Day 315: The Memoir of Jasper Foie-Gras.

To: j_barnes@randomhouse.com
From: Jasper@crosscountry.net
Subject: This is all I have so far. I suck.

James, I have no clue what I’m doing here. This is probably awful.

Prologue (might be the wrong name)

I had an auspicious start. My parents’ dog died the same day I was born. He wasn’t old, just neglected. There were 12 of them in “The Tribe” and according to my mother, everyone thought someone else was feeding Mr. Bonjangles. Florencio remembers the dog’s hunger barks getting weaker and weaker until they were finally drowned out by the laboring wails of my Mother. They used the canine carcass as my bed until it began to decompose. I’ve been snuggling with death from the very start.

My father pulled me out of my mother’s vagina with tongs, which only moments before had been used to flip a chicken that was roasting on the roof of their Van. The tribe didn’t believe in doctors; only in the themselves, Jack Kerouac, Jean-Paul Sartre and other pathetic posers. Think of them as a really lame cult, or a decent commune. Their philosophy was a transparent excuse to do as little as possible on as many mushrooms as possible. When I was jettisoned from my mother’s womb and into the prison of life, my father said he felt guilty. I think that was a valid emotion; life isn’t for everyone.

If you choose to continue, might I suggest that you adjust to this attitude, as it pervades the rest of the book. There’s nothing uplifting in the end and no lessons to be learned. I’m a 52 year-old unmarried childless asshole who rents a basement room in a studio that produces pornographic films. I fall asleep most nights to the sound of fake orgasms.

So there’s that, I suppose.

Introduction

I’m Jasper Foie-Gras. I have no clue what my real last name is, my parents forgot it a long time ago. So, for now I’m using the favorite food of the only hooker who ever loved me. Some other last names I’ve had in the past are Carnivore, Pulp, Metastasized, and French-Press. It’s hard when you can choose anything. Maybe I’ll go with something like Rogers next time. I’m getting bored of being so annoyingly creative.

My editor says: “Jasper, in the introduction to your manuscript, you should tell your readers why you feel uniquely qualified to write a memoir.” Every time he says manuscript, I make a loud barfing noise. So far he’s been undeterred. The Magna Carta is a manuscript, right? This is a fucking book, and it already sucks.

Why should I write a memoir? Well, if you’re an annoyingly energetic young person who wants to have a successful happy life, just do the opposite of everything you read here. That’s why the publisher is paying me to write this.  I told him, “It’s a How Not to Book for Life.” He thought it would be a hilarious work of satire. Joke’s on you Random House, I’m a terrible person. You would be too if you spent the first 2 weeks of your life sleeping on a dead dog while your parents drank mushroom tea and learned the sitar. I’m “uniquely qualified to write this memoir” because I’m the world’s best cautionary tale.

Fair warning: This introduction is over, and I’m seriously considering starting Chapter 1 with “It all started when …” So, if you can handle vomiting in your mouth a little bit, please read on.

*********************

So, should I keep writing this, or just give you your money back?

Jasper.

From: j_barnes@randomhouse.com
To: Jasper@crosscountry.net
Subject: Re: This is all I have so far. I suck.

Jasper,

Good start! Very meta! It’s like a satire of satire!.

I have a few small notes.

  1. Can you describe the dog more? I know you don’t remember, but you can fudge this a little. Was it a “mangey mutt?” that sort of thing. Also, I think 2 weeks of sleeping on it might be a little unrealistic, no?
  2. Don’t call yourself an asshole, the reader will glean that naturally through your stories.
  3. Love the part about manuscript… manuscript manuscript manuscript. HA!
  4. Other than that, I think you can just flesh everything out more…DRAW it out, give it more description and more life! You’re a fun guy Jasper Metasticized, let your readers see that if only a little here and there.

I’ll be on vacation for the next 3 weeks and unreachable. Have fun with the manuscript!

Warmest Regards,

James

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Traci says:

I SO want Jasper and James to be real. And I SO want you to keep writing this. Until it's a whole…gasp!….manuscript and someone as cool as James publishes it. Please?

Angela C says:

Love it! And I would totally read it as book.

Jenn says:

He reminds me of Kilgore Trout.

Rebecca says:

I think you nailed it. Kurt Vonnegut is one of my most favorite writers, and this DOES read like he wrote it. Must be why I enjoyed it so much.

Jason Good says:

Not familiar with that specific work, but thanks for the monstrous compliment

Rebecca says:

Kilgore Trout is a character in Slaughterhouse 5, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, and Breakfast of Champions, among others of Vonnegut's work.

Jason Good says:

And know I've been outed for not reading Vonnegut. Ha

Rebecca says:

don't feel bad. Lots of people haven't read Vonnegut. He's is very funny though, if you like cynical and dry.

Sabrina says:

ahh…this explains it. I read breakfast of champions. Vonnegut is an amazing writer but it wasn't my cup of tea…or vodka :-) I do enjoy your blog, however. It's my nightly reading. And i relate with 2 small boys of my own

Laura says:

I would so read a book if it started like this.

Sabrina says:

I'm intrigued, but I don't think I could read 100 + pages of grumpy old man. I would like the expectation of the story of an unreal life with funny moments that actually make him likable…from the perspective of this guy.

dad says:

Heh, heh…..go on, go on..

Jody says:

So to Jasper that means he doesn't have to do anything for 3 weeks.

Jody says:

I hope he does tho :)

Angela says:

More please.

Rebecca says:

I would read more…