“Hey, for New Year’s Eve why don’t you feature your five least read stories of 2012?” I have some sadistic readers, or at least one sadistic reader. The sad thing is that I liked the idea, so here they are. What went wrong? Who knows. I just write them and send them on their merry way. It’s no wonder some of them end up being flat tires.
Anyway, here they are, James’s greatest literary follies of 2012. Or maybe they were just ahead of their time. Yeah, that’s probably it.
Who doesn’t love a story with John Waite, Billy Ocean, and an arcade attendant who wants to get into his customers’ pants? A lot of people don’t know this, but that is exactly the plot of the first draft of Wuthering Heights. I don’t know, maybe my version needed some heaving bosoms.
I really liked this one, or at least I think I did. It has all kinds of good stuff: a Cadillac, Husker Du, kids with too much money and too little sense. This is one of three on the list that I published in a four-week period. Either I hit a big slump during that month or I was competing with Honey Boo-Boo reruns or something. My money is on the slump.
And why are you reading a bunch of prom stories anyway? That’s creepy. But really, doesn’t everybody have a bad prom story? If you don’t then likely you were well-equipped for childhood but probably not quite so well-equipped for adult life. Unless your office has a mirror ball and lots of glitter, that is. (Note: This does not apply to strippers. Keep up the good work, ladies.)
Okay, this one I get. It’s a bunch of little vignettes that didn’t fit into their own stories. Even then, they’re pretty okay little vignettes, and this might be the only time you ever hear me say a nice thing about Phil Collins, so that’s worth your ticket price right there. I’m being told that you weasels pay no admission. I’ll have to contact my business manager, but until then let it be known that you’re all on notice. At the end of each day I’m counting the silverware to make sure none of you “accidentally” took home a spoon.
“Kill your darlings,” a piece of advice that’s stuck to writers’ shoes like an errant square of toilet paper. My least viewed story of 2012 also happened to be one of my favorites. Where else are you going to get King Crimson, Red Lobster, and homophobia in 1,000 words? But consumer demand was essentially non-existent. Will I kill my darling when the time comes for a longer form narrative? We’ll see.
So there they are – the Filthy Five. The Catastrophic Quintet. The Cinco de Stinko. And what was the most viewed story of 2012, you ask? Well, that would be the story of my magnificent daughter doing what she can to save the world. Not that I’m proud of her or anything.
Enjoy your new year’s festivities, and I’ll see you back here next Monday for a brand new true tale of liquor, lust, and primer gray Camaros.