After several months of being pestered by every telemarketer and phone scam you could image, my dad did what anyone else would do: he started screwing with them. The result is a book of 50 of his best pranks.
I know, I know — I plugged it back in June, but it’s now finally here and I hope you buy a copy for yourself and/or for that friend or relative that bitches about how much they hate telemarketers bothering them.
And now he’s been bitten by the writing bug. He’s wrapped up another 50 prank stories (that we may put together into a sequel), and is working on completely different material for another project. It’s really awesome and I’m glad he’s inspired. A long, long time ago, in the early ’90s, my dad attempted to write a book, a National Lampoons-style look at office workers. I remember being too young to be allowed to read any of it, but my sister and I hovered around the kitchen table while he hunted and pecked over our clunky electric typewriter. We cheered him on every night until one night he just wasn’t writing anymore.
I shared that memory with my sister not long ago after my dad started working on Why Are You Calling Me? and we could remember the excitement of that brief period (“our dad is gonna be a rich author!”), but neither of us knew why he stopped writing. My dad is super funny, for sure, and I feel anyone can be a writer (writing is a muscle like any other — you have to use it or lose it, and the more you use it, the stronger you’ll be), so I asked him about that long lost manuscript when we started this project.
“It started to become a rant,” he explained. Some of the material was hilarious, poking fun at all the interoffice stereotypes, but in the end, he ended up ranting about his idiot coworkers and the humour dried up. No one wants to read some disgruntled office worker’s miserable rant about his crappy workplace. So the manuscript was banished to where I assume was the basement, and was probably chucked a few years later when my mom went into a house-organizing frenzy.
Too bad. I would have loved to have read it.
But sometimes these sentimental projects must be tossed so we can look forward. And that’s what my dad has done. He doesn’t dwell on the past. He’s written something new and fun. So please order a copy*.
*All proceeds go to the Murray Sparks Retirement Fund.