Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Bad Cup Of Soup

When I walked through the front door of the apartment, the box was there, unopened. My wife and son were busy with more important matters. "The books came today". This was not the fanfare I had long ago imagined. But who could blame them?

In the living room, in the cabinet next to the television, there is vivid proof of the reach of my talents. Piled up are numerous copies of  past "Chicken Soup for the Soul" editions that serve more as reminder of the ego of the writer than contribution to the improvement of man's condition in the universe.

This week, the fourth of my stories made its way into print. In recognition of my accomplishment, the editors sent me (and I assume each of the 100 other authors) 10 copies to distribute as I see fit, soon to be followed by a check for $200. Too much good news at once could be overwhelming.

In an earlier time, when the first of these boxes arrived,  I immediately called my sister and then my mother, who though deep into her dementia and clearly without the ability to process this accomplishment, seemed very impressed. Books were handed out to them and to several others, including a few who got autographed copies, with personal comments. I waited for the tributes to arrive, and thought of the glory now permanently attached to my name.

I soon learned the reach of my fame. There was a newsletter published in my apartment building, giving all of us some insight into what was happening with the critical issues of the day, like a report on the gardening or the new carpeting. One section was devoted to interesting items on the occupants. I was left on the cutting room floor, never even warranting an interview from our own "reporter".

By this point, I understand my true role. Along with the announcement that my story has been chosen for inclusion, comes an instruction manual on how to hawk the book. Public readings, trips to the local bookstore, and a whole range of wonderful ideas about how, for my $200, I am to become a permanent assistant in the Chicken Soup marketing department.

We met my daughter for dinner the night that the latest book arrived. Joining us was another family with whom we have grown very close over the last few years, when my career as a writer has "flourished". I handed my daughter one of the ten copies, and she accepted it with a grace that was very touching. Our friends couldn't even feign interest when I told them what this was about.

I haven't called my sister yet to let her know that she will be the proud owner of another of my golf, dog, mother, political awakening stories. She, among all, I believe still gets a little thrill from learning of my accomplishment.

After my mother in law, my daughter and my sister, I run out of willing recipients. My mother, now virtually blind in addition to her other diminished capacities, will be presented with a copy. But that still leaves 6  unaccounted for.
And thus I ask those who might be reading these words to help me out in my hour of need. The bookshelf is now in danger of collapsing. It is weighed down with my ramblings. I will pay for the shipping and handling. I will deliver a book to you personally, with the promise that I will not inscribe it. I will do whatever you require, and may even consider endorsing over the $200 if you would consider taking the entire pile of neglected words. Give an orphan a home.


Pam said...

Send one our way.. walk it up the block. We will give one a home! No postage even needed. Drop it with Roy at the desk. Congratulations! us

gail said...

I'm still happy to show off your latest 'publication' and to also hand out autographed copies to special friends!

Jamie Buonocore said...

I would be honored to have an autographed copy! I'll leave it in my chambers for the lawyers to leaf through and then I'll brag that I know you!

Shirley said...

My hand is raised high in want of an autographed copy. We always love your "ramblings"