May 12, 2016 § 8 Comments


Ok, I know everyone and their dog is writing a book. I know that this increases the competition and the battle over the only resource that Nestle isn’t sucking out of the ground: Readers. I know all that, but I was comforted by the fact that dogs lack the passion and commitment to write a book.

But now someone’s stupid dog has written a book. Not only written one, but gotten one published, by a major publishing house after a heated auction. (The stupid dog tried to hump all the publishers in the heated auction until it was explained to him it wasn’t that kind of heat.)

A fellow writer frenemy, who loves my pain and quietly celebrates my failures, as I do my writer friends, calls me to tip me off.

FRIEND: The book is called BALLZ GONE and is just a series of paw prints.

ME: Please tell me this is a joke.

FRIEND: (imagining the sharpness of the razor blade I am currently selecting): I’m not kidding. It’s already 73 on Amazon. What was your ranking on your last book again?

ME: (lies) I have no idea.

FRIEND:   Well, of course it’s a male dog. You know female dogs wouldn’t have the same shot.

ME: Listen, maybe the book is all the talk today, but tomorrow it will just a memory. (much like this conversation, I think to myself, breaking out the tequila and benzos.)

But the next day, BALLZ GONE is number 8 on the New York Times Best Seller list, not with a bullet but with a Frisbee. That’s the kind of humor that is in my book, which says a lot.

The stupid dog appears on Good morning America. George Stephanopoulos says “Man Parts” instead of “balls” on the air because he is a polite twelve-year-old from a defunct school of manners. The dog pants. Everyone claps.

I see Ballz Gone everywhere, in the local independent, in the airport, in the supermarket book section where only the hottest authors reside.

The next author’s conference I go to, of course the idiot dog is sitting next to my signing table while his increasingly rich master, a man with a goofy grin and hairless arms, presses the dumbass’s paw into an ink pad and then presses his “signature” into the books of an eager line that stretches around the corner. I have seven people in my line. One of them is seeing-impaired, and is tipped off that she is in the wrong line when the idiot, lucky-ass dog spies a squirrel through the window, and lets out a high, primitive yelp.

I’m not bitter. No, really. How well my books are selling compared to a dog’s is no function of my value or my worth as a human being. You know, Xanax tastes a bit like chalk and Tang.

Three weeks later. Reese Witherspoon picks up the film option. John Malkovich will play the moody, emasculated protagonist. Angelina Jolie will go against type to play his mother, a lean and saintly Tibetan Mastiff who will murmur things like: You must one day face the vet, my son.

Another seven weeks pass. There are now 3 million copies of Ballz Gone in print.

Where was I? Oh yes, I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine. I write my first memoir, THIS WORLD IS UNFAIR, PUBLISHING IS RIGGED, AND I’M GLAD YOU LOST YOUR BALLZ. My mother buys it.

Slowly, finally, after three years, Ballz Gone creeps back down the bestseller list, falls off and plays dead.

And I can live again.

Until I hear about the sequel, HIGH PRIMITIVE YELP, which is just the stupid dog yelping on a loop when he sees a squirrel.




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