Friday, July 20, 2007

Eating words: a good idea?

So tonight I watched my first episode of Grey's Anatomy. I've seen commercials for years--didn't light my fire other than making me miss Northern Exposure. But tonight I was doing some furniture restoration in the kitchen and had paint on my hands so I couldn't change the channel when the Lifetime movie was over. So amid sanding and glorifying myself for my industriousness, I watched.

One of the storylines of the episode was a writer who after years of working on his novel, made a dramatic show of suffering for his art by eating the novel. Really, he ate the paper, because he had reached the point where the words had melded into drivelish (I own that word now) rubbish (It's Harry Potter week, I can use British terminology). So he eats it.

Have you ever tried to chew paper? I mean, since you were eight and really really bored. I actually have, it's doesn't taste very good at all and it's very hard to chew. It's also even harder to digest. So, rather than putting the novel behind him (no pun intended--I never pun) he ends up with a bowel blockage which requires surgery, which I think thrilled him even more. Not only could he own the fact he'd eaten his novel, but he'd have a kicken scar to show off. Can you just imagine this guy at a party "yup, I ate my novel, here's the scar to prove it. I know it looks like an appendectomy scar, but your appendix is actually on the right side and this is clearly on the left."

But it gets better. After the surgery, he starts talking in jibberish and not making any sense (I know a lot of writers, so this isn't so weird but it was a red flag to the doctors) but they come to realize that the paper had been made with mercury and hence he had mercury poisoning. As a side note, did you know the cliche "Mad as a Hatter" came to be because in the 19th century, hat makers (hatters) made the hat shiny by rubbing them with mercury--which when it builds up in your body makes you go insane. (I know without a doubt that Annette Lyon is going to check this, she knows everything--cross your fingers that I'm right so I don't feel like a git)

Anyway, there is a moral of this story, and that is that not matter how bad your book gets, don't eat it. Just, well, revise or something. Far less problematic--and you'll still be able to wear your bikini.


Janette Rallison said...

This is why I always make my books light and fluffy. Yum!

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

That's rather bizarre...that was the first episode I saw as well. =)

Annette Lyon said...

I'm such a nerd. I didn't even have to check on the Mad Hatter thing, because I already knew it.

So did the guy think of, oh, DELETING his book? Bizarre to spend the time to print it out and then eat it when there's that little button on his keyboard.

Julie Wright said...

HAHAHAAA! That's great! And it's great you used tghe word git. I love british language. Git, kneebiter, prat . . . They have words that are just fun to say.

I will never eat a novel, nor will I be a mad hatter, but I am one of those writers who talk to myself.

Unknown said...

Grey's Anatomy is one of my favorite shows, and yes, I saw that episode. I remember rolling my eyes up into my head when that character was on the screen.

I actually did delete all but six chapters of one book and four of another that I've been working on for the last year. Would've sucked to have eat the part I'd deleted, yuck!