I Gotta Go Write One’a D’em Books
So, what’s the what with the Pencil?
This: Bloomington’s most renowned communications colossus will be on hiatus while its answer to Charles Foster Kane, Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch, and Chris Hughes — Me! — devotes himself…, sorry, myself to working full-time and without distraction on the memoir of one of our town’s most notable citizens.
I can’t reveal this person’s name just yet because we don’t have a publishing deal at the moment. We’ve been working together since August and the compilation of material has been demanding. It occurs to me that my time would be better spent transcribing tapes and sourcing information right now, rather than spouting off about how the world should be run according to my specifications.
See, I work three to four hours a day on the Pencil. Yeah, believe it or not. Some of you might suspect I farm out a lot of the Pencil’s writing to a roomful of chimpanzees sitting before typewriters but, no, I really do labor over these screeds, searching for the right word or euphemistic insult, and cutting and slashing until my heart bleeds.
For those who’ve never tried it, writing can be an exhausting endeavor. Especially when the writer — me, again — often approaches English as though it’s his second language. (We learned a whole different tongue where I grew up on the Northwest Side of Chicago. For instance, we called our our municipal leader Maredaylee or simply Da Mare back in the ’60s and ’70s. For us, the expletive d’fuck was as versatile and necessary to our speech as the word the is to civilized humans. And, of course, the phoneme –th– simply didn’t exist in our little world.)
Anyway, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to devote more daily time to this memoir project so I can push it further along. Alas, the only thing that makes any sense is for me to work on it during those hours I normally devote to the Pencil.
So there it is. I’m not quitting — hell, what would this holy land’s intellectuals, academics, statesmen, and heavy drinkers do without the Electron Pencil? Can you imagine how screwed up we’d become?
Okay, call me selfish, but this project has to be done. Give me a few months and I’ll be back on the stump setting the world straight. In the meantime, you’ll survive.