My Wonderful, Hideous, Golden Opportunity

No one suspected that cuddly, lovable Spice was also…


After looking around online and in bookstores, I think I have found the perfect literary genre for a lazy, undisciplined writer like myself.  It’s a new style called “mashups”.  You take something already in public domain such as old, classic novels, or the life of a famous person in history.  Then you paste an entirely unrelated current fad onto your found objet d’art.  Both the original source and your add-on already have built-in audiences.   When combined, the market multiplies.  Your work sells as if it was the newest iPhone.  They make movies out of your mashups.  You retire to Fiji, and commute between there and your second home in Monaco via your personal jet.

You think this can’t possibly be true?  In 2009, Seth Grahame-Smith (real name Seth J. Greenberg) co-rewrote (with Jane Austen) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  It went to #3 on the New York Times bestseller list.  Natalie Portman is one of the producers of the film, still in preparation.  It’s been adapted into a graphic novel, a video game, and has spawned BOTH a prequel and a sequel.  It has been translated into more than 20 languages!  And the completed film of his second mashup, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, will hit theaters this summer.  Seth wrote the screenplay.  He now has a sitcom on MTV and several TV and film projects in development.  At this rate he will be a 1%-er well before he turns 40.

The mashups have given rise to new publishing companies, and a spate of new titles including Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Little Women and Werewolves, and Android Karenina.  I’ve got to get on board before this train leaves Brand Central Station!  Don’t worry.  I have plenty of ideas.  How about:

Uncle Tom’s Coffin – by Harriet Beecher Stowe (and me).  Simon Legree thought his problem was over when he had that uppity old man whipped to death.  He didn’t reckon on Lil’ Evil knowing that “raise ‘em up” spell.

The NecroComic-Con – by H.P. Lovecraft (and me).  They were the cleverest of humans, but none of the nerds and trekkies knew that the underbelly of the Convention Center hid a portal into unspeakable, unnamable, ageless horror!

Bane Hur – by General Lew Wallace (and me).   Masala had said cryptically that his mother and sister were not dead, but “leopards”?  As Judah watched the full moon rise, he saw strange spots appearing on the sinews of his sun-bronzed arms.

Jack Kennedy the Ripper – by me!  He had an appetite for women.  By day, it was connubial.  By night, cannibal.

Zombadeus – by me (I’ll have to pay Peter Shaffer out of the royalties).  It wasn’t just his music that lived on.  Mozart clawed his way up through the mud of the pauper’s grave.   As the ragged arms reached forward, his voice hissed, “ssSalieri!!!”

Lady Chatterly’s Liver – by D.H. Lawrence, Arch Oboler (and me).  The Lady had only intended to benefit science with her organ donation.  New cloned cells could save others from disease.  But the liver grew, and grew, and never stopped growing.  Bile covers the beaches.  Bombs fall harmlessly into the ever-spreading tissue.  Can nothing stop it?  Is this how the world ends?

The Island of Dr. Thoreau – by H.G. Wells, Henry David Thoreau (and me).  Strange beings lurked at the bottom of Walden Pond.  When the campers arrived, they thought nothing of the trail of bubbles on the water’s surface.  As they slept, the things slithered out to recite The Law.  They were once humans.  They had wanted to be closer to nature.  Thoreau’s skill with the scalpel had made them more a part of nature than they ever wanted to be.

I would go on, but the clinic’s calling and I have to go back to work.  If you start seeing titles on the bestseller lists by Michael Higgins-Pickering, remember you saw it here first!


Filed under humor, Literature

29 responses to “My Wonderful, Hideous, Golden Opportunity

  1. You are too funny. I look forward to all of the coming masterpieces. I do not particularly care for the vampire/zombie genre, but apparently, there is a big market for it.

    I continue to be amazed at the artists, which I thought of as quality, who are involved in this crap. (Natalie Portman?) Although, I am sure anything Spice is in is going to be of the highest quality.

    When you are filthy rich with a private jet retired in Fiji, do not forget who your earliest supporters were. OK?!?

    • “Dawn of the Deb” – by D.L. Hampton (and me). He could not see through his tears. How could she have survived THAT? Her gait was slow and weaving. Tiny bits of flesh fell off her palms as she reached to caress his scalp. In a soft, musical voice she whispered, “brains!”

      (Happy Valentines Day xo)

  2. Today’s SPAM of the DAY award came from (of some strip mall in Scottsdale, AZ). They were offering to sell me “affordable web design” with these words:

    “I wanted to check up and let you know how great I cherished discovering your website today. I might consider it the honor to work at my business office and be able to make real use of the tips provided on your web page and also take part in visitors’ responses like this. Should a position regarding guest article author become on offer at your end, make sure you let me know.”

    It appears that Thom Mandarich is an ex-NFL player, just the sort of person I think of immediately when I want to improve the clarity of my writing. Good luck, Thom. You’ll need it.

  3. Hilarious. Well done. I would add some of my own but I smell a bestseller or two.

    • This is your bridge from the Fringe Festival to the Sundance Festival, my man! “Tender is the Night of the Living Dead” – by F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Romero, and Paul Enormous-Johnson. I can’t think of anyone more qualified to write it than you are. Perhaps I’ll be available to direct the film…

  4. Good grief! 😆 Very well done, I agree, but oh, no, I can’t see you doing this, really, I can’t!

    Doesn’t it just mean we’ve run out of ideas? Too much TV and computers, no-one thinks of anything new any more!

  5. I was already laughing at The Hellhound. I laughed all the way through. You really are a genius. I already knew that, of course, but this just confirms it. Oh my gosh, you are so funny. We always hear what the world needs more of. I think the world needs more of you. What a better place it would be!

  6. Lady Chatterley’s Liver isn’t near as sexy as all those book banners would like you to believe.

    • Those covers do promote unattainable fulfillment, don’t they. And this genre gives new meaning to “bodice-ripper”. As for the liver, it’s warm and moist. What man would ask for more? (I didn’t excerpt the part where the gardener’s “virility” causes the chemical change in her – spoilers!)

  7. Life is always better with Zombies. You sir have inspired me today. Great post. I laughed my head off.

  8. Haha good post. I remember when I saw the title for Pride Prejudice and Zombies. I knew I instantly had to have it..unfortunately I began reading it and hated it. Hilarious post.

    • I agree with you about the lack of readability in these books. There’s nowhere much for the joke to go when the punchline is in the title. Perhaps the genre is better suited to making enjoyably bad movie adaptations. The Abraham Lincoln film (in 3D!) looks juicy-awful, if the trailer is any indication.

  9. Pie

    The wonderful picture of Spice is the antidote to that ghastly trailer I just watched. If you were able to see my face, you would’ve seen a jaw slack on the floor in incredulity between bouts of laughter. Every time I think there cannot possibly be anything more ridiculous to laugh at, you present it right here. Thanks for… err… enlightening me. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter indeed (walks away muttering something about being a Brit, but worrying about the future of America…).

  10. Very funny! My favourite is Lady C’s Liver.

    And when you said the clinic was calling…

    • They really were calling. Monday’s a bad time to write. There’s too much demand for my radiographic abilities. But I get recharged on Sundays from singing, so I tend to write more even if I can’t finish. Thanks, Deborah.

  11. There are no words to express how much I love this. if Jack Kennedy The Ripper is made into a movie (which it will be, because I mean seriously!) I want in.

  12. Bigfoot and Henderson the Rain King

  13. Pingback: Abraham Lincoln For The Twilight Generation « Pie and Biscuits

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s