Posted in 1 Point Perspective, Humor

Once Upon A Time…

No, this isn't one of the illustrations, but it gives you an idea.  The publishing
No, this isn’t one of the illustrations, but it gives you an idea. The “publishing professionals” thought putting hi-balls and cigarettes in the paws of beloved characters like the Easter Bunny was a bad idea. (Illustration by the author – again. I’m going to use this drawing till people get sick of it.  Are we there yet?).

I’ve had this children’s book kicking around in my head for years now (When you stop snickering, we can continue. I’ll wait). I’ve got the rough draft done, and a few sketches for the illustrations, but have yet to reach the point of submitting a draft to any publishers. I’m not sure that in these times of political correctness and hyper-sensitivity that writing a half decent book for the young ‘uns is even possible. To test my theory, I submitted a few plot lines to a publisher* to see what kind of feedback I’d get. Here’s how it went:

Dear Mr. One Point,

I’ve read the story-lines you’ve submitted. While I applaud your obviously fertile imagination, there are some macabre overtones in many of your stories which may make them unsuitable to a young audience. In addition, there are topics which may offend any number of groups and organizations, raising the chances of boycotts and/or possible legal action.

Hansel and Gretel – Maybe this sort of thing plays well with the Steven King-horror set, but you’re going to traumatize kids with this garbage. They’re abandoned by their parents and waste their only source of carbs leaving a trail? As if that isn’t bad enough – they get captured by a witch who lives in an edible house, but prefers to eat fattened, caged children? I’m assuming that free-range kids would be a healthier diet alternative, but that’s neither here nor there. Creative Recommendations: Lay off the peyote, ferchrissakes! The Teutonic names have got to go – give the kids edgier, but closer to mainstream American names, like maybe “Dustin and Michaela“. Drop the witch entirely, and have them get lost somewhere safe, like in a science museum. They can learn about photosynthesis and how magnets work on their journey back to the help desk and chaperones. End of story, no one is imprisoned, no threat of cannibalism.

Humpty Dumpty – Okay, first off, this one is going to upset The American Egg Council, self-righteous vegans and possibly The International Federation of Wall Builders. The idea of this character falling and breaking into a bunch of pieces is disturbing. I couldn’t help but imagine the gory image of yolk and albumin spilling out of him as he lay dying. If it was a hot enough day, he may well have fried on the sidewalk while the king’s horses and men tried to put him together again. Horses? They have hooves – if the ones I see pulling carriages full of tourists in the park are any indication, they’d be more likely to drop a number two on him. Creative Recommendations: If you’re hellbent on keeping this character as a broken egg, perhaps he should go on living in his post-fall state in some sort of wheelchair or with a prosthetic shell.  It can teach kids that just because someone’s had catastrophic injuries, it doesn’t mean they can’t live a full and happy life (at least until the expiration date on their carton). Then again, a “full and happy life” for an egg generally consists of either hatching or playing a critical role in a frittata.

Yeah, I drew this – it’s an illustration for 47 Shades of Pink. It’s erotic, in a pork-fat kind of way. Yes, you can read it by clicking the title link.  In the blog world we call that a “plug”, in the blog erotica world, we’re no strangers to “plugs”.

Little Red Riding Hood – This is damn near as creepy as the one about the two caged kids in the witches house. Seriously, man – you should consider writing graphic novels about post-apocalyptic adventures of zombie-hunting lesbians and not wasting my time. Creative Recommendations: Honestly, I don’t know where to start. You can’t send a kid into the woods alone and expect not to hear from DYFS – so drop that angle. Also, aren’t wolves an endangered species? You can’t kill a wolf, even a bad one – it’s violent. Besides, dog food commercials are constantly comparing wolves to the family pooch. Dressing Wolfie up like Grandma is a little too transvestite-ish for young readers. My vote is to just scrap this story entirely, it’ll never see the light of day.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Decent premise, though I don’t know what it is with you and unsupervised kids wandering around in the woods.. This could possibly be offensive to bears, blondes and the PMA (Porridge Marketing of America). It may also send a message that it’s permissible to “sleep around” not to mention condoning breaking and entering. The guys from legal also pointed out that destruction of property is to be discouraged. Creative Recommendations: Change her name to something less Aryan-race, and reconsider the whole “bear” thing. Maybe she could have the same adventure at a family reunion, eating the food, sitting in chairs and sleeping in the beds of her second cousins – though this might be a little too Arkansas. Send me a draft and I’ll let you know.

Little Miss Muffett – It’s obvious to anyone that you named her that because it rhymes with “tuffet”. WTF is a tuffet? I had to Goggle search it. I think my MeeMaw had one of those – it had scratchy plaid upholstery and like everything else in her house, smelled like cats made of mothballs. Pappy called it a “hassock”, though that could been the Old Mr. Boston talking. Curds and whey? This is insulting to people with taste buds and dairy allergies. Creative Recommendations: Change the name, drop the tuffet reference. Whatever her new name is, it should be “Ms.” not “Miss”. Spiders have an important role in the eco-system. She can be scared by one, but maybe she can come back and discover the beauty and vital function spiders play in our world. For Pete’s sake, give her something more nutritious to eat, maybe some kale chips or a Tupperware container full of fair-trade, organic apple slices.

To be candid, the only reason I gave this drivel any time at all is because I owed your brother a favor. We’re even now. It’ll take a weekend’s use of his beach house before I subject myself to anymore of your disturbing children’s book ideas.

Respectfully,

(Name Withheld by Request)

* Yes of course it’s an imaginary publisher! If you thought I actually knew a publisher, you’ve been nipping at Pappy’s nerve tonic again.

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Author:

I used to write a fair amount here on my blog, but then I got lazier and now I only manage to write over at The Nudge Wink Report once every month or so.  I only write there because of assigned deadlines and my unflagging allegiance to a woman I've never met but love anyway, the lovely Blogdramedy herself.  My current profile there is a 30,000 word run-on-sentence and ends up keeping people from scrolling all the way to the comments section.  As any blogger will tell you, posting without getting comments is like kissing your first cousin - and not in a hot, West Virginia sort of way.  I'm hoping this little blurb can take the place of the other profile and allow people to actually reach the comments section.

22 thoughts on “Once Upon A Time…

  1. Reblogged this on 1pointperspective and commented:

    It’s my turn yet again over at The Nudge Wink Report. I was originally going to write something brilliant, but decided it was too much work and settled instead for mediocrity (again). For you non-blogging types, it’s still me, I’m just writing somewhere else. It’s okay to read it – you don’t have to feel like you’re betraying me.

    Like

  2. Here’s an idea for a children’s book I’d like to see realized: “Why Can’t Mr. Fork and Ms. Electrical Outlet Be Friends?”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Your reviewer raises an interesting point. So many fairy tales may actually be morality plays about the perils of free-range parenting.
    Also, I respectfully disagree with the ‘mediocrity’ thing. One of your best pieces.

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  4. Reblogged this on upside of sideways and commented:

    This week on The Nudge Wink Report, Dave delves deep into the world of unpublished authors. It’s a scary place. You may want to invest in a deep-sea diving suit before reading. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, just grab your snorkel and head over to NWR now!

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  5. I disagree with your would-be-publisher on the Hansel and Gretel story. You need to KEEP the witch, but show how she is just a misunderstood nature-lover. Explain that she is a much better role model for Dustin & Michaela than the narrow-minded lemmings who cling to conventional religions and the outdated concept of some guy named “God.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Grand Slam! I haven’t figured out that wannabe, but I’m not giving it much energy either. I learned yesterday that he is getting in good with Jerry Jones. I’m hoping thet fall in love, buy an island AND take that team of drug and thugs off with them. Bingo! Suddenly Dallas is once again glitz and glamour

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