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Friday, April 8, 2016

Dirk Destroyer - Editing for your protection

Hello – Walter Bego here, Senior Editor of Go Figure Reads – the company that so judiciously rejected Dirk Destroyer for publication.
As odd as it may sound, there was a time when the manuscript you’ve been reading was worse than it is now. Its improvement is largely due to Judy Oregano. She made several corrections, suggestions, and even cut out whole chapters (or non-chapters.) Three of those non-chapters are below. I include them here for the benefit of our more masochistic readership.
Dirk Destroyer’s Less Destructive Brother – the lost (thank goodness) non-chapters.
Chapter Non-Thirteen
Whine, Whine, and Something Else

Headley here again. I’m getting some criticism, and I thought I should address it. It seems that some people are upset about the irregularity of my chapters. Some chapters are numbered by word, like this one, and others are numbered by… well, numbers, I guess.
Numerals, you say?
Well did I ask you?
The reason for this is quite clear if you’re paying any kind of attention to what’s going on. The chapters uh, numeralized are the chapters that keep the story flowing. The other chapters are titled by word because that’s the way I want them.
It’s very frustrating to receive such criticism while I’m still writing my rough draft. Here’s an email I got.
Dear Headley Hauser:
You are an ass. You should burn in hell. Your chapters are driving me crazy. Chapter 12 was puny, and chapter 11 went on FOREVER! I wanted to find the school nurse’s station and fast-forward you to oblivion. Why are you doing this? Are you from the devil? I hope you and the devil have a wonderful time in eternity together.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Let me just say this. You’ve got quite a mouth on you for a mom. Do you kiss your kids after saying stuff like that? I don’t know where in the US Calcutta is, but I worry about the kids in your town if all the moms are like you.
I’d really like to say a great deal more here, because my publisher – Go Figure Reads ( is always on me about how short my stories are. Well if all the readers are like Mother Terri out there in Calcutta, I guess that means I’m just doing them a favor.

Chapter Non-Fourteen

There! Chapter 13 is short too. I even named the chapter Grand Prize Give-Away even thought there were no Prizes in the chapter, Grand or otherwise. I did it just to piss off that Theresa mutha’. Take that you Calcutta crack-pot!

Chapter Non-Sixteen
I Get Interrupted. You Get Interrupted
Headley again. I’m only interrupting because I keep getting interrupted. Another e-mail. You won’t believe what…
Well, I just let you read it.
Dear Headley Hauser:
It is my unpleasant duty to correct some misapprehensions on your part in your… literary efforts entitled, “Dirk Destroyer’s Less Destructive Brother.” Although the errors and incidents of poor taste are too numerous to catalog in a simple email, I must specifically address your mistakes regarding Mother Theresa of Calcutta.
First of all, Calcutta is not in the United States, but is the primary city of the Indian state of West Bengal. Secondly, Mother Theresa is so titled not because she had physical children, but because of her station at the head of an order of nuns who showed great mercy to the starving multitudes of Calcutta. The third matter is that I can state without reservation that Mother Theresa did not write the email in question for two incontrovertible reasons.
The first reason is that Mother Theresa was a saintly woman – so much so, that many here in the Vatican and around the world believe that she will achieve sainthood in the not-too-distant future. As such, she would never use the language, nor express the sentiments found in your chapter thirteen.
The second reason I feel certain that Mother Theresa did not write that email is that she died a number of years ago.
Sincerely yours:
His Holiness, Benedict XVI, Pope of the Universal Catholic Church (retired.)
P.S. You are a moron.
HHBXVIPotUCC (retired)
Look – I don’t know if the Mother Terri thing was a put-on or not, but I can see right through this Pope email.
First of all (see – I’m writing just like pope-guy here!) there is NoWay the church would ever vote for a pope named Benedict. I mean Benedict means bad guy, like Benedict… Well, that bad guy who did bad stuff, and in spite of what some of my Baptist friends may say, the Catholic Church would not intentionally elect a bad guy pope named Benedict. I don’t know anyone with a good word to say about the name Benedict – a name fit for only bad guys and runny eggs.
And what kind of last name is Xvi? How do you even pronounce that?
The next thing you’re going to tell me is that we’ve elected a guy named Hitler, Castro or Hussein to be President. Give me a break!

Clearly, the literary world owes a debt of thanks to Judy Oregano for cutting such puerile poopedy-poop from Dirk Destroyer. She’s here with us via the magic of modern technology.
Judy, was reading the rough version of Dirk Destroyer hard on you?

Oh, sweetie, It was easy as pie, with a glass of white wine. I prefer pecan pie and Chardonnay. But nothing fancy. It's wasted on me. But to be honest, there were some difficulties to be endured.  The most difficult being the hot flashes. Wine seems to trigger those in women of a certain age. But I don't give up when things get tough because that's the kind of person I am. I'm no quitter, no matter what Daddy said. I'd like to see him finish nursing school. Once I saw him nurse a squirrel that had fallen out of a tree and couldn't walk – he nursed it right straight to heaven with his shotgun. I reckon that was merciful, but it's not the kind of nursing they encourage nowadays. Oh, it's not the gore that was so awful, it's the suffering. I can't hardly go for a walk in the morning, what with having to pick up all the earthworms that got stranded on the sidewalk during the night. I know, birds' gotta eat, too. But I hate to see the little things struggling and drying up all pitiful like. Which reminds me, the story was fine, just fine. Only needed a few tweaks. As far as I can remember.
Did you do any special training to deal with bad writing?
Naw, just picked up a pie and some wine and ran the air conditioner on high.
Do you have any advice for youngsters starting out that think they might like to edit bad fiction?
Try nursing school first. Get an idea how much suffering you can handle.

Thank you, Judy. Next week we continue with the narrative of Dirk Destroyer that wasn’t quite bad enough to cut.

Headley keeps adding stupid comedy routines.  I keep telling him that what the people want is classic violence.