Friday, April 07, 2006

Self-Reflexive Interior Monologue of a Clever McSweeney's Writer Who Enjoys Excessively Long Titles, As He Brainstorms For His Next Work of Comedy

I haven't had anything published since "I Think the Bus Driver's Sneering at Me Might Have Something To Do With the Pronounced Cultural Gap Between Us", and that was nearly 3 months ago! Eggers is going to forget about me, I know it. Come on, man - it's time to buckle down and think of something funny or I'm never going to get into McSweeney's again. And then I'll never be a real writer (and especially not a staggering genius)!

Okay, I can do this. I just need to think of a mundane life situation, combine it with a semi-literate but comically unexpected pop culture reference, adopt an arbitrarily aloof tone of academic accomplishment, devise an intentionally lengthy title and -- voila! -- comedic/literary genius! Like that guy a few weeks ago who did, "Models of Conflict in Literature, Which I Think Justify My Beeping the Horn While Driving, Even If My Girlfriend Thinks Not" - why the fuck didn't I think of that!?!? Combining models of literary conflict with road rage? That was a freakin' McSweeney's shoe-in!

I need to focus. Just think about stuff that's happened to me recently. What did I do yesterday? I woke up around 11, went down the street and had a falafel, went to the bookstore and read magazines for a few hours, spent a few more hours reading the Internet, thought about titles for the novel I want to write about my generation's disaffection, went to a dive bar and got drunk on Miller High Life, went home and typed some drunken gibberish about my loneliness, then watched 'Adult Swim' until I passed out. Maybe I could write a piece called, "My Utterly Wasted Day and How It Might Have Been Summarized If I Were a Character In 'Little Lord Fauntleroy'." Nah, too obscure. Maybe if I was a character in a Greek morality play. Or maybe a John Hughes movie. Fuck, this is hard!

Just take a deep breath. YOU. ARE. FUNNY. I just have to find it. Maybe some auto-erotic asphyxiation might help clear my mind. It always does. Yes, I deserve a break. I wonder if I have any more lemons?

Okay, much better. Time to bang out some serious comedy brilliance. Let's do this! How about a piece called, "Bumper Stickers That Might Have Been Found On Horse-Drawn Carriages In Napoleon-Era France". But I don't speak French. Okay, okay, wait, even better: "Translated Bumper Stickers That Might Have Been Found On Horse-Drawn Carriages In Napoleon-Era France". Yeah, that could work - and the title's EVEN LONGER. Now I just need to think of a few bumper stickers...

"This Buggy Breaks For Bonapartes"

"I Survived the Bastille: Don't Drop the Soap!"

"You Say You Wanna Revolution?"

"Paris Is For Lovers (Duh!)"

"W" (could be in reference to The Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon, but is also a funny reference to the ubiquitous Bush stickers seen today - ha!)

"France: These Colors Don't Run (Unless We're Invaded and Forced to Exile)"

Hmm, those are pretty good, right? They display a somewhat sophisticated historical accuracy put into a clever modern context and presented with the type of wit the average college-educated professional would likely enjoy. I wonder what Eggers would think? Are these as erudite as they could be? Should I choose an even more obscure historical reference? Will the juxtaposition with modern pop culture be pronounced enough?

Maybe I should just re-write "If Forgotten 80's Sitcoms Were Represented On the Periodic Table of the Elements" and send that in again.

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