Monday, July 30

Excerpt from Scott Spencer's MEN IN BLACK

After years of trying to make a go as a serious novelist, the narrator, Sam, has agreed to write a quicky book about UFOs under a pseudonym. This book, though, has become wildly popular, earning what Sam--after years of scraping by--calls a "fortune." (His brother Allen sets him straight: "It's not a fortune. I don't make a fortune, and I'm an oral surgeon. What you're making is called a LIVING.") In this section, Sam has to go on yet another book tour to promote his UFO book:

Inside the store, there was a large crowd, mostly of the sort of people I was coming to expect-not for me the girls in their summer dresses, the sultry women in their black leotards, the grad students with pulsating eyes, the latter-day bohos in berets. No, my readers had casts on their feet, Ace bandages on their ankles, patches on their eyes; they received radio signals through the fillings in their teeth; they needed to lose weight, gargle; they had lost their meager inheritances in pyramid schemes; they wouldn't mind selling you mail-order shoes or Amway kitchen cleansers; they rattled around the country on secondary roads where the gas and food were cheaper; they tested their cellars for radon; they called the Culligan Man; they watched the Christian Broadcasting System; they looked for stores that still sold eight-track tapes; they lived near electric-powerline towers the size of the Washington Monument; they had guns.