(I really ought to draw this as a comic journal but it’d be, like, 23985634857 inches tall.)
So the day started out well, driving to work I’m listening to “On Writing” on CD, written and read by Stephen King. I’ve just gotten to disk 4, which is the beginning of the actual “advice on writing” part. Up until now it’s been snippets of his life’s history, key moments which shaped him as a writer.
But now he’s talking about all these technical things, how writers like John Grisham write phonetically, how they write as if their characters were speaking, how there will and ought to be imperfections. His next line is “John’s second novel, “The Firm,” sold something like nine gajillion copies.” He said that, “gajillion.” I lost it.
Later I’m telling Carli, a coworker, about this experience. I start to tell her that I’m listening to a book on CD written and read by Stephen— “Hawking?” she interrupts. We laugh. “That’d be pretty funny, a book read by Stephen Hawking,” she says.
I think about it for a beat, and then it hits me. I chuckled, then I start full-on laughing. Then I can’t stop laughing. I’m gasping for breath, tears coming out of my eyes. I try to let at least a few giggles get through so people know I’m not crying, dying, or having a fit. I retreat into my truck because I look like a fool I’m laughing so hard. After about 30 seconds, I can’t hide in there any longer, I have to come out to load my truck but I’m still laughing. “I’m going to hell!” I gasp, convulsing, “I’m laughing at a paralyzed man; I’m going to hell.”
After the laughter subsided some two minutes later, I felt pretty good for a damned soul.
Later, Cali and I talking again, and without preamble she says “you know, Kim,” our boss, “looks like Dobby the House Elf to me.” She wasn’t nearby, so we laughed as much as we wanted. The only danger now is not laughing at her when I see her next. Because Kim, all 5 feet and 90 pounds of her could probably kill me with her bare hands. Or run me over with her motorcycle.
At least if I’m going to hell, I’ll be sent there by Kim, which is a pretty awesome way to go.