonna claim that we're not actually "official"? Father Time? Yeah, right.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Idea 67 - Commuting With God

It can hard to find time to praise the Lord(s), what with today's hectic modern lifestyle and all. But nearly all of us need to commute, so instead of wasting that time tap-tapping away on your mobile phone or systematically half-staring at everyone nearby, why not turn your bored eyes to God instead?

As soon as you start your car, enter the train, or recline on your recumbent bicycle, take ten seconds to repent. Just fill in the blank:

"I did (whatever horrible atrocity you've caused) and I'd like to be instantly absolved. Thanks!"

It's best if you speak it aloud, although this can be problematic in public transit situations or while carpooling. To prevent awkwardness, try speaking clearly, but with your mouth closed. And yes, that still counts in the eyes (and ears!) of the Most Holy Controller Of Our Free Will.

There's a lot more to this one, obviously, including a chapter on how flagellation can be fun when you're stuck in traffic. And of course we'll plan on some kind of a PR stunt on Stern -- maybe strippers who speak in tongues or something. (Pun intended?)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Idea 66 - Sock Puppets In Jail

Back to kids' books for a bit, even though I hate them (kids and kids' books). This is a delightful lil' tale about some fun and special toys who magically come to life in the hands of a disturbed felon. One of the exciting subplots is whether or not the puppets are really alive or just the hallucinations of a dangerous man-child. Let your imagination run free:

"Hey Jason, I bet it's a beautiful day outside!" cried Lefty. His button eyes darted across the crude mural of outdoor activities that he had scratched on the dank cell wall. "Let's pretend we're playing a board game on a blanket in the sun!"

Righty sighed an exhausted sigh. "I'm positive that, somewhere far behind those blank eyes of yours, you know you're a fool." Righty was in one of his moods again! Jason could only shake his head. "Go ahead, pretend all you like. It's what you're best at. But some of us aren't afraid of reality."

Lefty couldn't believe it! Who wouldn't want to come on a fun pretend field trip to a sun-drenched meadow!? Who wouldn't want a chance to forget, at least for a few moments, imagined or otherwise?

"I'm with you, Lefty!" Jason had made up his mind. "Quick, let's close our eyes! Last one on the blanket's a murderer!"

Publishers take note: this one's got that bankable dynamic from Pixar & Disney classics where there's something for adults as well as kids. Grownups will have fun wrestling over the conundrum of personal responsibility vs. the slavery of mental illness, and kids love sock puppets.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Idea 65 - Guitardyssey

This time I'm around I drew my inspiration from myself. I originally came up with the name "Guitardyssey" for my band on Guitar Hero 2, but it's obviously too awesome to be constrained within that format. Can't stop the rock:

Frankie spat angry blood on the jailhouse floor. "You should know that this cell won't hold me, Warden. Mandy wont allow it. We've got a show in a half hour."

Warden Wiemeyer smugly regarded his nightstick as it twirled merrily in his liver-spotted hand. "First of all, I'd like to thank you for giving me a chance to use this thing. It's been much too long. Second of all, I'm pretty sure no one named Mandy or anybody else is gonna come save you, pal. So would you like bread or water for din--"


With a horrific metallic scream, the steel wall of the cell suddenly exploded inward. As if through warm milk or hot yogurt, a flying onyx guitar had somehow torn the wall a new one, and was now spinning mightily through the stale prison air like a deadly guitar-shaped frisbee.

On the way to Franky's outstretched palm, it barely slowed as it obliterated the throat of Warden Wiemeyer. It all took only a fraction of a second and ended with Mandy, the enchanted guitar of prophecy, settled snugly in the hand of her owner. Her master. Her lover.

So obviously Franky escapes, and (SPOILER ALERT!) the duo does indeed make it to their show. You can guess how the performance goes. But as for the rest of the adventure (and the two prequels), you'll have to wait until a cool publisher drops some serious dough on this here author. One of you should set up an online petition or something.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Idea 64 - Fat Guys In Pastel Shirts

I've been overthinking this. I don't have to come up with some amazing novel or revolutionary self-help book (even though I can crank those out like a tired dog giving birth). It's AMAZING how people keep getting deals just based on some novelty jokey picture collection on a blog. All I have to do is come up with a goofy theme, then other other people send in pictures, I add a snarky caption, and about 2 weeks later some desperate publisher throws 30 grand at me in a vain attempt to stay relevant. Log on:

Somebody hide his Cheetos!

Are you sure?!!??

Fore! Hundred pounds!

Five! Years left!

Wow, this is EASY! Alright readers, send 'em on in, let's start the FGIPS phenomenon! If I get a deal for this, I'll be equally excited and depressed about the state of mankind!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Idea 63 - Silent Knight

I can't imagine how people could ever find politics to be thrilling, but then again political thrillers sell like meth-filled hotcakes. Thusly, I've been thinking about a sweeping novel that chronicles the unlikely rise to power of a mute farmer. Starting at the grass-roots level, his stoic/involuntary silence makes his challengers seem pathetically shrill and desperate. And even though he can't talk, he still has a hot wife and gets a lot on the side, if you know what I mean. By the end of the book, he's the president, I guess. Vote for this:

"Harrison, I feel sick. Sick with worry." Martha's normal confidence had been eroding ever since the primary. "Sure, the campaign's going great, but are you really ready to handle those bastards in Congress? They're going to be ruthless -- they'll viciously attack your humble roots and the fact that you literally can't talk at all."

Harrison didn't answer. He was mute. Martha smiled -- what else could she do? Just then, the door burst in with the violence of a boating accident.

"Dammit, Harrison!" For a campaign manager, Carl had an extraordinarily large panic button. "We're down nine points in the Southwest! You need to get out there and give some kind of a spee--"

Carl was new to the campaign, and had forgotten that his candidate was born without a larynx.

For a soon-to-be professional writer like myself, having a main character who's ridiculously handicapped presents what they call "a good problem". How am I going to help him overcome his physical lameness? How can I possibly manage to get him laid, both at home and on the road? Man, I can't wait to sink my teeth into this one as soon as I get a big advance check. Until then, forget it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Idea 62 - The Sexiest Catch

Ooo, fan fiction. That's when people who love existing books, movies, games, etc. add their own unsolicited stories to that "universe", in the hopes that women will notice and contact them. Well I'm a big fan of "Deadliest Catch" (Americas top-rated show on cable). And I always thought it could use a little magic/fantasy. What an opportunity!

Gruff captain Sig Hansen, hardy seaman of Norwegian ancestry, had never seen an mermaid. Never, that is, except in the eerily real dreams that had tortured him ever since he first set out on the vast and ruthless Bering Sea. So what then was this full-chested apparition that called to him in the turbulent waters just outside the frozen St. Paul harbor? Some kind of walrus or something?

"Come inside!" Sig hollered to the salty and exhausted deckhands. "Get off the damn deck!" If this somehow was a mermaid, Sig didn't want the crew to witness her -- he wanted her all to himself. She was really, really hot.

Okay, book publishers, do the math: #1 show on cable + sexy sea-babe + my abilities to transport people to another world via words = we all get laid 'n paid. (That's a crab fisherman saying.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Idea 61 - Where My Rapier At?

One project that sounds really rewarding to me is updating Shakespeare for a younger generation that's deeply uninterested in it. The only problem is that I don't really know any Shakespeare, nor am I interested in boning up on it. Then again, since today's kids are probably as lazy as I am, they won't know if I make it up. I just need to make them feel like I understand the youth of today:

Yo B -- I'm fixin' ta drop them Danish fools, for real, 'sept my sabre be all lost an' shit. Yo, I feel like my uncle's bitch-ass ghost done stole my shit! Fools dat do dat shit gotta get dropped, be they muthafuckin' deceased or not, you feel me?

Yo homes, you know I feel you -- you know dis. But you gotta know too, dat bitch is already muthafuckin' dead, yo! How you gonna drop a bitch dat already been dropped, B?

Wait, is this racist? I don't mean to be at all, but it's always pretty tough to tell with this stuff. What if I frame it as a commentary on racism, can I get away with it then? Mostly I just want to put the lingo I've learned from The Wire to good use.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Idea 60 - America's Most Wanted Ghost Zombie

Judging from the dark-hued and exclamatory posters I see in the subway, there's a big market for grisly supernatural crime thrillers. That got me thinking: "How do you stop a killer who's invisible, dead, and obsessed with eating brains?"

A chill raced down Agent Zander's spine like a frozen corpse on a bobsled run. It was obvious that the Martin girl wad dead -- he immediately noticed the killer's trademark single gunshot to the heart, as well as the fact that her brains had been devoured, zombie-style.

McNally, the rookie, struggled to maintain his composure and his lunch. "But how did the bastard escape? The security doors are all locked from the outside!"

Zander could only laugh and twirl his trusty toothpick."Show me a zombie ghost who can't walk through walls, and I'll show you a kid in a Halloween costume."

It was time to have another chat with the perp's zombie girlfriend, Gladys.

Maybe I'm an old softie, but I can't help but feel for the killer. It's clear that Zander's going to catch him eventually (he always does), but at the same time he's just doing what comes natural. Oh well. Metaphysical quandaries aside, this thing's gonna sell an assload o' books.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Idea 59 - The Greasy Diva

Man, that whole Devil Wears Prada thing sure took off. Who woulda thunk that working folks, most of whom spend their days getting abused by a horrible boss, would then delight in watching someone get abused by a horrible boss. Regardless, I'm getting in on that shit:

"Hey fuckstick, ham and egg on a bagel!" barked Mr. Kneffield, the wispy hairs on his forehead already drooping sweatily toward his watery eyes. Junior Tire Associate Glen Biffle was both plucky and halfway out the door, hoping to sneak out to the loading dock for a moment of peace during his hectic shift at the air pump. But if he was at all interested in moving up at Tire Towne -- and of course, he had been dreaming if it since he was a boy -- he would have to grin, bear it, and return with Kneffield's order along with a pack of Marlboro Lights and a Jug Toucher magazine, even though he hadn't been asked.

Glen risked one glance back over his shoulder at The Greasy Diva, as all the guys called him, only to be assaulted with Kneffield's heartless salute... The Finger.

"I will not cry," Glen whispered to himself, whimpering slightly as he passed by the guys in the garage.
"I won't let him make me cry!"

It was too late.

Shit, I've been there, and I think you have too. Anyway, where I'm aiming here is at the guys who were interested in Prada but were too homophobic or self-respecting to read or watch it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Idea 58 - The Next Internet: Touching The Insides Of The Future

Sure, people are using the Internet, but are they really using it? Regardless, the press and online iReporters love covering those impressively prescient-sounding books about technology and the bleeding edge and all that. All you have to do is make incontrovertibly vague predictions and use tech terms in an offhand way that makes people feel stupid. Get ready to time-travel:

With packet protocols the way they are, true collaboration has yet to reflect even a shadow of what it soon will become. Imagine literally reaching your hand INTO your computer screen and shaking hands with a distant client, finally bringing that classic stock photo to life. Deal sealed, said client will press his right cheek against his hard drive, thus transferring X million credits directly into the digital change purse located inside your real-life change purse. Cha-ching? Yup.

The best thing about predicting the future is that no one will know that I'm full of shit until the future. But as long as this thing sells enough in the present day, that's all that matters. I doubt that anyone's going to look back in five years and call me out on it, and even if they do I'll probably be dead by then.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Idea 57 - Nab That Trout!

I can't believe I haven't leaned into my real talents -- condescending comedy and good ol' fashioned story-yarnin'. See, folks like Carl Hiaasen have built healthy careers on krazy unpredictable tales that leave us feeling better than fictional characters and patting our stomachs with laughter. Why not me:

Pro fishermen don't often come as thoughtful as Daryl Hutter, but then again this was southern Georgia, where the only things you can count on are crooked politicians and the kind of humidity that causes self-respecting men to wear tank tops. (ZINGO!)

So when Daryl hauled what turned out to be a tiny coffin out of Lake Magillah, he couldn't help but choke back a tear. Meanwhile, his faithful bait-hand Clyde slobbered over the chance to open the soggy sarcophagus, practically falling out of his antique overalls to do so. Clyde was devastated to see that the casket's contents consisted of exactly one ancient violin.

"The hell'm I gonna do with this?!" Clyde hollered. "Ain't got no use for these damn things even when they ain't full o' creek rot!"

Rolling his good eye in relief, Daryl wiped the tear off his cheek, accidentally unseating his trademark grit and a gaggle of busy gnats. "Let me guess -- it's got the governor's name on the back."

Clyde laughed at that -- he had almost tried to read it before remembering he didn't know how. (BANGO!)

This feels right, although Hiaasen kinda has the South covered and I've never actually been there. Maybe I'll stick with my native New England and cook up some tales of backwoods farmers who hilariously don't have access to decent public schools.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Idea 56 - The Gilded Parasol

I feel like I've been skewing a little male of late, and I should probably balance it out with some lady-stuff. I'm thinking of sort of a Merchant Ivory vibe here, like a very soft and supple literary tale of quiet discovery and unspoken yearnings. Maybe somebody comes of age abroad. Also, great outfits. Like so:

Rebecca emerged from the theatre as if from a dream featuring actors. It wasn't as though an aspect of the play had quietly pummeled something within her as if it were a piano's softened hammer -- no, instead she felt as if each word of dialogue was such a hammer, and each element of her essence had been thusly struck. It was eerie.

"You've been quiet since you arrived in late 1940's French Papua New Guinea." Monsieur Ormond projected the air of a professor who was displeased with his student, even though he was not that. His gaze scanned the filthy street for unhired rickshaws, deigning not to look at her as he spoke. His shirtcuffs were as ruffled as her silken parasol, but they somehow spoke of an ocean of manly experience.

In her mind, she thought "I am coming of age."

I can't help but see Helena Bonham Carter in the movie adaptation. Wait, she's too old.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Idea 55 - Yes, You Can Draw Crude Genitalia!

One project I've had in the back of my head for a while is something for the kids -- kids without the confidence or artistic gifts necessary to scrawl various hoo-hoos and ding-dongs on their desks, lockers, and drunken friends' faces. We all know that such artworks are ALWAYS good for a laugh or to embarrass weaker individuals, even as adults. And such a powerful skill shouldn't be hoarded by the doodling elite. That's where I come in.

I'm sort of a pro at this kind of thing -- I can even do a decent anus lefty -- but since I can't draw on your screen with a pen, I'll just give you a taste of the instruction parts of the book:

Regardless of your gender or feelings about the global patri-oligarchy, the meat and potatoes of the junk-depiction scene will always be the phallus. Throw one up on your parents' bathroom mirror, lay one on the face of an old woman in an ad for psoriasis cream -- you can't go wrong with a hastily sketched human member. Let's get started!

As always, be sure to check to make sure no one's watching who might get you in trouble. Remember to LRL: look Left, look Right, and Listen for footsteps.

Step 1. See The Shaft
Use the context -- the space in which you plan to insert the subject matter -- to help you visualize the ideal length and width of your cylinder. After that, you only need two lines and one rule: as long as they're vaguely parallel, you're well on your way. If it looks like it could be a parking cone, you're way off.

Step 2: Reach For The Top
When it comes to expressing the head, you've got quite a few options. Simply connecting the ends of your two lines with a sideways U shape (the rounded part aiming away from the drawing's "owner") will work just fine, as long as the rest of the unit goes according to plan. For a marked improvement in realism, try connecting the ends of the U. If you're ready to attack the ureter, try a simple notch at the apex of your U's curve. ADVANCED "TIP": Experienced dong-drawers may choose to replace their U with a W in order to achieve the head and ureter in one stroke. Also great if you're in a hurry.

Step 3: Have A Balls
The scrotum is truly the magical playground of groin graffiti artists -- in fact, the elements you could bring into play can almost be dizzying. What's your perspective on the subject -- from above, thus requiring symmetrical spheres above and below your shaft's aft terminus? Or from the side, resulting in some sort of hanging bag? And if you
DO come at it sideways, do you clearly suggest two individual testicles or just a lumpy ovoid mass? Before you hyperventilate, just take a pass at the nuts with your eyes closed. Don't think -- draw.

Pretty intense, right? The crazy thing is I didn't even include the part about hair. I could spend about 30 pages on that alone -- including a new form of cross-hatching I pioneered to indicate that the beanbag in question has been recently shorn. Anyway, if that old white-mustached idiot on TV can somehow keep it going by getting people to draw turtles and crap like that, this book'll pull 'em in like that quintessential image of flies on shit. (SEQUEL ALERT!)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Idea 54 - Grinning At Idiots: Achieving Success In The Workplace

Listen, I've been around the ol' office park more than a couple times. I've had a seat at the big table, I've outlived the layoffs, I've accidentally replied-all with the best of them. And I could tell you what it takes to get by in one... simple... sentence.

But I won't, because I can't get a book deal with one sentence. But here's a sexy snippet of a very important chapter:

On Suppressing Your Real Opinions

In the business world, you'll often be asked what you think about business things. But if people truly wanted to know what you thought, they'd give you some kind of book deal. No, they actually just want to hear some non-threatening pap that sort of sounds like what they were thinking.

Sure, if you have something smart but contradictory to say, I guess you could bring it up. And you know what, the people in power might actually commend you for it. Then, shortly after the meeting, they'll get in touch with HR to start planning your severance package. Oops!

No, it's best to smile and breathe through your teeth, even if what's being said is so egregiously false and bad for business that your mind's logic center attempts to commit ritual suicide inside your skull.

Now, I realize that this book idea may seem slightly bitter. And sure, maybe it is, and maybe it only represents a shadow of a fraction of a hint of the intensity of my resentment for the corporate world. But I'm not venting -- I'm helping. When you, the book publisher reading this, finally starts distributing this lil' baby, you'll be saving countless office drones from getting royally reamed out, put on "a plan" (i.e. probation), or being forced to take a quasi-religious all-day behavioral seminar intended to fix my fucking attitude, which was total insane bullshit and I fucking refused.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Idea 53 - Homelessly Yours: The Inspirational Story of Rich Nicholas

Sometimes we feel a little disliked at work or at home. Sometimes we get a severe laceration. But while our petty travails and divorces may send us into shame spirals that can only be relieved by self-medication and Deadliest Catch marathons, they pale in comparison to the life of Rich Nicholas. Rich, now 46 years young, has lived on the streets since childhood, but remains possibly the truest example of indefatigable pride and dogged perseverance. Open your heart:

Sitting down with Nicholas, one encounters a man whose every word drips with hope. "I'm so hungry. If I could just get some change for some food, please. Anything helps." But his modesty and feigned desperation belies his industriousness: Rich has learned to nearly afford his alcohol addiction by digging in the trash behind the Methadone clinic for relatively clean needles he can sell on the street.

When was the last time you were so resourceful?

Toward the end of our time together, Rich provided this author a lesson in stoic deadpan humor when he jokingly asked about the proceeds from this book. "It seems like I sorta deserve just a little of it -- please, I'm talking about like ten dollars. I'm hurting, man. Please."

When you high-rolling book publishers are considering how much you're going to pay me for this book, think of the unfortunate, the sick, the lonely souls wandering the streets of our cities. If we price it right, they would only need to panhandle for a few weeks to afford it (the paperback, of course).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Idea 52 - The Drug Dealer's Guide To Novelty Pets

Any drug dealer who's worth their salt has at least one rare and unwieldy pet. Why? Well tradition, for one. They're also great for mystique -- nothing says "The quality of my stuff gives me disposable income and I also appreciate the finer things" quite like a Pygmy ferret. But ferrets are just the beginning:

Weirdness Level: Very Weird

Shit You Need: Giant-Ass Cage. These things have way too much energy,
and they'll flip the hell out if they don't have a big enough area to zip around in. You're gonna need a buttload of chickenwire and a big-ass living room. You can't keep em outside because they'll die in like 5 seconds.
Hassle Factor: Pain in the Ass.
It turns out that the little fuckers are nocturnal, so even if you stay up late as shit, they'll keep you up jumping the hell around and squeaking for no good reason.
Comments: If you want mine, email my publisher.


Weirdness Level: Pretty Weird; Creepy

Shit You Need: Not much, just a cage, and you have to buy them crickets to eat, which is pretty cool to watch. NOTE: you can even feed them roaches (I mean cockroaches), but not weed roaches as they will probably die as it turns out. And you only have to feed them every couple of days, so it's no big deal if you space on it.
Hassle Factor: Almost None
. When it comes down to it, giant spiders are pretty much a home run for the discerning dealer. They're silent, usually slow, not very dangerous, and need no attention, but still give you that "I'm mysterious/don't fuck with me" vibe that we're all after.
WHILE USING, DO NOT STARE DIRECTLY INTO A TARANTULA'S EYES. It's like that Stephen King book "It" in there, and that shit will fuck you up.

Dang, this thing makes ME want to start dealing, if only for the cool companion. Like when I was a kid I had a chameleon that ended up getting caught in a window fan, but I'm pretty sure I could do a lot better this time around.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Idea 51 - Accidentally Humane

Green crap is really big right now, and I think I can squeeze some more dough out of the phenomenon if somebody buys this docu-book idea fast enough. See, there's this farm upstate where they're really pioneering the field of humane slaughtering, in that they only sell meat that died by accident:

Sarah Withering gazes across her glowing green pasture, a thin smile of pride reaching her mouth. "The only problem is volume -- we have a certain quota we have to meet so we can be profitable, but there are only so many deadly mishaps that typically happen to farm animals." Now her brow twitches just slightly, almost imperceptibly. "That's why we started installing the... improvements."

Husband Gary kept his back to me as he set the rickety staircase at the mouth of the pig pen. "A sow with great balance will hardly notice." Was it the pride of invention in his voice, or guilt, or both? "It's not like we're setting up dry kindling and hundreds of candles in there. That's only for the milking barn." I may have been mistaken, but I thought I saw a moment of hesitation as he placed the freshly oiled roller skate on the top step.

Now, some people (hypocrites) might express some typical outrage when they hear about the Witherings' methods. But the first time they bite into a wild turkey breast steeped in an unfortunate combination of red wine and sleeping pills, I bet they'll shut up.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Idea 50 - Nerds of Thunder

The "Revenge of the Nerds" movies were cute like baby puke. What masqueraded as a triumphant celebration of nerd pride and defiance was essentially a damned minstrel show. What the creators of those films didn't seem to know is that there is, in fact, a deadly nerd uprising just over the horizon. And when they come, they won't be bringing any damn pocket protectors:

Research scientist Nancy Ritgers took the helm of the hovercraft, pointing it fearlessly at the Normal base. She was neither Hollywood pretty nor comic book cool -- she was a nerd, as homely as both her occupation and social standing implied. And soon she would have her awkward vengeance.

Glen typed furiously at the uplink panel, tearing through Normal access codes like the ragged Kleenex he used to staunch his volcanic acne. Only 16, he grinned through glinting braces as he disabled their stupid Shield Wall, jammed their Neanderthalian communications, and imagined what cupping a female breast might feel like.

Meanwhile, Normal commander Dirk McPerfect was just getting drunk and talking about stupid sports or something. His lieutenants were probably just like "Duh, duh, duh" and laughing at all his stupid jokes. And the Nerds didn't even care that all the hot girls were in there, they were even dumber than Dirk McDickface and the Nerds were gonna figure out how to make hot clone girls after they wiped the planet clean of these inferior Normal fools.

Then, huge explosions.

I should have mentioned this earlier, but this entry was co-authored by my cousin's son Benjamin.