Well, it finally happened. Somebody bought my book and then they went and read it.
No, seriously, that happened awhile ago. What was different this time was that the person actually gave half a crap and went and reviewed it. Now, I know what they say about the dangers of believing your own PR. Look at what happened to that hoser that wrote “One Million Pieces”, which turned out to be more like “5 easy pieces and a big load of crap”. I guess I should be grateful I got three stars and comments that she liked my writing and that the book was a “light, easy read” and a sort of multi-culturalist’s delight.
That last one would have any of my friends choking on their pork rinds and spitting Yuengling out their noses.
Let’s not forget that, from the moment when my father fled the perils of New York back in the ’40’s, with all its urban trash—human and otherwize—I was fated to be born and bred an Italian redneck. That was kind of uncommon in the day, but I’ve since met a few more, and we are like anybody else in the forgotten middleland of the US.
Well, let me start by all the ways I have learned that “political correctness” that reviewer was talking about: first, I have learned not to choke on my cheetos when somebody with an accent as thick as somebody from the Soprano’s informs me that they have just “moved up heah from New Yawk”. I want to say, “Really? Wow. I thought maybe you were from France!”
And I don’t point out that the eternal bitching new arrivals here in PA bless us with about the roads, the timeliness of contractors, or the tastes, sexual proclivities and education of us poor benighted locals is ironic in the highest degree. Yes, the roads are rough and full of gravel. Shoot–don’t those folks know anything about research? Just put a freakin’ bluegrass album on! Yes, we do prefer the opposite sex. I mean, you take that “BrokeAss Mountain” movie that all the yuppies are yammering about. I mean, I thought about it some, and I was thinking, give the guys the benefit of the doubt—all that time up there alone and all. But then I found out these “cowboys” were really sheepherders!
I mean, do I have to draw a picture??
About the education, I guess I don’t know what to say to some union trashman about how he’s improved the gene pool up around here, when all us poor fools actually went to school and learned to read and write and cypher and he’s brought up kids that can’t survive without a cellphone planted on their ear, where they spend every waking hour talking about American Idol. Eessh.
And yes, anyone stupid enough to believe that they will see any part of a contractor during deer season deserves to be left standing on a cold concrete slab looking sadly at a half-framed house.
But hey! You ever hear me saying any of that? Of course not! Doesn’t mean I like it. It just means that I’ve been around the block enough times to know that saying something isn’t going to change much. We’re in the maw of the great American Consumption–death by burbicide. God grant me the strength, wisdom and courage to run like hell in the opposite direction when the going gets that tough.
So anyway, the reviewer didn’t like my ending much–she was bemoaning how a real bluegrasser should have written an ending that would reject and smash the mainstream idiots that bluegrassers despise and hate.
If they really do, that is. Hell, some of the guys that I know and play with work in East Orange and drive new cars to their office jobs. Lots, actually. Many of them actually moved east. People do that from time to time. The whole romantic ideal of bluegrassers as toothless rural idiots, well, it’s just not so. Some live in the city!
Actually, the idea of the note not played points right in the direction she thought I didn’t go, but that’s okay. Not everyone can read between the lines. So, hoping to gain that coveted fourth—or even fifth!—star, I offer the following treatments of various endings that might please our erudite reviewer:
A. Finding that playing nice and being a gentleman avails him not, Chat steals an F-116, hires Ty to fly it and nukes Hugh’s headquarters in NY. Then he flies on down to the other Pigeon Forge, meets Dolly, who, moved to tears about his plight, sets him up and allows him to retire and play until his fingers fall off.
B. Seeing rapacious development engulfing the land he loves, Chat breaks into Oprah’s show while taping and holds her hostage until she agrees to allow him to appeal to the American public to save the county. The American public, however, being broke from Katrina, Iraq and mindless consumption, annoyed with Chat’s accent and his swarthy, outdoorsy look, sleepy from watching American Idol and secretly uncomfotable about the whole BrokeAss Mountain thing, doesn’t send him a cent, and Oprah’s popularity crashes, along with the hope of an itinerant novelist in Eastern Pennsylvania who, after years of scratching along on middling reviews and the odd insult from union trashman, had finally managed to get her to read his multicultural book about bluegrass. *Snort!*
C. Chat and the boys enlist the help of the dregs of rural society, and in a scene reminiscent of the barricade scene from Les Mis, push the urban interlopers into the sea, reclaim New York and the environs, and begin a bluegrass utopia on earth where all men are equal, the woman slightly less so, except for bass players and accordianists.
D. While everyone is arguing about this and that, a fluke burst of radiation from an Iranian underground test revitalizes a fleet of vikings, and they burst on the scene and hack and slew in an east coast version of something like “Beowulf” meets “Baywatch.” (and hey—I thought of that last thing waaaaaaay before the capital one commercials!)
So, whadda think of me now? Huh?
Well–gotta run. It’s time for my yoga class, and from there I have to check the fwang schway on my deerstands.
Bet she won’t think that’s too PC or mainstream!