© 1991 & 1998 by MaxYoho
Without telling you what my first four thoughts were, I'll tell you
that my fifth thought was, "How nice for Tom Averill." I guess I won't
tell you what my next three thoughts were either.
It would probably be unfair to blame Tom Averill for
my lack of success as a writer, but the fact remains that his book,
Seeing Mona Naked, appeared in the book stores the same day
I was going to submit my manuscript, Seeing Mary Alice Westrick's
Underpants. Well sir, I know when I've been outclassed. I dropped
the fruits of two years labor in the dumpster and drove home with
the bitter knowledge that I had come within one pair of white cotton
step-ins of achieving fame and glory.
To add to my disgust I knew that I had been a lot smarter
than Mr. Averill. In the beginning, I had planned to call my book
Seeing Mary Alice Westrick Naked. But then I decided to save
that for the sequel.
I would be the last one to suggest that there is a writers'
conspiracy against me, but some pretty darned strange things have
happened. Like, for instance, how about the time a few years ago when
I was all set to write a book on touring with my cat. I hadn't exactly
written the book yet, but I had typed the title on a fresh piece of
paper:With Old Puss on the Road to McCook, Nebraska. The rest
is history. Three days later John Steinbeck hit the shelves with his
stupid book about his stupid travels with his stupid dog, Charlie.
That one caused me even more pain than Mona, because I had made some
foolish promises to Old Puss about what we would do when we became
rich. On top of that, it rained on us all the way to McCook.
I'll tell you this much about the writing racket: it's
fine if you write well, but it's more important to write fast. So
stand back, suckers, or eat my dust!
Originally published in Inscape, the literary magazine
of Washburn University, Topeka, KS, Fall 1991, p. 75
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