when i had the time i started taking my manuscripts around to literary agents - ones that actually had offices that i could sit and wait in.
i would be politely told to just leave the ms, but i would point out that i was a major league ballplayer and would bring a copy of the new york post with my picture in it to prove it, and sometimes the receptionists would look at the copy of the post and tell me to take a seat, maybe ms ashton or ms golden would see me, if i wanted to wait.
the literary agents i got in to all told me the same things - my books were “hopeless garbage” and “i can’t believe anybody writes this kind of crap any more” and “there’s not much market for thomas wolfe imitations these days”. but they also all suggested the same thing - that there were agents who specialized in books by celebrities - if i thought i qualified as a celebrity.
so i went to one that was recommended as such. i left my first novel at the desk - thundering highway - and the one i just finished - go piss out the sun - and two days later i got a message to go back and talk to elaine ellerby.
elaine was about eighty years old and sounded like she had smoked every cigarette ever rolled.
i started to explain who i was and she said, “i’m a ravens fan, honey, i know who you are, and i can’t tell you what a thrill it is to meet you in the flesh."
that sounded promising but then she said, “but honey, this stuff is just awful. awful awful awful. can’t you just be satisfied to strike guys out and hit home runs?”
i told her i had only become a ballplayer by accident, but had always had my heart set on being the new thomas wolfe - or the new tom wolfe or kerouac or hunter thompson.
“i figured as much. so i don’t suppose you want us to write something for you - which, just between you and me is mostly what we do here.”
“no, there wouldn’t be any point in that. look, i know i can publish it myself , but i would just rather have a real publisher do it.”
“gee, i really would like to help you out.” elaine coughed a few times.
“i got four other novels,” i said. and i started to describe my second novel - the man of prophecy.
elaine listened politely. “you mean it’s about a kind of guru? some spiritual shit? maybe we can use that.”
“all right, i’ll bring it in tomorrow.”
“you do that. and i’ll treat you to a nice lunch, just you and me.” elaine opened a drawer. she took a baseball out of it. “hey, can you autograph this for me?”
“i’m sorry it’s just the one. i got a couple of great-grandsons, ten and eleven years old, but they don’t give a shit about the ravens. one is a man u fan, the other likes fc barcelona. you know how it is.”
the man of prophecy became the best-selling book of all time, except maybe for the bible.
hundreds of millions of copies were sold, in every country and in every language in the world.
billions thrilled to the story of terry trigg , the wandering preacher with his message of love and reconciliation for the whole of the human race, and the whole of creation, and his tragic love for the pop megastar corinne chan.
my other novels were issued too, and though they couldn’t match the sales of the man of prophecy, enough of them sold that they made me the second or third best selling author of all time, after agatha christie and maybe shakespeare.
stephen king, j k rowling, e l james, and james patterson all ate my dust big time.
but the sales of the book, and books, was the tip of the iceberg.
people all over the world took the teachings of terry trigg seriously, and personally. churches and “centers” for his teachings and wisdom sprang up all over the world.
i was confused with the fictional terry trigg, and hailed as a prophet and guru.
in the united states, the church of trigg with its message of reconciliation replaced the democratic and republican parties, and most of the churches and religions, with only a few catholics, southern baptists, and orthodox jews holding out.
due to overwhelming public demand, congress repealed the law requiring the president to be 35 years old, and i was urged by an adoring world to run for president so that i could begin the healing process by which the human race would come together as one, with all the old borders and boundaries between countries dissolved forever.
what could i do but accept? i accepted the nomination just as the new baseball season began.
it was taken for granted that when the season was over and the election held, i would win with over 150 million votes, while my unfortunate opponent, senator clayton of the combined republican-democratic party, who had agreed to run just so that there would be an “election” , might get a few thousand votes at best.
and there things stood when the aliens arrived.
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