Book Clippings & Caviar Dreams

Thursday, June 12, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

One of the most difficult parts of writing a book, for me at least, is editing out all the excess verbiage that doesn't move the story forward.  Pretty much any time I write the word "verbiage" I go back to do some editing, realizing that the word "verbiage" is probably the number one culprit of my (any) writing getting too wordy.  I know, it's very meta.

Thankfully, what is bad for the book is fodder for the blog.  And considering my most heinous cuts revolve around extended tangents, I've found that many of these edited out bits make interesting stand-alone reads.  So, in an effort to both tease my book in progress, and also provide you with some amusement, I give you two small clips that are no longer in my featured work.

The First: My Personal Hell

Feeling powerless and devoid of any real control over my own fate is a version of my own personal hell. My actual personal hell, to clarify, involves arriving in hell only to be greeted by an ├╝ber hot bitchy girl and my middle school gym teacher, replete with polyester shorts hiked up above his bellybutton. I, harkening back to my formative years, am wearing Umbros, a Hypercolor t-shirt, and spectacles with Croakies to hold them in place while exerting energy.

The dark-power couple talk in unison like two children of the corn. "Start running . . .," they shout, the tenor of the hot girl's voice is laden with snooty self-importance, " . . . until we say STOP." Implicit in my gym teacher's instruction is his belief that I lack both the talent and manliness to complete his assignment. And here's the thing:

They never. Say. Stop.

That is my personal hell.

The Second: Late Night TV

The set up to this piece is that it begins as I am lying in bed next to my girlfriend at that time.  She is asleep, in order to be up early for work. I lay awake watching her bedroom TV.

Sometimes, when I'm mindlessly staring in the direction of a TV, I zone out to the point that a viscous film forms on the surface of my cornea. If you were to snap me out of my trance, let's say by blasting me with a Super Soaker, after I cleaned the residual crusties out of my eyes, I wouldn't possibly be able to tell you what show I'd been viewing. Sans super soaker, when I came to, a rush of confusion and shame climbed its way up my spine toward my brain with the red-alert message: "There are only 7 minutes left in this episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. p.s. You are wasting your life away."

Snapped into action, potential plans of action whip around my head, dancing to the staccato rhythm of questions that need answering: What the hell time is it anyway? I though Texas Ranger got cancelled? Holy crap. There is no way that clock is right! It can't be 3:53 am? Please don't be 3:53am. *Sigh.*

When I clicked on the antique bunny-eared Sony VHS/TV combo that lay atop my girlfriend's dresser, I was planning to drift asleep to a few blissful minutes of vacuous garbage TV. Probably an episode of Friends. What I found instead was a NYC public-access television program starring three 20-somethings. One dark haired guy who looked to be in his late-20's, a blonde "dude" who had the face of a 16-year-old but you could tell by the stubble that he was older than that, an a buxom brown haired woman who I recognized as a former college housemate.

The set of this production included the requisite gray backdrop, in place to shroud the pealing white eggshell walls of the tiny studio space. There were four mismatched chairs set up around the staging area, three of which were partially occluded by a raised bar-shaped table. The table's placement had the effect of making those individuals who sat behind it appear to be guests on a panel, or perhaps a low-budget game show.

The program, much like my memory of the girl, was brash, in your face, and overtly sexual whenever the opportunity arose. In honesty, the show's premise seemed to one belabored recurring sketch in which the three hosts concocted increasingly more contrived opportunities for overt sexual innuendo, all directed toward the scantily costumed female cast member.

A typical iteration:

"Oh, how crazy that I ended up in this cowgirl outfit?!?," my fellow alumnus lamented sarcastically.

All three actors throw on their best 'surprised' face.

*Insert sex pun about riding.* *Insert sex pun about roping and hogtying.* *Insert sex pun about trying to stay on for 8 seconds.*

"Screw this cowgirl bullshit!," the female college graduate would then exclaim, apropos of nothing while simultaneously shedding what little extraneous clothing she had on. "I want to be an astronaut!" You could tell she was serious because she threw on a homemade space helmet to compliment her silver bikini.

*Insert sex pun about a pocket rocket.*

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

But for everything the show wasn't (quality, educational, safe for work), I couldn't for the life of me peel my eyes away from it. I alternated between being repulsed and transfixed by the absurdist comedy before me as if I were a passing motorist gawking at a road-side automobile accident. And that's how I spent my first hour in bed, laying next to my slumbering girlfriend, fully engaged in the magic of the boob tube and all the horrific sex puns related to boobs and tubes.

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