Friday, August 18, 2006

Now That's Noveltainment!

Not long ago, I proposed that a new form of literature was taking shape: Noveltainment. Based on varied sources as video games, consumer products, and TV shows, Noveltainment is the novelization of just about any piece of crap Americans consume. It's next logical step in our race-to-the-bottom pop culture.

It's "Entertainment Tonight" about books.

Thinking I had truly stumbled on to something, I asked for reader-submitted noveltainments. I got a few. Three, to be exact.

However, they were all quite humorous, and I'm glad to present them here.

Leading off, Brian F. comes up with this hum-dinger of a Noveltainment entry about our good friends over at Verizon:

You slip your hand into your pocket again and are met with the familiar cool plastic-as-metal casing against your sweaty palm. It's reassuring. Even now, after all this walking, all these miles logged, it's still good to know that cell phone will always be there. No matter how long the journey takes--and this is a journey that could last a lifetime--there will always be that connection. But you shudder as your gait takes you around the corner and between two skyscrapers. You look up at the behemoths, knowing their massive, signal blocking edifaces might very well spell curtains for your confidence. In a flash, you pull the cell from its resting place, throw open the flip top with your thumb and stab the speed dial. One ring. Two rings. Static. A third ring that echoes the thunder in your heart. When the answer finally comes, you barely let them speak as you shout, "Can you hear me now?"

Here is an awesome meta-blog entry from our friend Fringes. Of course, I'm partial to this one.

The place was a hybrid portal with Malcovichian connections--part-museum, part-cyberchase--and Fringes wandered in by accident, drawn in by air conditioning and the wood laminate flooring. Her feet hurt, the pavement of the crowded sidewalk burning her bare soles and pink painted toes. Fucking five dollar flip-flops. Fucking sidewalk vendor promising good fit good fit. Liar.

I love you, too

Tossing the flips into the nearest recycle bin, she began to look around. Ads zipped overhead. Hidden directions were everywhere, they whispered in her ear. Underlines. Bold type. Some screamed at her as she searched for the bathroom. She needed to pee. Look here! Home Depot! Target Home Furnishings! Vagisil!

Forgetting her bladder for a moment, Fringes clicked an underline hovering near her left shoulder. News story! Breaking! Nine children die in meth lab fire!

Back to where she started. Quickly. As fast as her connection allowed anyway.

Another curious click, more judicious this time. Warmer here. Not global warming. Stories. Not news stories. Life stories. Life on digital paper. She'd found Bookfraud.

Bookfraud on blogspot tastes like candy in March 2006. Fringes was born in March. For everyone else, March is the beginning of spring.

Give it up

The man who ruined my marriage

Bullets in the head

She read each entry as she sat in a leather wing-backed chair in the Bookfraud section. She could smell pecan pie baking. Somebody's grandma was surfing nearby.

Rogues Gallery

Steroid Madness Special Guest Blog!

The Rules

An afternoon spent in archives and current pages, Fringes bought ice cream on the concourse level to cool the occasional flashes of jealousy. Finally finding the bathroom, she sat on the toilet and thought.

Damn Wife. Bring home Uma and, like,Wife fall in love with Uma, and Wife and Uma run off together, leaving Bookfraud to cry in my open waiting embrace. Damn Wife. Probably a better writer than me. So I can't be mad. Just get better and find my own Bookfraud. One who shows me what he looks like and wears mad black-rimmed reading glasses and who writes like Pynchon. Ten times better than Pynchon. And who thinks I'm Uma.

In November 2005, she lost track of time. Late for an appointment, she reluctantly left the leather winged-back. Outside, the pavement was cooled from the lowered evening temperature. Fringes stopped to check briefly the fucking sidewalk vendor refund policy, found there is no fucking thing as a fucking sidewalk vendor refund policy, and defiantly boarded her bus in her bare feet. She'd left behind in his space a footprint or two, but she didn't think Bookfraud would notice. Staring out the window, she imagined Bookfraud in his smartie-guy glasses, laughing, as Wife and Uma serve him cocktails with sex, pie and yesterday's mail.

Bravo, Fringes!

Next, our man Quinn, Mr. PFNM, took up the Noveltainment challenge, going completely native on us, novelizing his favorite book:

Brilliant writer Dan Brown knew he had a bestseller on his hands the minute he wrote the opening sentence "Renowned curator Jacques Saunière staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum's Grand Gallery." The problem was only that he might not be able to get it written fast enough.

Fig. 1: "Writer"

Thus inspired, and since I didn't get enough entries to fill an entire blog, I offer you the following Noveltainment out of a romance novel, or maybe a porn flick. Or a horror movie. It really isn't more than some garbage that spilled out of Microsoft Word. A bunch of chimps might have written it.

Anita Lampert was watching her fifth soap opera of the day when she heard a knock on the door. Her husband was out of town, and she hadn't been out of their house in suburban Akron or bathed for two days. Her negligee was filthy, and she had fallen off the wagon months ago and tipped the scales at 264 pounds. Not good for a 55-year-old with heart problems.

Fighting the urge to kill herself, Anita opened the door. In the doorway stood a tall, handsome man in his early 20s wearing a sleeveless flannel shirt and tool belt, handlebar moustache, and sunglasses. His arms rippled with muscle, and his face looked like it had been chiseled from stone. Anita felt herself go limp.

"I'm the plumber," the man said. "I'm here to lay some pipe."

I also had a couple of additional paragraphs too racy for publication. She accidently suffocates the plumber in the act of love, then freaks out, drags him to the garage and chops him up with a hacksaw. Serves him for dinner. Fantasy gone wrong, that kind of thing.

Incredibly stupid, don't you think?

That's Noveltainment!