Anywho, my mom gets the inherit the mirth e-newsletter, and in this month's e-mail, and this is what it said:
Not everybody's a reader. When my brother was 22 he was lounging on the sofa at the cottage one summer day, engrossed in a comic book. "Is that the best you can do?" chided my mother as she passed by. "Little kids read comic books."
"Good for them," he mumbled. "I'm just looking at the pictures."
My friend Josh isn't much of a reader either. He thinks Barnes & Noble is a law firm. When asked the question, "Have you read anything good lately?" he'll tell you about a funny billboard he drove past.
For many of you, though, summer's the time to catch up on all those books you bought but didn't have time for earlier in the year because you were busy as an undercover agent attempting to infiltrate an al-Qaeda terrorist cell in order to prevent it from blowing up the U.S. embassy in Cairo. Or was that just me?
Anyway, last week I told you about a John Grisham audio book I wish I hadn't listened to. This week I'll tell you about some books I'd really like to spend time with but can't, for the annoying reason that they haven't been written yet. But if they existed, here's what I'd be getting into at the beach:
To Drill a Mockingbird
An oil company is charged with polluting the Gulf of Mexico in a catastrophic spill. Its high-level executives mock the proceedings by arriving at court each day in gas-guzzling SUVs. In one riveting scene, as tensions mount, the prosecuting attorney, Envirocus Finch, addresses the oil company CEO:
"You seem apprehensive, sir. You're perspiring a great deal."
The executive chuckled haughtily. "Only the guilty would be anxious. The sheen on my forehead is not nervous sweat. I simply have oily skin."
In the end, as part of a landmark conviction, the judge rules that the authorities may drill into the CEO's head in search of more oil below the surface.
Twilight Saga: New Mood
A teenage girl gets sick of hanging out with her melancholy bunch of vampire friends. "You guys are, like, so depressing! Always moody and mumbling and self-loathing and wearing black. It's like hanging out with regular teenagers!" On a supermarket errand with her bloodsucking boyfriend, she notices his curiosity about Count Chocula cereal. Soon all the vampires are eating it by the crate load, and, much to the girl's delight, the overwhelming sugar rush to their bloodstreams permanently mutates them into happy-go-lucky Jonas Brothers.
Eat, Spray, Love
In this sequel to her popular memoir, the insufferably self-absorbed author travels back to India for another quick fix of trendy eastern mysticism, and gets trampled within an inch of her life by a cranky elephant outside a restaurant called What's Your Curry? Not quite right in the head after that, the author believes she died and has been reincarnated as a skunk. Eventually, back in America, she finds love and acceptance in the arms of an amusement park employee who dresses as Pepe Le Pew.
Groundbreaking research in this biographical bestseller uncovers the shocking truth that English classics such as Oliver Twist and Great Expectations were written by a giant white whale that used an illiterate chimney sweep named Charles Dickens as a front man. Here's an excerpt from a letter printed in the book:
My freakish pale pigment continues to make me an outcast among my fellow whales. In my isolation I have found solace once again in writing. This one's called David Copperfish, but it's just a first draft. When complete, I will send to you for submission to the publisher. Please use any profits to bribe that lunatic Ahab to get off my back.
Although the biographer cannot explain how an illiterate chimney sweep could read these notes in the first place, there is other evidence to support the relationship, including a previously unexplained item found among Dickens' belongings upon his death: a pad of waterproof writing paper the size of a tennis court.
So that's my summer reading wish-list. I hope I don't get sued by a publisher for any of the above spoofs. But just for fun, I'll ask my friend Troy to inquire about retaining the services of Barnes & Noble, Attorneys at Law.
Peace, joy & laughter,