My Billy Grist Blurb…

BILLY GRIST is comical parable about the nature of faith. It tells the story of Billy Grist, a man-child who seeks to unite humanity by building a “massive family” only to find his destiny is controlled by a higher power who has other plans for saving mankind…

Part satire, part 9-11 revenge fantasy, BILLY GRIST is narrated by The Great Numero Uno, the leader of the UIUI (Ultra-Intelligent Universe Inspectors) and an avowed misanthropist for having witnessed the evolution of mankind from plankton to our current “sorry” state. The fun begins when the Almighty One reveals His grand plan to The Great Numero Uno, forcing the microscopic egomaniac to relate the story of the world’s ultimate altruist, Billy Grist, to the very people he despises…

Billy is a mulatto born of a deaf father who is obsessed with creating the perfect fruit cocktail, and a gymnast mother who was once capable of “spiking a perfect landing” before growing a noteworthy set of breasts. Billy is also brother to a sister who emits a radiant smile that invokes Beatlemania. Unfortunately, it’s a gift soon quelled by the world’s most wicked disease, Comswalli Nervousa, which causes a wider tragedy that’s eventually capped by an email from the Great Beyond…

Abandoned by God, Billy Grist nonetheless decides to embrace life by using his incredible wealth to build a massive family that includes a broad mix of brothers and sisters. Billy plans to unite the human race, but his noble effort is soon thwarted by a brain-dead terrorist named Calvitor Septor, son of Animus Septor, the inventor of the Jewbie doll, a plush toy with detachable limbs that becomes the must have item within the Middle-Eastern nation of Aridia…

A must-read for Islamic extremists, recently compared to works of Christopher Moore, Vonnegut, and Douglas Adams, BILLY GRIST deploys humor to create a thought-provoking satire that turns sacred cows into hamburger. It’s a recommended read for those willing to embrace the ultimate truth that human beings don’t know jack s@$!! about how or why we were “created.” W4$.

Billy Grist

Billy Grist is FREE at Amazon.com on 5-24-2013

The Truth Behind THE WALKING MAN

A few readers, very few, have asked me what’s the true story behind THE WALKING MAN. One reader even emailed me to say he disliked the book because the recovery of Francis was too far fetched.

Well, as often said, the truth is stranger than fiction…

Francis is a combination of yours truly and my uncle. My uncle was quadriplegic for fifty years. Not joking. Fifty years. He started losing his ability to move at age 16 then, as far as I understand, an operation to save him left him motionless for life. He lived in a county hospital. To me, it was a scary place. I visited my uncle weekly. He had a roommate named Arthur who controlled the TV because he could move one of his hands. The Tom and Jerry battle from THE WALKING MAN is true.

Regarding the recovery of Francis, my uncle never recovered from being paralyzed, but I did.

I have a very rare disease that wiped me out a several years ago. It’s called Generalized Myasthenia Gravis. It’s an autoimmune disease. It causes paralysis after muscle use. This means after exercise, such as walking, my legs and arms would fail. Rest would promote short-term recovery, but in my case, over time, recovery lagged and eventually I needed a mobility scooter to “walk” ten yards. FYI, everybody should own a mobility scooter. They’re great fun.

I was never quadriplegic, but I understand it better than most folks do.

Eventually my doctors were confident the Myasthenia Gravis was impacting my lungs, so they wanted me to go on chemo, but I refused. I was told I would soon need a respirator to live and my life was going to “suck.” Instead of the chemo treatment. I started looking for triggers. I figured something was causing my condition. So, I became a vegetarian, stopped drinking Diet Coke, and avoided all known allergens. Gradually I got better. Now, my Myasthenia Gravis is in full remission. I’m 53 and never been healthier.

In the end, I could never quite figure out what caused my temporary paralysis, but I blame the Diet Coke…for it makes for a good story.

W4$

The Camp Out

In keeping with my prior blog, I’m no longer confining my pathetic attempts at humor to e-publishing; the world is now my pincushion, hardy, har, har, and all that goes with it.

Today, I’m under extreme pressure to be funny because I’ve committed to writing something stupid every week and it’s now Sunday morning, and I have to go to a lacrosse game, mow the lawn, and pave my elderly neighbor’s driveway for a dozen toll house cookies. Yes, chivalry is not dead.

Given these tasks, and my general and constant state of unpreparedness, my only current option to is to poke fun at the event that I attended last night, which involved sharing the woods with a combination of adults and children. I regularly refer to this happening as “the yearly horror show.” More sane people call it the “Annual Boy Scout Camp Out.”

In my deluded mind I’m tough; there’s me and Clint Eastwood, and nobody in between. This being said, I’m ashamed to admit there is nothing in this world I fear more than the Annual Boy Scout Camp Out.

I have many children, so my attendance at the “camp out,” which occurs the third weekend in May each year, has been mandatory for nearly a century, at least it seems that long. The camp out marks the end of scouting for the year. Honest men call it “hell on earth.” The mosquitos call it the beginning of “people season.” There are many things I rather do than attend The Annual Boy Scout Camp Out, which to me is the equivalent of receiving a colonoscopy, without sedation, from a gastroenterologist with Parkinson’s disease.

As always, the event began innocent enough. Older scouts, call boy scouts, spent hours teaching younger scouts, called bears, wolves, cubs, and webelos (whatever that is) how to perform tasks that have no real-world application – in preparation for adulthood. Activities included: learning how to tie knot with your toes, how to turn a bundle of sticks into a nuclear weapon, and how to stay safe while doing incredibly stupid things like climbing up a cliff or spelunking, which I learned involved descending into a cave using only a rope and a LED flash light.

My son, the little one they call, “Sausage,” wanted to do everything. He was especially interested in learning how to construct a hang glider using a Sear’s catalog and a single tube of Elmer’s glue, but I pushed him into the spelunking class, knowing we would, never, ever, go exploring some God forsaken cave.

Surprisingly, the time allotted for the older kids to teach younger kids how to do shit passed without incident. In fact, there was not a single impaling, or broken leg, which was extremely rare.

We were off to a good start.

Next up was the Annual Poisoning of the Husbands, otherwise known as the campfire buffet: burgers, hot dogs, and pasta salad coated with DEET, pollen, and Cub Scout bacteria, freshly sneezed. I called this event the “Poisoning of the Husbands” because over the years I’ve noticed all the wives in attendance laugh continually instead of eating, which is unusual considering each of them weighs more than a VW Beetle.

When my paranoia about food-borne illnesses finally subsided, my favorite part of the camp out occurred. The kids, moms, and the “guys” who wore tan shorts and medals, retreated to an open-air amphitheater to perform skits, the purpose of which was to entertain the young and the feeble minded. It was during this time the few lucky men among us, including yours truly, fulfilled our obligation to be “campfire monitors.” This meant it was our job to drink beer and make sure the den’s campfire did not turn into a town fire.

The bullshit session that followed was the stuff of legend: men in the woods without electronics, multiple coolers, bags of every type of chip available within the continental United States.

The guy beside me drank fast, so I soon learned he sold veterinary surgical equipment and that his business was terrible because none of the local hotels would let him do product demonstrations using dog cadavers.

“That sucks,” I said.

“No shit,” he replied.

“Hey man, if you ever need to do dissect a dog and you’re in my neighborhood, you can use my house,” I said.

“You sure?” he asked.

“Sure, I’m sure,” I responded. “Another Bud, please.”

Eventually our children returned, as they always do. It was Smores time. Several flaming marshmallows nearly hit me before the present cluster of boyhood decided to reenact Lord of the Flies by turning their Marshmallow sticks into weapons, as they always do.

“We must attack the second graders,” the Sausage informed me.

“Where are they?” I asked.

Sausage pointed to a nearby hill.

“Way over there.”

“Good,” I said after winking to my new Bud-buddy. “Go get those f’n second graders! Take no prisoners! Remember the Alamo! Tippecanoe and Tyler too!”

About an hour later our soldiers returned. There was some blood, but no reports of fatalities. The evening was going exceptionally well, especially considering past events, which included one of my son’s being neutered by a Karate exhibition gone bad.

Ahh, but the night’s fun was not over for the sun had gone down five hours earlier and the temperature was approaching thirty-five degrees.

Given today’s advanced camping technologies, for well-prepared folks low temperature was a non-issue, but for an ADD Dad, who lacks the skills to plan a birthday party, thirty degrees presented a serious issue, for I only brought two sleeping bags and the Sausage needed both.

“One is my mattress,” the Sausage informed me. “The other is my sleeping bag.”

Despite being a bad traditional Dad, I’ll do anything for my kids. Thus, without argument, I decided to sleep in my collapsible chair, wearing Bermuda shorts, a T-shirt, and my vintage Red Sox jacket.

Needless to say, I froze my ass off.

When I finally woke up for good, the sun had just risen and nature was definitely calling, and it was an urgent matter, the Buds and the Annual Poisoning, no doubt.

I was in generalized pain, which meant every square inch of my body hurt more than Johnny Cash’s head after a night out with Merle Haggard. Being so, I struggled to find the “Men’s Room,” which I knew, would be the most disgusting place on earth.

I was not disappointed for inside the wooden shack marked men and scented by urine from the Eisenhower era, there was a fairly new “Environmentally Friendly” toilet. My vision was cloudy so I was not sure the toilet contained a liquid. I thought I saw some corn floating, but I wasn’t sure. “Maybe it’s my macular degeneration,” I theorized.

Knowing I was about to jettison an ungodly load, I was concerned about splashing, so I conducted a test. I lowered sheets of toilet paper, one by one, into the toilet, testing for water. There was none. I was safe to go.

The explosion that followed would have been embarrassing if witnessed, but for me it was the first step in my return to life.

“This Boy Scout Camp Out was tolerable,” I told myself. “No major incidents…I can’t wait to get home.”

After a customary moment of relaxation, I rose. Then I suddenly felt something. It was my wallet. It had fallen out of my Red Sox jacket and into the toilet.

It was gone.

A normal man would of panicked, but not me. Instead, I was instantly overcome by a calm resolve, for my wallet contained five C-notes, and I knew there was no way on earth this money was not going to be retrieved.

After a few minutes of thinking I returned to my tent.

“Sausage, wake up!” I said. “Good news!”

Knowing me, Sausage replied, “Really?”

“Yes,” I assured him. “Get some rope! We’re going spelunking!”

W4$

Bad Advice Available Here!

I’m not sure I should continue writing a blog that provides ebook publishing advice because I’m fairly certain I don’t meet the basic criteria for being an authority of any sort. I say this because I really don’t care about many things and I especially don’t care about the things most indies authors seem to discuss ad nasueum, such as the Amazon ranking algorithm and the best price for an ebook. (We all know the sad truth is most indie’s sell the same amount of ebooks, whether they’re priced at $0.99 or $1,000,000.00. Zippo.) I guess what I’m saying is, I’m not good at nuance. I like the direct approach in resolving all matters. So, to increase ebook sales my sole advice is to write a better book. Obviously, this is incredibly poor advice for we all know, via Walmart, that quality no longer has anything to do with sales. I’m sorry. I admit it. I’m a terrible ebook publishing blogger for writing a better book is the only advice I can offer.

Further proof of my lack of qualification in providing any form of quality advice became abundantly clear to me last week when my son approached me for guidance.

“Dad,” he said. “This kid at school keeps kicking me.”

Not being a complete idiot, although close, I asked for details.

“This kid kicks me as hard as he can every day before I enter home room,” my boy says. He then shows me a bruise on his shin.

A thinking Dad would have said, “I’m sorry, son. Let me call the principal, we’ll get this kid in a room with his parents and sort this thing out. Don’t worry, son. Your Dad will take care of this…”

To be truthful this thought never entered my vacuous head. My guess is I subconsciously hate attending a love-in to resolve conflict.
“Boys will be boys,” the principal would inevitably say. The parents of the bully would then attribute their son’s bad behavior to the recent death of his hamster, gluten, seasonal allergies or sleep depravation due to a Sponge Bob Marathon. We’d then laugh about the stupid shit we did when we were kids, shake hands, and then drive home singing our favorite Beach Boys tunes, near delirious due to our parental excellence.

Unfortunately, I could not muster any thinking appropriate for our times, so instead I said, doing my best Sean Connery imitation, “The next time this kid kicks you. Kick him back harder.” For the record, I did not say “kick the little bastard until he bleeds.”

It’s was about 2 o’clock the same day when I got the call from the school. I was informed my immediate presence was necessary and not optional. “It was something about my son…”

I drove to the school. Confident my son was alive, I kept the Beach Boys playing.

When I arrived I was told to enter the conference room. Inside was the school principal, my son, and the town’s police chief.

“Howdy Chief,” I said. “If this is about the fund raiser, I’m sorry. I promise to give next year.”

The Chief did not laugh.

“My son,” I was told had been involved in an assault.

“Really,” I said. “Not possible.”

The discussion then got into who kicked who first. My son won the argument. Shit, the kid is incredible and fearless when it comes to holding his ground.
After lots of talk the room fell silent. Everyone was waiting for me to comment.

“Listen Chief,” I said. “I told my son if this kid kicks you again, kick him back. I did not tell him to break his jaw and then stuff him into a recycling container…”

W4$

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