Absurd Autobiographies And The Artful Mangling Of Words

Everybody thinks they can or should write a book these days. At 16 punk/pop star Justin Bieber wrote … wait for it … a memoir.  I have a pair of original Saddle Shoes that are older, wiser and more interesting than the kid who is famous for urinating in a restaurant’s mop bucket and egging his neighbour’s house. The autobiography is titled:  “Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever: My Story.” The title should be: “Justin Bieber: Two Too Many: Colons.”

“Snooki” of TV’s Jersey Shore has written four books!  Snooki you might recall helped shape the future of American teenagers and steer them clear of a national medical disaster when she warned: “Burning your kook in the Jacuzzi – Meatball Problems.” Animal Rights people are hoping her fifth book will address the cruelty to crustaceans issue after Snooki was quoted as saying:  “That’s why I don’t eat friggin’ lobster and things like that.  Because they’re alive when you kill them.”

Challenging “The Bieb” and – if I might address her in this manner – “The Snook” for the most unearned, unnecessary and underwhelming autobiography ever written would be “Don’t Hassle The Hoff” by the former Bay Watch hunk who once lost a brawl to a burger late one night on his kitchen floor. [This never gets old.  Google:  David Hasselhoff Drunk.]

So if you have thoughts of writing a book I encourage you to first take the lead of the above mentioned bestselling authors who have nothing whatsoever of importance to say and have a look at the very best examples of incredibly bad writing.  Lousy writing when done well is priceless, creative and often more entertaining than serious published works like Snooki’s “Confessions Of A Guidette”.

Every year since 1982 the English department of San Jose University in California has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for writers with the worst opening line of a novel harking back to “It was a dark and stormy night.”

Like Peter S. Bjorkman’s entry:  “Knowing well the hand signals of his platoon leader, Private James Dawson silently dropped to the dirt, concealed and motionless for what seemed an eternity, a move that he had learned, coincidentally, from his parents whenever the Watchtower ladies would ring the doorbell.”

You want romance?  Lisa Liscoumb of Oshawa, Ontario wrote:  “As she reclined, naked, on the chaise lounge, Constance’s breasts looked like two mounds of creamy coleslaw served up on a fine porcelain plate – but the good kind of coleslaw, not the violent, neon-green stuff you get at KFC.”

Anna McDougald of Winnipeg won in the category of children’s literature with:  “When your home smells like a three-week-old buffalo carcass, your Mom is constantly being mistaken for a guy, and your sisters keep using your ears as their personal chew toys, life is no laughing matter – at least that’s how it seemed to Hubert, the baby Hyena.”

LA’s Charles Caldwell took the crime/detective prize with:  “She walked toward me with her high heels clacking like an out-of-balance ceiling fan set on low, smiling as though about to spit pus from a dental abscess, and I knew right away that she was gong to leave me feeling like I had used a wood rasp to cure my hemorrhoids.”

And two of my all-time favourites:  “As the dark and mysterious stranger approached, Angela bit her lip anxiously, hoping with every nerve cell, and fiber of her being that this would be the one man who would understand – would take her away from all of this – and who would not just squeeze her boob and make a loud honking noise, as all the others had.”

And:  “Business was kinda slow at the ‘If You Build It’ sperm bank.

Writing so bad, it is sometimes brilliant.  When “The Bieb,” “The Snook,” and “The Hoff” all start writing that badly, I’ll be buying their books.  Sincerely, “The Bill.”

For comments and ideas, or a copy of The Legend of Zippy Chippy, go to www.williamthomas.ca.