“And the running around naked was just a perk?”

I stop in Atlanta to do a publicity event for the league. It’s one of those cable stations that features swamp buggy racing and bartender of the year competitions. They say no publicity is bad publicity, but even I have to admit that we are dipping pretty low in the barrel when we are doing ‘freakiest sports’ cable shows. Naturally I had had my heart set on ESPN, or ESPN2 or if not that at least TSN. 

“Our next guest is one of the brains behind a new internet phenomenon that is sweeping the nation. Now this is an old sport, so I guess a lot of our audience might not be old enough to remember it before it disbanded. Everyone, please welcome Ramdas Bingaman, an athlete turned promoter for the Speedbathing Games. Ramdas Bingaman, everyone!”

“Thank you, Chuck. Thank you. It is good to be welcomed so warmly.”

“I just have one thing to say to you: Jim Winthrop.”

“I figured that would come up. Seriously, laugh if you will, but I am actually grateful to him. He lent his name to this project and brought us a lot more interest than we would have generated without him. We owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude.”

“And the running around naked was just a perk?”

“You know, Chuck, anyone who knows him will tell you what a selfless person he is, and what a great competitor. Remember when he beat the Seahawks back in the playoffs? A great guy”

“They, uh, they lost that game, I think.”

“No, he said they won it,” I say, wracking my brain for the last time the Bears won a playoff game.

“Is he sure?”

“He’d know.”

“Would he?”

“He was there,” I say. “And surely he wouldn’t just make something up we could so easily check. I’m sure the Bears have won some time in the last, I don’t know, however long it has been. Besides, the fact that he would do that to gain more exposure for speedbathing makes him a total winner in my book.”

“Oh, so you think he did that on purpose?” asks Chuck.

“Well, he was drunk as a skunk, so who can say. But I’m glad it worked out the way it did, and I wish him all the best. No one has any hard feelings. You watch a sport like speedbathing, and it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and think you can do it yourself. I am glad he gave it a try, and I hope he sticks with it.”

“Now there is an ongoing tournament, is there not?”

“Yes there is, Chuck. There are games happening on six continents right now, as we and our various subsidiaries travel the world, seeking the fastest and cleanest bathers. The best of the best are going to Uzbekistan, where we will converge for the playoffs and championship.” 

———

 REVIEWS

“Part action, part thriller, all comedy, The Librarian at the End of the World fires on all cylinders. Fans of Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace will revel in the ridiculousness that is Miller’s America.”

“A constantly surprising picaresque journey through cultural darkness”

“A most unique rollicking story that careens from the almost familiar instantly into a world of what is happening here?

“Not so much a novel as a perpetual- motion machine: part road-show, part parable, careening between surrealism and comedy”

“Laugh out loud rambling tale of the future/present”

“Prepare to be blown away”

“On the cutting edge of audacious literature”

“Takes madcap to a new level, blending Preston Sturges and Philip Dick”

“Outrageous and thought-provoking”

“Just blown away.”

“Fantastic and bizarre”

“Lovecraft turns Beatnik and drops acid”

“One of the absolutely most freakishly odd books I have ever read”

“It’s like E. L. James, Larry Flynt, and Hunter Thompson somehow merged their DNA”

“Even Carrie Fisher (yes, her vagina is in here) isn’t safe from this menace!”

“If you are looking for a completely unique book, this one is hot!”

“Funny and intelligent”

“Filled with hedonism, erotica and hilarity.”

“Only for strong and fearless readers.”

 “Wild, trippy, fun, and sometimes profound”

“I found myself engaged, disconnected and overwhelmed all at the same time”

 “No one would ever expect this”

“Imagine a world where Thin Man was co-written by Tim Leary and Douglas Adams and set in the Office staffed by assassins”

“Brilliant, raunchy, hilarious, heartfelt, and by the end, breathtaking”

 “Social satire at its best”

“In the end, this romp becomes something else. It becomes a work of art, moving and funny and memorable.”

Editor’s note:  Technically it is her vulva, not her vagina.

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