I CANNOT stop rewriting my book.
But I’m forcing myself to do so by means of torture, i.e. using Word 2016 to format the print version.
Oh, by the popped-out pomegranates of the Blessed Mary Magdalene, it is a dog’s breakfast of user unfriendliness that is just made for tormenting an obsessive type like me.
Do I really have to create another “style” just because I want one word in italics? Yep, it seems that way as I watch my insignificant edit ripple through 270-odd pages like the typographic equivalent of a school of barracuda to gobble up the formatting I’ve just spent four hours painstakingly nailing to the monitor.
Meanwhile, because being my own Fiverr hire and formatting my unsold book doesn’t sustain my fantasy lifestyle, the cupboards are bare and I’m virtually eating the cardboard containers that held the one remaining item with any pretense to sustaining life: Almond milk, a vegan junk food that has the mouth-feel of calamine lotion and tastes like the original Palmolive toilet soap they provide in cheap seaside B&B’s, but absolutely guaranteed free of peanuts, gluten, soy and, of course, protein.
Will we not at some point be running out of things for foods not to contain, even if they never contained them if the first place? To remind you of a simpler, more dangerous era, compare the label I recently spotted on a packet of dates:
“Pitted Dates 454 grams. Caution: May contain pits”.
That at least makes its own kind of fucked-up sense, assuming as it does that somewhere there exist intrepid, responsibility-taking grown-ups positively reveling in the riskless risk that attacking a packet of badly pitted dates entails. Eat, drink, be merry, and practice your Heimlich!
At any rate, failing that final date with a pit, I expect my denatured, flesh-less, de-proteined flesh will be hanging off my ribs betimes like avant-garde Japanese couture.
The almond milk is courtesy of the roommate’s trip to the “Food Access Program” as my millennial friend has taught me to say in lieu of “food bank”. I’ve added this to my PC, snowflakey vocabulary, while at the same time remaining skeptical that I’ll be bumping into Heather Reisman, Drake or Atom Egoyan any time soon while rummaging through the bins of sardines embalmed in tomato sauce and expired industrial pancake mix, despite the huggy new non-judgmental rebranding. It’s still where you go when you’re P-P-P-P-P-POOR.
Monday morning found me listlessly frying hot dogs in an old formerly non-stick pan and melting cheese on them as the apparently new vernal treat of April ice-hurricanes raged outside. Thanks, fossil-fuel guzzlers! I ate the hot dogs naked, cause I’m trying to cut down on the simple carbs before I start ballooning in a way only Oprah could understand, but without the billions of dollars and the acolytes with soothing creams that takes the edge off, a teeny bit, for her.
(By “naked” I meant no buns for the hot dogs. I haven’t seen myself naked since 2003, which was interesting in a documentary, dispassionate kind of way, but in the end, feh.)
Then the thought of more Word 2016 sent me into another downward spiral and I made a batch of shortbread* which I realized I’m doing on almost a daily basis. Is there twelve-step for the sablé-compromised? I say that I’m doing this for the household, then scarf the whole damn thing.
Only remedy that can blot out the shame? Another naked cheese-dog, the boneless, skinless, meatless chicken breast of the self-straitened. Cookbook idea: “Dinner In The Raw at Dixie’s Trailer Park”.
I spent the rest of the morning in between cheese-dogs, for this was breakfast you understand, “screaming” via “help chat” to India where the registrar for this domain was being very coy-wallah about when they would actually do something for the payment I sent.
Maybe it would be today, sir! Maybe tomorrow, sir, tee hee! (draws veil across face). Please sir wait longer please!
Well, when you put it like that! Little vixen!
Looking closely in the mirror I note that, under the ratty three-day growth of beard (can’t afford disposable razors) I’m starting to resemble one of the countless iterations of the “Scream” paintings by Edvard Munch, who, like me, found the one vaguely unique creative effort that fell within his limited capabilities and milked that sucker for every throw cushion and cheap lithograph he could squeeze from its sour teats. He probably did “Scream” impersonations at kids’ birthday parties until the bookings kinda just dried up. Who cares, because — “Scream” coffee mugs!
Now, listen up, because I’m going to rejig the launch date for my paperback. If James Comey can get a big build up, so can I. My marketing goal for the extra month: I would like Donald Trump to call me a “slimebucket” on Twitter, so I just twatted him
(?past tense) re his latest lightbulb over head moment about gettin’ with the Malaysia program and assassinating drug dealers. Fits in nicely with the already-in-place American program of random mass shootings!
“America sinks to the level of an autocratic regime!” I snipped, sounding about as bloodthirsty as Jane Hathaway on “The Beverly Hillbillies”, but the problem is Trump will likely respond, “You say that like it’s a bad thing — ?” and invite me over to pinch some Miss World butt and try out his new coffee-pod machine.
And I can’t resist him when he’s all abashed and withdrawn, so obviously feeling the born leader’s wounded pride that comes from so desperately wanting to push that button, being absolutely entitled to push that button, having, god only knows, any number of reasons to push that button, and yet time after time just having his twiny hwand unceremoniously slapped away. Everyone from the cleaning lady to Mike Pence to the high-school kids on tour, everyone just hovering, watching him like an eagle, in co-ordinated shifts, twenty-four-seven.
Around three P.M. his blood sugar gets a teensy bit low and that’s when he drops the Big Guy in Charge persona, shows his soft, hypoglycemic, vulnerable side. “Just one widdle push?” he whispers, that twiny hwand flutters towards the suitcase, then everyone rushing up to him and SLAP! No wonder he gets pouty sometimes.
I suspect the problem about him not calling me a slimbucket, yet, is that he hasn’t really entrusted me with anything that I could utterly betray. So I hope we can boy-bond over this drug thing. I mean, if that presidential nose hasn’t seen a few spoonfuls of the best Colombian shit, I don’t know what the American Dream is coming to. Seriously?
Next in today’s headlines, and knock me over with a wrecking ball, Donald’s been philandering, too, which gives you a big ratings boost when you’re a Republican. Dems just don’t have the same kind of handle on sleazy adultery.
I mean, Bill Clinton? A blowjob! It’s like the moment in that Austin Powers flick when Dr Evil demands ten thousand dollars’ ransom, or when you get three wishes from Satan and your first one is “I’d like all the greeters at Walmart to be paid minimum wage.”
Is “blowjob” what you think Sean Connery was doing with Pussy Galore? You’re PRESIDENT, dude! You could be plowing Whitney or Streisand or Michael Jackson and you get a blowjob from an intern who, honestly, looks like the girl in biology class with the box of Kleenex on her desk and who can’t even wash your shirt effectively — in other words, it might as well be Hillary! Your so-called sleazy adultery virtually qualifies as approved marital relations sanctified by the bonds of holy wedlock! Pathetic!
Or when was the last time you thought about who’s shtupping Liz Warren? Picture the secret assignation: Off they go incognito to an erotic work up at Red Lobster, and after prying the meat out of each other’s shells and sucking on the legs for an hour, they’re so hot and bothered they jump in the hybrid Prius and head to his pad, where they watch something racy on Netflix starring Brooke Shields, feed the cats and play some strip Scrabble over decaf. Finally no-nonsense Liz drags him to the bedroom, where she lies back on the futon, legs to the four winds, yammers non-stop about bank deregulation and the disappearance of the middle class, and at the crucial moment screams, “Yeah, baby! Relieve my troubled asssssss-ets!!” so loudly her prescription reading glasses fall right off. “On Golden Pond” meets “Network” !
But poor Donald, eh? We know how hard it must be to schedule some nookie with Melania, who, as a trophy wife, has to spend the better part of the morning Photoshopping her face. Then she’s surely over-extended with that bullying crusade, after someone pointed out to her that standing up at a school assembly in a Paco Rabanne jump suit and telling them, “Just do what I do and have your bodyguard take care of it,” is a bit thin, as far as advice goes, and not necessarily relatable.
So as she works it out in flesh-colored Crayolas on newspaper stock, there’s Donald, stuck in that Oval Office with nothing to do! Nothing! The In tray is empty, man, and it’s only Wednesday! America’s doing great, thanks to him, and it’s like he’s success’d himself out of a job! No wonder he’s cranky and over-reacts!
Anyway. The new launch date is JUNE 1st. JUNE, not May. Now I’m going to figure out who to send my paperback to who could give me a rave.
I know, I know. You wish you were me, but you’re not. I know EXACTLY how you feel.
* For the actual shortbread recipe, click here.