Thursday, October 23, 2014

There's a Monster in the Middle of My Book

WHAT DID THAT SAY?  In the blog title, what did it say?  Did that say there is a monster in the middle of a book?

What book is this?

Off Track you say?  (Boy, I am tired of hearing about that book!)

Shhhh.  Listen, I have an idea.  If you do not turn any pages, we will never get to the end of Off Track.  So maybe it is best that you do not even start to read it.  If you start to read it, you may start to enjoy it, and if you start to enjoy it, you may want to keep reading it, and if you keep reading it, you may get to the middle.  And if you get to the middle . . .


I am going to make this hard for you.  I am going to charge you zero dollars.  That way, you are guaranteed to think the book is cheap and uninteresting, and you will never actually start to read it.

NOW WHAT ARE YOU DOING?  You just started reading a copy of Off Track!  Don't you know that it is like a pamphlet or an advertisement or a tract that a religious person might leave on your car?  It is worthless!  WORTHLESS!

Maybe you do not understand.  You see, turning pages will bring you closer to the end of Off Track, and you do not want to go there, because somewhere around the middle, you will find a monster!  Have I not made that clear?

Okay, how can I stop you from doing this page turning thing?  You have made it through the first four chapters of Off Track.  That is moving you closer to the middle, which is where the MONSTER is.  You had better stop enjoying yourself soon, or find some other reason to put the book down.  Because you are getting WAY TOO CLOSE to the monster for my liking.

WILL YOU PLEASE STOP TURNING PAGES?  If you keep turning pages, I will be forced to make a chapter near the middle VERY, VERY BORING.  And then you will HAVE to stop reading.

The next chapter is going to be very, very boring.  I'm warning you.

Okay, now you have really gone off into cuckoo land.  You are writing me to tell me how much you are enjoying the book, which I repeat has a MONSTER inside AND which I made VERY VERY BORING in one place to slow you down.  

Did you know that you are very determined?   

Oh no.  Please stop now.  You are getting frighteningly close to the monster in the middle of the book.  You are even donating a small sum of dollars to help make the book a fancy ebook, and also to benefit local community organizations, which means even more people might read this book and be subjected to the MONSTER.

Oh, please, please, please STOP.

. . .


Oh no.  Oh no, oh no!

. . .

Oh no.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Damned If You Do

Weather's turnin' cold in Chicago.  Yes, sir, it is.  Makes some men want to drop out, disappear, curl up with a good book and sink away into Blankettown.

Not this man, though.  This man's got a bone to pick.  A score to settle.  This man was born more fighter than coward, more devil than angel, more lounge singer than elementary school librarian.

This man went for a walk.

Wound up in a place called "Satan's Cackle Shack."  Don't know what the hell that's all about.  But it was hot.  Hot as Hades.  Empty, too, 'cept for a cacklin' skeleton.  So I wandered in.  Took the mic.  Started tellin' jokes.  Soon, a few other lost souls found their way through the half-door.  Lent me their ears.  Skeleton kept right on cacklin'.  Soon enough, people did, too.  Lifted my spirits, I'll tell you that much.  

Think I'll stay a while.  A man could get used to a place like this.

You stop in, too, all right?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Re-Reader and Re-Writing

A year ago, I both wrote and received (by proxy) a lengthy criticism related to the Chicago Reader.  Amidst a flurry of positive press for The Sovereign Statement, Tony Adler ran contrarian and poo-poo-ed** our Andersonville secession effort.  I was a bit caddy in my response.

Those days are behind me.  Really, they are.  I barely think about how much it hurt* to read that misinformed, poorly constructed evaluation of a show that was so close to me that it even bore my name in the script.  No, really.  I don't care.  I don't.  

So, of course I care even less that now, the past forgotten, the Reader has rewarded my writing where it could not reward my dancing, singing, and secret-agenting.  The rag has  highly recommended Resurrected, which is currently running at Morton Arboretum via Theatre-Hikes.

Know this, Suzanne Scanlon (you glorious goddess of critical aptitude):

You will never win me back^.  Even if you write hundreds of articles about Resurrected.  Even if you convince your colleagues at the Tribune, the Sun-Times, and Hoy (!) to review the show as well.  Even if you put a lot of Ex-Lax in Tony Adler's coffee tomorrow (and every day after).

Okay, actually, maybe if you did all of that, you might win me back.  Maybe.  I'm sorry.  Am I being caddy?

I guess some things never change.


* It didn't really hurt at all.  I'm not that actor.
^ I am, however, that writer.
** By poo-poo-ed, I mean that he wrote something out of his ass.