it’s grey outside today, too!
(and now i’ll go put on a gray stüssy cap!)
03/11/2002: “sunday, cruddy sunday”
it’s a grey day here in austin, texas, and i’m at work. yee-haw. it’s raining. there’s a bit of a north wind. the feed store thermometer on kramer’s porch says it’s 51 degrees, and it’s 3:30 in the afternoon. ick. i’m even wearing grey…grey star tickets staff shirt, grey oakley shoes, grey stüssy hat, hell, even grey ecko boxers (do i sound like the label whore or what?) wearing BLUE jeans, since grey jeans remind me of that shopping for bugle boys at chess king in the pre-girbaud/z. cavaricci level of my wardrobe development (did i lose any of you with THAT reference?)
it’s the type of day where you wish you were somewhere else. with someone else by your side…know the feeling? where the only thing you’d keep in the equation is YOU, but you change the background, the supporting cast, add a leading lady of your choice (or guy, as the case may be…i’m actually sitting here alone, so that’s not really a substitution; just an addition…no auditions necessary, already have someone in mind…head shots available on request) but you get what i’m saying, right? this is the kind of grey, depressing day that breeds…well…..depression.
and where to people go to fix depression? self-help books. as george carlin points out, the whole term is bogus from the start. you’re not helping yourself. the AUTHOR is helping you. sure, you DID go to barnes & noble (wasn’t the caramel mocha there divine?), and you DID plunk down your $24.95; hell you even got your frequent buyer card stamped (just two more and you get 50% off a purchase!!!) so you took a step or two, but who are you REALLY having shoulder the burden? better question…how many of those stamps are for self-help books? actually feeling any better?
all self-help books are based on four guiding principles. four simple lines sum them ALL up. consider this the “self-help book guide for dummies”, which alone steps on a copyright or two, doesn’t it? enough of all that…
here’s the steps (you WON’T need to take notes, i promise):
1. Your Problem Is NOT Your Fault…blame your childhood; your boss; your addiction to NyQuil (which we can fix with yet ANOTHER self-help book), but the bottom line is DON’T blame yourself. that line of reasoning would encourage you to get therapy, which would mean your money would go to a local psychologist INSTEAD of me…that’s bad. so it’s NOT your fault. trust me on this.
2. Your Problem Is Easily Fixable…well, maybe not TOO easily. i might make it seem a little more difficult if i feel a “part two” coming on; that doubles my money. ask my friend kimberly in vegas…double money is a GOOD thing. she knows how to do some other good things, too, from some of the pics i’ve seen; but i wouldn’t know anything about that personally…she’ll be in porn eventually, then we’ll ALL know…moving right along…so together, you and i can fix you…but it may take a while, depending on my boat payments and if that paternity suite goes through.
3. Just Do What I Say And Everything Will Be Okay…this is where we lay out the game plan. be it baby steps, checking the phase of the moon (sorry for that one, kramer), or whatever. but the bottom line is, if you follow MY instructions, you’ll be fine. don’t taint it with advice from others. your friends. your family. your lovers. if they were worth a damn, you wouldn’t need me. fuck them. (remember, i’m writing this in character, people…same goes for the aforementioned paternity suite and boat reference; if i need a boat, i’ll just borrow kramer’s…but the kimberly stuff was true as far as i know)
4. That’ll be $24.95…or more, depending on how long i’ve been doing this, whether or not it’s a “book-on-tape” (been told i have the voice for that), etc. but this, in my eyes, this is THE most important part.
and there ya have it…an entire SECTION of pure, unadulterated horse shit (for the most part, at least…i mean working the numbers, i suppose one or two might be for real; but i’m still pretty skeptical) taking up valuable space in ANY bookstore, summed up in four lines. and i want my cut. i want a piece of the pie. i can picture wiping the crust bits from my goatee as i type this, and hearing my bank account rise as i do. i’m gonna write a book to help all those unfortunate addicts out there. the ones i damn well KNOW will be in that isle, seeking solace. a light at the end of the tunnel. a kind voice on an emotionally cold winter’s night. and here’s my working title.
“YOU can do it…a guide to beating your true addiction…SELF-HELP BOOKS”
think about it – a book that’ll teach you how to give up self-help books. bet it sells. well. ONLY in america could you do this. and if i need more money, i’ll write a second…
“okay, this time you REALLY can do it….a guide to giving up self-help books once and for all”
then, with a little money in my pocket, a few lectures under my belt, a condo on the coast, and a lexus convertible to pay for for that special someone in my life, i’ll write the next one…
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!? i TOLD you to stop buying these books”
by this time you could be spending your money on my lecture tapes. or kimberly’s porn. or something. or just sending me the damn cash. then my one last attempt to close that series of books…
“okay, FUCK IT!!! pay me!!!!”
and if all else fails, start a second series starting with the introductory volume,
“i was JUST kidding…you need me…and my bank account needs you”
hey…at least i’m honest, right?