Saturday, 12 April 2014

Slick Willy and Babe Schadenfreude






I'd been longing to write of Slick Willy: a patchwork quilt based on my rueful encounters with sharks in the last thirty years. I'd even planned two caveats: 1) I had no particular target in mind; 2) We all fall short on promises and drift from good intentions. A real Willy gives his word, though, solely in order to break it after he's gained what he wants. Willy needs you to fail if he is to succeed. So he and his moll, Babe Schadenfreude, are perfectly willing to make sure you do.

Still, even with my caveats some might have seen a portrait and not a patchwork quilt. All in all, it seemed to me, I'd better tank the post.

Luckily, a new fan introduced me to Cherokee Blacke. Miss Blacke has a tale and a half of her own about a self-titled Albanian count then living in L.A. The villain whom she labels X died of alcohol poisoning two years ago. I've condensed her emails down to four that tell all we need to know.

1) First email received from Count X:
April 1, 20__
Dear Cherokee,
Thanks for your glowing praise of The Gods Dig My DNA. My long apprenticeship of three years and then seven long months of rejection seem at last worthwhile. I'd love for you to write a review. And I'm sending an attachment containing some phrases I'd like you to use. These will get across to readers the uniqueness of my thought and style, the importance of my Albanian roots and my passion for Sartrean ping pong. In my next email I'll tell you where and when to post it. Enough about me, though. Let's talk about you: what do you think of my book's receiving 13,000 downloads and 46 reviews to date? Your photo is so lovely I almost fear to read your own first novel for fear that it may disappoint. But I will, and gladly.
    I'll read it within one month, you have my solemn word. Meantime, I count on you--lovely, little Cherokee--to read and review DNA in two weeks. I can only hope you'll care to interview me also. Now send me your masterpiece!

2) Second email received from Count X:
June 15, 20__
My dear Cherokee,
I'm heartbroken by your sad emails. I understand the stress you feel over my failure to finish your book after all you've done for me: the endless rewrites I requested of your DNA review...my, well, insistence that you produce three different versions to be alternated on Amazon, Goodreads and Literary Lovers at least three times daily for no less than six weeks...You were a trouper, Cherokee. But you have only yourself to blame for my slow reading of your book. The seventeen chapters I've read are touched with genius on each page. I can't resist taking time to savor your exquisite prose. I keep your book under my pillow, my dear.
    Speaking of which--you've emboldened me, girl--could you wrap those luscious lips of yours around this tumescent new review of my manly DNA...then RT the link to your Twitter followers, asking them to do the same? Be sure to use TweetDeck so you can schedule repeat RTs all thru the day. Say every twenty minutes?
    Gotta go--and damn you for being so sexy and brilliant. I can hardly wait to start your sublime eighteenth chapter!

3) Third email received from Count X:
October 20, 20__
Dearest, sweetest Cherokee,
You're angry and I don't blame you a bit, though I'd had no idea you had quite so much spunk. I am demanding, I admit. In fact, I am high maintenance, as an authentic Albanian count. Since June, as you point out, all I've done is ask for more, then more still, and more again. It was wrong of me to ask you to write three different interviews using three different names. You'd have been perfectly right to insist the 'o' be taken out of 'Count'. But believe me when I tell you this: I do such things for us, not me! I'll take you with me to the top! On the strength of the seventeen pages that I've read so far of your book, I believe that you are Christina Rosetti and Lady Gaga combined. Your novel is a tour de force that humbles me over and over. Again and again I stop to savour the wordly wonders of your prose...fearful of continuing in case your powers should crush me.
    May I ask you one more favour, please, my co-ruler-to-be of the world: could you kindly re-tweak your reviews one more time, adding the following phrase where you please: "the most gifted literary stylist in the world today?" I hope you don't think that one's over the top.
    Gotta go, Queen Cherokee!

4) Fourth email received from Count X: 
December 10, 20__
Dear bitch from hell:
Let me try to get this straight, you New York Lower East Side skank: I've just spent the last eight months reading SEVENTEEN PARAGRAPHS of your unpublished first novel--and you complain about your hardships in promoting a masterpiece by the most gifted literary stylist in the world today? My book has 98 reviews and 80,000 downloads now. I've appeared on the front page of The Albanian Times. Not only that, The Albanian Gazette paid me the highest Albanian praise: I am a feisty fireplug. 
    For all that, I wish you well. And you can still make things at least half-right if you'll RT this link for my latest review to your Twitter followers...


Thank you all for dropping by and allowing me to perform this useful public service. By all means, RT my post link to your Twitter followers--shall we say, four times an hour for the next ten days?





















10 comments:

Kathleen Jones said...

Hilarious!

Dennis Hamley said...

Yes, Reb, that's helped make my day. The first 17 lines were brilliant, the next 17 exquisite - and so on to the end.

Bill Kirton said...

Great stuff, Reb. All that's missing is a link to 'The Gods Dig My DNA' which sounds like a fabulous book.

Reb MacRath said...

Thanks,all. The opening Slick Willy illustration doesn't appear on my Kindle Fire. Does it show on your screens?

Jan Needle said...

dear reb, i'm moved to silence....

Reb MacRath said...

Thanks, Jan. And, Bill, let's collaborate on the DNA book.

Note to all: the Slick Willy photo did not appear at first, as planned. My hunch: I first drafted the post on my other blog, then cut and pasted the works. The photo doesn't seem to have been agreeable to copying twice. I believe the problem's been fixed.

Reb MacRath said...

Once again, the photo disappeared. Maybe a copyright issue? Have tried a different illo, though the old one was perfect.

Lydia Bennet said...

very funny Reb! the DNA book is now in existence in our minds...

Dennis Hamley said...

Slick Willy didn't appear to be on my screen when I looked at 11 this morning. But now, at 11.05 tonight as I have my last flick through the virtual day, the oleaginous man is there smiling treacherously as usual, so life has resumed its desperate normality.

Reb MacRath said...

Ah, Dennis, but now the replacement photo has also disappeared. Well, I tried.

Thanks, Val/Lydia.