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The Dartmouth
May 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

The Whole Story

I want to write a book. I know, I know -- everyone wants to write a book. But the main difference between those people and me is that I wanted to write a book first . It's true! I have wanted to write a book ever since back when I thought that the four major food groups were blue crayons, white crayons, apple juice and dirt, especially if something in the dirt was moving. In the mold of the great Ernest Hemingway, whose timeless contributions to American literature include sitting in a restaurant in Spain and drinking himself to death while writing his most famous novel -- "On The Road by Jack Kerouac," I have always wanted to tell the world my story. Unfortunately, I never had a story.

Then just recently -- about 12 minutes ago, to be exact -- I got to thinking. "If I do have a story," I thought, "and I just can't seem to find it, why should that stop me from writing my book?" But there was something else stopping me from writing my book, besides my life being about as interesting as a block of unrefined quartz. It was this thing called "reason." Occasionally, this "reason" speaks to us, though usually only after many beers. Why would anyone want to buy a book about me, I thought, especially -- taking into account my work habits -- one that will probably end up being three pages long and completely plagiarized?

At this juncture in time, I had none of the following:

a) my own book.

b) money.

c) dignity.

d) clean underwear.

This presented somewhat of a problem, because even if I did write a book, and it sold a bazillion copies, and thus filled me with pride ("pride" being synonymous with "lobster"), I would have absolutely nothing to wear to the hearing when it was discovered that my book was in fact little more than a few pages of the script to "Gone With The Wind" translated into Spanish. (The new clever title: "Gone With El Viento.") But it would hardly matter, because by that time I would have taken all of the money and escaped to Poland, or if Poland happened to be closed, then maybe France, and it is a proven fact that nobody in France wears underwear. Because that would be considered hygienic, and therefore, unlawful.

No, I couldn't plagiarize. I just didn't have it in me. To be or not to be, that was the question. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It had been a hard day's night, and I had been working like a dog. So, in the tradition of hard-hitting journalism shows with catchy titles like "48 Hours, 60 Minutes and 28 and a Half Seconds," I decided to make something up.

The plot of my story involves the protagonist, played by the famous Robert "Spanish Money" DeNiro, spending a lot of time with a girl, played by Bridget "Henry" Fonda. Over time, played by a clock, he falls for her personality. Also, completely incidentally (but as usual for these types of books!), she is very attractive. And also, she is the only girl who does not immediately hang up when he calls her. All of his friends keep asking him what is going on with her, because obviously they haven't read the book yet, but just then a tornado hits, causing the plot to twist, and she is called away to the Amazon(TM) on business.

The guy discovers more and more that the girl is exactly what he has been looking for. And just in time for the holidays, too! But he has trouble deciding if the timing will ever be right to make a "move" on her. (If he does, bear in mind that it will most likely be the very difficult triple-axle, which is sure to impress the judges.) In the end he decides to hijack a nuclear warhead, or join a gang led by John Travolta, or dress up like a mutant bat and save the world, or something along those lines. I really haven't decided yet.

That is my purely fictional book. Like I said, I still don't know how the story will conclude. Maybe the guy gets the girl? Maybe they both have a lot to drink and watch "Braveheart," last year's clear-cut winner of the Golden Globe Award for Most Scottish People Starring In Intolerably Drawn-Out Battle Scenes? Maybe the thing about the mutant bat? But I am hoping that, as an author, I won't have to resort to those types of common literary gimmicks.

I am also thinking of including in my book a coupon good for free ice cream, because after all, if it's only going to be three pages long, I need to sell books somehow.