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.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Idea 49 - A Conference In Hades

Wild and wooly times abound at regional sales conferences. Like tiny short-lived Vagases, these bacchanalian corporate meetups always produce some of the zaniest, fun-lovin'-est stories this side of Gomorrah. So why haven't we ever seen a Hunter-Thompson-esque tale of rum-and-coke-inspired madness? Oh, maybe it's because no one has given me a book deal yet:

With the only glassy eye that would agree to open, Carl squinted at the alien security pass laying on the floor next to the fireworks.

"Haggar Pants Northwest Division -- Regional Director."
Good Christ. Unless Carl had been promoted while defiling himself during last night's despicable black hole, he had spent it rutting filthily with some type of senior executive. Curse the Gods, he muttered, and reached for the half empty Fresca on the mockingly silent hotel nightstand.

"You will tell no one of this." Regional Director Ann Clarkson barked at Carl from her damp perch on the edge of their recently abused connubial bed. She was groaning like an aging pack animal, hunched over in a dejected battle with her nude-colored hose, which rightly refused to crawl up her bulbous and blue-veined calves.

"Whatever unspeakable awfulness happened last night and throughout the early morning will not reach a soul in the Haggar corporation or anyone else in the slacks industry,"

Carl agreed in theory, but was unable to respond while violently evicting those murderous things that had invaded his guts the night before, which apparently included an absurd amount of buffet calamari. Curse the fucking Gods!

I think this genre could be huge -- who can't relate to a little drunken adultery at some kind of work thing? Stiffs, that's who can't. And I don't want those boring pricks getting their damn hands on my work anyway. Sorry for all the cursing.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Idea 48 - Gravel Boys

With a gritty but innocuous 50s gang novel, I'll be able to capture the imagination and dollars of the Boomers before they die. Not to mention suburban high school English teachers -- they'll eat up a chance to assign it to their kids, thus feeling edgy and tough without discussing gunplay or modern urban people. Here goes:

The others looked on as Slick picked his teeth with a rusty carpet nail. Was he deciding what to do next, or just thinking about Lisa, all dolled up and mincing around at the High Society Ball?

He flicked the nail into a rotting Chevy oil pan.
"Tomorrow night. We get back at those North Hill jerks -- for good this time. Make sure you bring your bike chains."

Skeeter gulped -- not audibly, he hoped. "This is crazy!" he thought. "Sure, The North Hill guys put Roller in the clinic with a sprained ankle, but bike chains? What are we, animals?

Slick could read a face as good as a large-print Archie comic. "You're not gonna go soft on us, Skeeter. Not now -- we need an extra man tomorrow, and you're the closest thing we got."

Hot Dog let out a raspy laugh. "Closest thing we got!" That got him going pretty good.

"One more thing, fellas." Slick's eyes burned with rage and horrible creativity. "When we walk up to them guys, we're gonna be snappin' our fingers. All slow and real cool like. And we're gonna do it in unison."

They were about to change gang fights forever.

I was tempted to get really raw and have them start choreographing the intimidating dance routine they were going to bring to the rumble, but Jesus, there's kids who read this blog.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Idea 47 - All My Frags: The Autogameography

If there's one thing people love to hear about, it's another person's collection of notable video game achievements. And while it's obvious to everyone that I'm certainly not Major League Gaming champion OGRE1, I do feel like my metaphorical memory card is filled with an impressive Everyman's achievement list -- one that speaks volumes about what we all strive for when we stay up til three in the morning, hopped up on Dr Pepper and Funyuns, refusing to abandon our noble imaginary quests. Feel me:

The night that I became the first person I knew to defeat the digital Mike Tyson in his eponymous "Punch-Out" stands as the single greatest moment of my existence on this planet. My cousin and all of his buddies who were there that night (other than Nickerson because he was out smoking a clove) bore witness not to a gutty 3-round victory over Brooklyn's own "Iron Mike" -- but to the ultimate triumph of the human will.

I almost wish I was one of those guys watching me make history, instead of the one making it. They must have felt an incredible, unforgettable rush, akin to watching God give birth. While I, on the other hand, could only focus on the Now -- the whole of my essence focused on watching for Tyson to flash pink, which meant that another thunderous blow was only a millisecond away. Here it comes!

Thinking of it now... I can see how those guys who fought in World War 2 still break down when they think of Iwo Jima or whatever. Once you've had an experience like I did -- you just can't un-live it. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes -- I wish that I could.

I'm not sure if I'll ever get the chance to actually go to war -- seems unlikely, although I checked the paper today and we're on the brink of total Armageddon on about 8 fronts. But I know that if I do, I can face any challenge without fear. I can face any bullet, or rocket, or cool tank without pissing myself. Because in my heart, I'll always have the memory of that night at my cousin's.

And of my wife. Yeah, my wife will be in there too I guess.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Idea 46 - The "Better Babies" Series

Some guy has been causing a big fuss with a book called Your Baby Can Read -- apparently he figured out a way to get infants to unwittingly gurgle up word-like sounds or something. Of course, parents everywhere are cutting each others' throats to get a copy, as none of them want to own their town's last stupid baby. Now, I have no idea if his book actually works, and neither do the buyers -- they're panicking like it's some experimental cure for SIDS and they can't afford not to give it a shot.

So here I come, like a gifted vulture, armed with a whole series of exciting and theoretically effective baby-smarter-uppers:

Better Babies Can Operate An Industrial Grain Thresher
Better Babies Can Throw A Javelin Through A Steel Door
Better Babies Can Admit Weakness
Better Babies Can Chew, Swallow, And Draw Vital Minerals From Rocks
Better Babies Can Be Interesting
Better Babies Can Impersonate Government Employees
Better Babies Can Become Dangerously Mediocre Archers
Better Babies Can Win "Survivor"
Better Babies Can Program Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Games
Better Babies Can Star In Talking Baby Commercials Previously Made With Computer Graphics
Better Babies Can Smoke-Jump
Better Babies Can Compose Moving Rock Ballads Like Hagar-Era Van Halen's "Why Can't This Be Love"
Better Babies Can Eat A 32-ounce Ribeye Steak In One Sitting
Better Babies Can Excavate
Better Babies Can Smell Blood In The Ocean From Over A Mile Away
Better Babies Can Wipe

These books almost make we want to sire some babies, except they don't at all.