“My Gross Head”
I’m starting to have second thoughts about hiring Alistair Vivekenanda. Since I did, he’s mutated into a bit of a slave-driver. He’s even taken to wearing standard issue slave-driver clothing: black boots, grey jodhpurs, a monocle, and a T-shirt that has the words “I’M A BIT OF A SLAVE-DRIVER” on it. He also carries a riding crop. And yet all this matters less than what I look like– and where I look like it. Specifically, a mega-sized BILLBOARD with my ginormous face in profile thereupon. And a ten metre high side-on head-shot on the side of a highway is a very public profile indeed! The billboard says:
“Behold, the Local Hero (age 19)
DUNCAN DOOLIGAN III”
(Head shown here Not Actual Size)
But the thing that really caught my eye was the caption at the bottom of the billboard that the above caption (see Above) was at the top of. That caption said:
“Buy his Gripping Book
Now, unless I’ve been doing some pretty elaborate shit in my sleep, I must confess that I don’t actually recall writing ANY sort of book, least of all a “gripping” one (although if I did write a book, I would lean heavily towards the Gripping genre). Thirsty for answers, I took the matter up with my P.R Guy.
“Buddy,” is how I began. “Why are you telling the public to buy a book either by- or about me that– as far as I know– hasn’t actually been written?”
“Mate,” he replied. “It’s all a matter of economics. Meaning that– economically-speaking– DEMAND creates its own SUPPLY.”
“Dood,” I countered, economically. “I can’t SUPPLY something I haven’t written yet, no matter how fucking much the public DEMAND it.”
“Amigo,” Alistair fired back. “You’ve already supplied it. In your Blog.”
He then told me that Postings Fourteen and Fifteen have all the information we need for that gripping tome, “Daycare Nightmare” (a title I’m not happy with, by the way).
“Mon Frere,” I reasoned. “While I’m no expert on what a so-called ‘book’ type tome looks like these days, I do know this: those two Postings would only come to a very small number of pages in a paper book. Therefore, the book-reading public might see my ‘gripping tome’ as a bit of an anti-climax, lengthwise.”
“We’ll pad it out,” said he, editorially.
“WE??” wondered I, wondrously.
That’s when he spooked me in a big way by saying that I’ve (apparently) now got a Ghost Writer haunting my story and putting (or so he said) “flesh on its bones”. Well, I sincerely hoped (at the time) that he didn’t interview potential ghost writers with a Ouija board or anything, because it’s well-known that some pretty fuggin’ evil shit happens when you play with toys like that (according to those who believe in the Ouija Board Narrative, I mean).
But even if I assumed the Ghost Writer would be (at this point in time) a flesh ‘n’ blood “human” (more or less), in some ways a real ghost (if you believe in that sort’a thing) would’ve been better than a Hired Pen– because after all, spooks don’t have any need for cash, do they? Hm? Due to their non-existence, and all.
And speaking of cash, I queried my P.R Guy re: the free-and-easy manner in which he kept on splashing “it” (i.e. cash) around. On a billboard, for example. And a ghost writer. He told me all that stuff would pay for itself. I wanted him to explain how inanimate objects like billboards (and ghost writers) could ever (misquote) “play for themselves” (end misquote), and in reply my P.R Guru made a crude attempt at distracting me by telling me to “pick a card, any card” as he held out a full deck of same for me to pick from. I did as instructed, and silently read the playing card which said:
PUBLIC RELATIONS GURU”
Obviously, it wasn’t a “playing card”– it was a fucking BUSINESS card!
“Is iiiiiiiit,” he droned, thoughtfully. “No, shuddup ‘n’ let me guess, Duncan! Please! PLEASE!!… Thank you. Is iiiiiiiit… errrrrrm… is iiiiiiit… aaaaaaaa… Public Relations Guru Business Card?”
“They’re all Public Relations Guru Business cards, ya prick!!” I said, as I looked at the other fifty one cards I snatched out of his hand. “How the fug are you payin’ for all this shit??”
“I think you mean ‘How the fug are we payin’ for all this shit’?” he said. “Because we are a team, after all.”
Then he went on to explain that– because my Ghost Writer didn’t actually exist– he (or she) was being paid with equally non-existent money. So far, so logical– right up until he told me that he was using leftover non-existent money to pay the Ad Guys who printed the business cards and put up the billboard.
Worst of all, he doubled the (non-existent) amount he didn’t pay the billboard guys as a bonus, because they completed the job quickly, in three days, and with a minimum loss of human life (only one dead, apparently. From sniffing Billboard Fumes). Well, believe me when I say that the billboard wasn’t the only thing that was fuming right then. I too had fumes– of RAGE– pouring out my nose and ears and almost pouring out’a my mouth, before I was distracted (again) when Alistair Vivekenanda directed me to look up at the bottom right hand corner of the completely unpaid-for billboard sign that had my public profile splashed all over it.
What I saw there (in the bottom right hand corner) both shut my mouth and made my jaw drop open– for not only had my makeshift P.R Guy wrangled some serious ad-space with money neither one of us even had, selling a book I hadn’t even written, he’d also taken this ad campaign a giant leap further by getting the (surviving) billboard guys to print the words:
“As seen on Television’s
— a national T.V show I haven’t even FUCKING APPEARED ON!!