Wednesday, September 1, 2010

From the Beginning . . .

So yesterday this random kid shows up on our lawn. None of us know him from Adam.

"Do we know you?" My fourteen-year-old finally said.

"I'm the dead boy."

Awkward pause. "Uh . . . okay . . . so what is a dead boy like you doing here?"

"Being bored."

True story.

So there you have it-- proof that life when you're dead is just as monotonous as life when you're alive.

He's not really dead, by the way. Apparently he got hit by a car last year and lived. His dad also got hit by a car and lived so I think it's genetic.

The dead boy says that when you get hit by a car you either get smarter or dumber. He says his dad got meaner.

Go figure!

Okay, so for your information, (or as they say in virtual reality, FYI) I've finally started reading Mockingjay, and for the record, (or as they say, FTR) if Peeta dies, so help me Gad, I will hunt Suzanne Collins down and personally poke her eyes out.

I'm only on page 8 and before Braden Bell spilled the beans in my comment box I made a prediction. Someone tell me if I'm psychic. I predict that Gale will spend the whole novel with Katniss so we can all get even more conflicted about the love triangle.

Am I right? Huh? Huh? Huh?

That's what I would do if I was a best selling author.

So raise your hand if you want me to become a best selling author. One who writes conflicting love triangle stories full of angst and laced with undertones of political satire.

But would you mind terribly if I swapped the political satire for religious satire?

Now raise your hand if you think Nicole Kidman should play my grandma in the made for tv movie of my first best selling novel.

Fer reals, how pretty was my grandma?

And don't you think Jimmy Stewart should play my grandpa?

Or is Jimmy deceased?

No matter. My grandpa is deceased too.

I need to start at the very beginning of the whole best selling story, don't I?

Ahem . . .

I was born of goodly parents. Goodly and badly, actually, but that's life. You take the goodly with the badly.

My parents were also born of goodly and badly parents. And their parents were born of goodly and badly parents.

And so on and so on and so on.

For me the badliest part of my parents was that my dad was a drug addict. But the goodliest part was that he was the kindest, lovingest, intelligentest, charmingest drug addict in Provo.

The badliest part of his parents was that his mom was a religious fanatic, straight as an arrow, that one, and always standing directly in the path of revelation, which perhaps can be blamed on the shame and pain she felt over the badliest part of her parents, which perhaps can be blamed on lub sweet lub.

Do you get me?

Or is it hard to follow?

It's time to be blunt then, or as Tim O'Brien would say, "It's time to heat up the truth. Make it burn."

Her mom (who is my great grandma) fell in lub in 1923, when she was just 19 years old. The up side of this lub was that he was 24 years old and handsome as helk. The down side was that he was already married.

In hind sight, and restrospectively speaking, the up side of adultery is that it sometimes springs new life. In other words, I wouldn't be here if it weren't for that adultery.

Is that selfish?

Are you cringing right now?

The down side of adultery is that in the early 1900's it was a crime and my great grandfather spent two years in the Utah State Prison paying for it.

Are you cringing now?

Me too.

I'm not supposed to know all this because it's a secret, but I watched a lot of Get Smart when I was a kid and I can super sleuth as well as the next dummy. I've seen the court documents with my own eyeballs, signed with his own hand.

The exact wording on the subpoena goes a little somethin' somethin' like this:

Willful, unlawful, felonious and carnal adultery.


Cause for pause, ain't it?

My grandma has pretty much wiped him from our family tree so I often refer to him as Voldemort, or he "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."

But I know things. About him. Like his name.

And other things.

When I went to visit my cute grandma two weeks ago we sat in her bedroom all afternoon talking story and I mustered up the courage to ask her if she ever gets curious about him now that she's older. In the back of my head I was thinking how it might lift her burden to know a few things about him.

Things that I know.

"Oh, no," she said. "I don't want to know anything about him."


To Be Continued:


Lara said...

I started Mockingjay last night. Honestly, I'm just not that into it. Maybe because I've seen not so great reviews and that makes me tentative.

But I'll bet you're right. I mean, so far you are. And I'm not much further than page 8. I'm like on page 15.

Braden said...

Again, you pack so much into these posts. Amazing. So, not to be naive but is there a non-carnal form of adultery?

This is a fascinating story, Crash. And you are so right about taking the goodly with the badly.

I hope you enjoy Mockingjay. I really do. I didn't dislike it, I just didn't think it had quite the oomph of the Hunger Games. It gives me serious pause about writing a sequel and then a triquel or whatever. Of course, I would first have to publish the first installment, so I guess I have time to think about it.

How about a Road Show trilogy where they get more violent with each book?

Oh yeah, be careful for the part where Peeta bakes Gale's heart into a cake and feeds it to Katniss. That part made me cry.

Braden said...

P.S. I already dibbsed Jimmy Stewart to play me in my life movie. He and I were brothers in the pre existence, I'm pretty sure.

Oh, and one other thing. I have to give Suzanne Collins credit. I didn't love the book, but I thought that she made Katniss's final choice of who to marry feel logical and natural. I mean, since Peeta had killed Gale it was obvious. And then when was Peeta was killed Haymitch was the only guy left after the nuclear attack so it was pretty logical.

Homer and Queen said...

That is way cool about your family tree! I knew we were kindred spirits! That is why I call my 1st born He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. You know the felon thing!

And Grandma was a beauty! Just like you. Now that I have forgiven you anyway. Yesterday...not so sure.


Homer and Queen said...

P.S. PLEASE write and book and name the mean girl after me.

Homer and Queen said...

Love the dead guy!!!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I know this sounds bad, but I always love a little dirty laundry hidden in the family tree. Doesn't it just make things more interesting? I think the best people in the world have some badly in their past or in their grampy's past, as in your case.

I had a great-great grandma who was an algonquin indian and lived and worked as a servant for a white family in Vermont. But, uh-oh, she got pregnant by the man of the house (don't know if was adultry or rape) and was thrown out of the house. But she found another man to marry and be happy with. No one knew she wasn't married to the father of her child until I did the research! Funny how the dirty little secrets get swept under the rug through the generations.

springrose said...

I think your Great Grandparents and my Grandparents would have been friends. Only mine didn't commit adultry. They "had to" elope. Neither were married before. Then since no one knew except my grams sister, my grandma went back to being a live in nanny and my grandpa went back to his home with his mom and his job as the service station. I actually think it is romantic, except the prison thing. NO wonder so many people hid that kind of thing. Now I can't wait for the next installment. It better be tomorrow. I get hooked on these kind of stories. Like Sues blog about a single girl dating a guy that was a jerk, I thougt she was really a single girl dating a jerk. I was so hooked on that blog. She really needs to make that into a book! Including comments.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

P.S. No wonder you are so pretty! You got some pretty good genes going on there!

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

I am raising my hand, but I haven't read the hunger games yet because I always wait a few years after popular books come out before I read them, because I like to be behind the times like that.

Just SO said...

I enjoyed Mockingjay but I'm enjoying Braden's comments here even more.

And I think I love you even more because you do take the goodly with the badly. And I know about goodly and me.

IWA (e - va) said...

OM OM please continue.. Awesome story, i was hanging on every word! and it was Hilarious....

Your family is full of D R A M A! <3 it!

IWA (e - va) said...

Ps.... your Gma is BEE-U-TEE-FULL!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Hahahahaha Braden, that was a brilliant screen. Wow! Now I'm second guessing your first comments about Peeta killing Katniss' mom and Katniss being President Snow's granddaughter. That's exactly what you wanted me to do, huh? You get a gold star for that diversion. HEElarious.

Springrose and Aly, ain't it just so cool how we all have skeletons on our family tree? Aly I can see the intriguing Indian streak running through your veins as well.

Queenie you are so darn cute. I will name my mean girl after you fer sure. LUB your guts. And I saw you talking smack about me on your blog. GET OVER the JJ thing already. You didn't even enter. Now send me some fabric and a story, NOW!

High Five Lara.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Iwa, hee hee You're a cutie patootie too.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

P.S. I wonder what my apostate brother, Stephen's gonna say. He always surprises me.

T said...

Braden, Shhh... next you're going to be spilling the beans about Hagrid dying too!


I'm all for you becoming a best selling author - but Nicole Kidman just isn't gonna cut it 'cause you're gran is much prettier. and Stewart would be perfect... is it typecasting since they're both deceased?

Melanie J said...

Wow. That is some kind of family.

I am Lorinda W- you can call me LoW said...

It's interesting how everyone handles things so differently.

I finished Mockingjay the other night. I hated that series that I couldn't stop reading.

Garden of Egan said...

Ok I can play your grandma. Seriously I won't mind.
Carnal adultry? I agree with Braden, there's not any other kind is there. Kinda amazing seeing that was 1923. I thought that was something that we invented in this era...soap operas and MTV.

Anywayz, I think they are beautiful peoples and I'm glad adultry happened, cuz you are serendipitous! (happy accident)

I lub you.

Haven't read Mockingjay. I didn't want to be as mad as helk.

My VW: parti
Ya, that's you!

Stephen said...

Brillant, funny, and creative! You have the skeleton for a good book. I am sooo glad you haven't lost your mojo. Please don't leave out the polygamy in one of our family trees. That will add a little intrigue and religious zealotry.

Stephen said...

You have a way of dragging shame out of the closet, dusting it off, and making it charming and respectable.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Stephen, I didn't even know about the polygamy. R U Serious? Do tell!

Okay, Garden, you can play my grandma. hee hee your definitely a cutie patootie.

LoW, did you hate Mockingjay? Just curious.

Haha T about Hagrid dying. Hagrid better not die or I'll have to use my Eagle powers on Suzanne Collins.

Melanie J. Are you being judgely? Hmm? hmm? hmmm?

Stephen said...

I haven't researched it, but about 5 years ago at the family reunion in Idaho, mom announced it to us. I am not sure on what side, but for book purposes, throw it right behind the adultry line. Give mom a quick call.

Barbaloot said...

I had to skip this entire post and all the comments as soon as you wrote Mockingjay. I still haven't read the third one yet!! Probly won't for a couple weeks and I'm crossing my fingers that they ending won't get ruined before then.

robin said...

Don't tell me you don't have a novel or two locked up somewhere already just waiting to spring on the world! I've been waiting for a book from you to be unleashed. Are you telling me there ISN'T one????? -sigh- I guess I will just have to keep wandering up and down the aisles of my pitifully small local library (and believe me it is small) waiting ... and waiting...

BUT WAIT!!!! Stephenie Meyer whipped out Twilight in like 3 months and we ALL know you can do better than that!!!! so we'll give you say.... a month and a week plus time for printing... so we'll be expecting your book in 2 MONTHS.


SWIRL said...

I like how you are sneakily trying to get the world addicted to FAmily HItory Crash-- lets find the dirt and the bad in our past and air out some laundry!

Yes- I think if we could get our hands on the REAL family history stories and the details ... how juciy our own past is...

I just wanted to plug-- BOOK CLUBS!! Get your boys READING... there are lots of good movies coming out this fall... that were inspired by BOOKS>..
wish the twins could be apart of our group.

Heidi said...

My grandpa used to be the town sheriff in a little place in Idaho but sometimes the prisoners stayed at their house for some reason. One man who stayed there during his murder trial got off on a technicality. He caught his wife in bed with another man and shot them--it was considered justifiable homicide. Ha! Your grandpa has dreamy eyes, btw. In fact, yours look just like that!

Kazzy said...

Wow! You look exactly like your grandpa! Two hotties!

Andrea said...

Mockinjay. Dude, what IS this book everyone and their grandma is talking about? If everyone wasn't talking about it...I would never have heard of it. And I actually have no desire to figure out what it's about or read it, odd.

Mariko said...

Hand raised. :)

Jake was telling me this story in his podcast where a woman who worked at a movie theater was used to all kinds of jokes when people bought their tickets, but one time a guy with his wife said, "One adult, and one adulteress."

People in those pictures always look fabulous. I wonder if in 50 years my pictures will look fabulous, because they look downright awful right now.