I’m writing a book. You’re reading it now. This is a pretty exciting adventure for me. I’m sure that it’s not so adventurous for you. That’s okay. If you dabble into the pages of this book and hate it, you can email me a scathing letter about how awful it was. If you love it, be sure to high five someone at the grocery store the next time you’re out of laundry soap. I’m going to do everything I can to make this a fun experience, but I can’t promise it’ll be for everyone. Some people are “humor impaired.” If that’s you, just return this book to your nearest homeless person: no harm, no foul.
Before we get started, let’s work with some ground rules. I want you to be as comfortable reading this book as you can possibly get. This won’t be a small book like “Curious George” but I don’t foresee it being as long as one of those smutty “50 Shades” books either. You will, no doubt, need to be as comfortable as humanly possible. Kick off the shoes, loosen the belt, change into some comfy pants, and take a few shots of whip cream straight from the white, bendy nozzle.
This book isn’t the Bible. There’s nothing to study here. I do mention Jesus knocking me off my ass on the road to Sapulpa somewhere in here, but no need to worry about that now. Book clubs are certainly okay as long as no one is required to use their legal name in group discussions. I’m always in favor of people having really cool nicknames whenever possible. This would be an opportune time for you to get creative and come up with your very own nickname. I used to go by “Lord Business” before the Lego Movie came around and ruined that one for me. Now I go by “Husky Muffin” – that’s “HuskyMuffin69” to you AOL Instant Messenger folks. I’d love to hear that you’re passing this book around like your dad’s rum after prom; although I doubt you’ll have the same hangover. Let your relatives give it a read. Send a copy to your neighbors. Print it in various languages and leave it in the drawer of every hotel nightstand in your city. Do your part to share the joy. Just don’t break any laws. I can’t vouch for criminal behavior. If you do go to jail over this book, be sure to send me an email. Maybe we can make a million dollars telling the story someday.
On the other hand, if you’re reading this book in a less private location you might want to skip the comfy pants. I’d hate for any of you to show up on one of those websites that showcase the crazy people at Walmart. If you’re on a plane, a train, in a hospital waiting room, or in line for a vending machine you most definitely should be as quiet as possible. Anyone who speaks in either of these locations is often shunned by society or hogtied by an overzealous Air Marshal. No one wants to end up with their face zip-tied to their sneakers unless it was done by Liam Neeson. In that case, zip-tie away. You probably kidnapped his family or something awful to deserve it. Just remember to play it cool. Pretend this book is the instruction manual to a really complicated phone accessory you bought from IKEA. That’s right. Look confusingly as you mumble “3/8th’s Allen’s Wrench” to yourself.
You really should try to read this book in a setting where you can read it aloud. You might want to create a funny voice to read it with. For example, you should try reading this sentence like you’re a sports anchor for a low budget newscast. This sentence, mix it up and pretend to be a princess. See, this book is already amazing. Move over John Grisham. Wait: he’s dead. Did you just see that appropriate use of a colon? Who’s a fancy writer now, Mrs. Reynolds? She was my English teacher in tenth grade. She always smelled like three day old spaghetti.
If you’re reading this at work and from your computer, I feel obligated to inform you that 90% of all employers monitor their employees’ computer activity throughout the work day. In which case, may I just say, “Mary is such an incredibly hard worker, Mr. Jones. You should definitely reconsider demoting her to mail clerk. In fact, you should gather your support staff and consider giving her a raise. She’s a class act, and mentioned in a best-selling book, for Pete’s sake.”
Turn off your cell phone (unless you’re reading this on it), get rid of all distractions, and please, no flash photography. If I even get the slightest suggestion that you’ve posted this book to Instagram, I’ll be sure to torture you with tummy tickles for the rest of eternity. Prepare correct change, and keep all hands and feet in the car at all times. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should consult their physician before reading this book in its entirety. Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for reading this book. Side effects may include tired cheeks and watery eyes. Some readers have experienced short periods of hilarity in which they consulted their family with knee-slapping episodes of laughter. You should not be a Vladimir Putin sympathizer while reading this book and you should have an adequate command of the written English language. If you’re still reading, I assume we’re good. Bob’s your uncle.
Now that the ground rules have been covered, let’s focus upon some more pressing issues. Many of you may wonder why I’m writing this book. You may wonder what gives me the idea that people would even read a book I’ve written. Well, I vaguely remember losing a bet to a girl named Carla in third grade. She was a cute girl who lived in the neighborhood, and I swore to eat a 2 pound sack of Red-Hots if she could beat me in a foot race. Could it be that the side effects of such a large intake of Red-Hots is just now taking its toll on my mental health? Science would say “No.” But, my heart would shrug its shoulders and say “Perhaps.” Did I mention she was really cute? Yeah well, my guess is that no one ever reads this, and I give up on the charade within a week’s time.
I don’t mind writing a book. Some people say I should use my free time to relax. I say I should take a nap and dream about cute little creatures worshiping me as their master. And while the thought of being worshipped by tiny, furry, baby creatures sounds so appealing, I can’t really sit still long enough to give anyone an opportunity to worship me. I always have something on my mind.
Cowbells, chicken, ranch dressing on pizza, the scene where Leopold is filming a commercial for butter and hates it, people who block me in elevators because they’re too involved in reading a book written by a crazy white guy… Why me?!
Some people, other than the “some people” I just mentioned, suggested that I read a bunch of books. And, well, I have. I’ve read tons of stuff. Everything from Dr. Oz - who taught me that it should only take about 5 to 7 hours for my body to poop last evening’s Big Mac - to Dr. Laura - who put me to sleep quicker than a super-sized melatonin capsule. I thought to myself, I bet it would be way cooler to write a book than to read a book. It’s like reading, but you get something out of doing it. Otherwise, it has all the same elements. I don’t know what’s on the next page. It’s suspenseful. Yet, I control where it goes.
One thing you should know if you ever get bored with reading books and decide to write one of your own is that writing a book is hard work. You can’t just sit at your computer, stare at your monitor, and hope that all the words magically appear on the screen. It won’t happen. Trust me. All you’ll end up with is the late night munchies and nothing to show for yourself except an empty pint of Ben&Jerry’s Americone Dream. Whew! I need a break.
(Imagine that I’ve put on some generically interesting music, much like the music you’d hear had you been put on hold while waiting for the computer people to answer your repair questions.)
Okay, I’m back. I went to make faces at myself in a mirror. It’s a practice that I picked up from, coincidentally, a book. In the book, Comedian Steve Martin says that he spent the first 10 minutes of every day making faces and laughing in a mirror. Since I look like a tranquilized bear 80% of the day, I make for good laughing material. It’s like watching ice cream melt, but instead of crying profusely, you can’t help but to chuckle.
Where was I?
Why should I write a book? What can I add to the library consisting of hundreds of millions of books written on a million bazillion topics? I guess instead of asking “Why?” and “What” I should ask “Why not?”
Maybe I could share some never-known-before insights into who I am as a person. I love the smell of fresh rain. I always wondered how popular the Post Office would be if they hired the same people who invented Fruit Roll-ups to invent new stamps. I don’t know why clouds are puffy on top and always flat on bottom. I smell like cake batter at all times. I love fancy bowties, and I don’t speak Spanish. I once fell off a hotel balcony and landed on a Dodge Neon. See how boring this book would be if I did that for twelve chapters?
So, I think it’s about time that we got down to some hardcore reading and writing. If you’re ready, put a Band-Aid on your index finger to prevent paper cuts, and let’s get this show on the road!