I’ve written eight novels, and I’m not sure I can get through another. Maybe I have writer's block. The thing is I feel the urge to fix America. That’s silly of course. I’m just one old lady living with her cats. I can’t fix anything, but I can create a hero and task him to the project.
That’s the great thing about writing. You can create these odd, beautiful, ridiculous, brave and memorable characters and assign them to a job that you would never have the courage to take on yourself. You can put them in horrible situations and let them squirm helplessly. Your characters can be kind and generous or evil and dangerous and deranged. And you can make them say things that are, well, shameful and maybe gross.
Greg Spencer is 30 years old, tall, muscular, handsome and brilliant and oh yes, very rich. He has black hair and blue eyes; in fact, he has everything going for him. But Greg is obsessed. He wants to fix America. He’s very concerned with the culture of today. It started at the beach when he was a lifeguard and could not possibly avoid the sight of the huge, bare rear ends of the women in thong bathing suits. He hated that vision.
( I know what you are thinking right now readers. Those bare butts do not repulse guys. It’s you old lady author sitting at home with your cats who objects to big bare buttocksi.) I couldn’t find a word in the dictionary for lots of buttocks, so I made up my own, buttocksi, like cacti, sort of.
OK, it is true, it’s moi that disapproves of big bare butts, but I can make my hero as odd as I choose and trust me, he despises them.
I’m going to need some readers to critique the first chapter of my 9th book. Can Greg Spencer fix America without acting like a lunatic?
It was the memory of women’s bulging bare bottoms that eventually catapulted Greg Spencer into his incredible career.
He was only six years old when he delivered his first speech before an audience of twenty-five, which was the count in his classroom. He gave a talk about his dog Mushroom by explaining the importance of proper pet care and making sure your dog always has a fresh bowl of water. “Dogs can’t tell you when they get thirsty,” he told the class.
His speech was informative and funny, and the positive reaction from his classmates lit a fuse and emboldened him. He realized the incredible power of words and eventually began speaking out against the intolerable vulgarity that he considered stains on his blessed country. Fixing America became his raison d'être and his life’s work.
In 2019 Greg celebrated his 30th birthday alone in his stylish beach apartment. He was also celebrating the last day of his employment as an executive in a large furniture manufacturing company. A job he hated. His now deceased parents had made his early retirement a possibility by leaving him several million dollars, which became accessible on that very day.
It was during his summer job as a lifeguard that the seeds for his meticulously planned future began sprouting. As a high school senior he worked a stand at Huntington Beach, California. Surrounding the lifeguard station, most days there was always a large circle of colorful beach towels upon which sat a bevy of girls in tiny string bathing suits.
Now Greg liked pretty girls, but these teenagers on the beach with almost all of their bodies exposed just did not seem appropriate. The very thought of his sweet girlfriend lying partially naked in that manner was upsetting to him. Seeing them below the lifeguard station exposing themselves so flagrantly was irritating and ruining his otherwise great summer job. “Their entire bottoms are bulging out,” he muttered to his lifeguard partner. “Who in the hell wants their fat ass hanging out for the world to see?”
“I don’t mind,” his buddy Paul, offered.
“They don’t even wear tops anymore, just those little round stick on thingies. A woman’s bosoms should be a protected, a feminine mystique sort of thing. You know modesty like.” Greg sat forward and pointed. “Look at that girl! Her boobs are drooping over her rib cage like flour sacks. That’s not attractive.”
“I don’t mind,” his buddy said again.
Greg was already agitated by the slop and slime that got foisted on the citizenry due to a recent presidential race, and that irritant provided the catalyst he needed to test his first societal correction. Although only l8 that summer, he was devising a plan as he lay sunning himself on the lifeguard deck. Suddenly, grabbing a piece of junk mail, he jumped from the deck and began waving the paper and pacing around the circle of girls.
He shouted, “I guess you didn’t read about the new ordinance. It says right here, as a matter of common decency you must cover your rear ends on the beach, either with shorts, or skirts or something. You may no longer allow your posteriors to hang out in public. To be specific, it says your gluteus maximus need coverings when on a public beach. So ladies, cover your rears or I’m going to have to hand out citations that carry severe fines.”
The girls scurried to pull to shorts and wrap towels around themselves. This tall, handsome, alpha male with the black hair and blue eyes was issuing a warning, and they were happy to comply. It was not until later when they told their parents (who reacted with shock but relief) that the girls realized they were pranked.
But that’s all it took. It launched a quest to fix America. A project he would finance with his inheritance which he received early in life due to a tragic accident that killed his parents when Greg was twenty-six
There were twelve issues that Greg intended to tackle and opportunities popped up regularly. He believed in being prepared and in his car or on his person he carried a few small props. That evening while dining at one of the finer Mexican restaurants in Huntington Beach, California with Sophie his sweetheart since high school, an opportunity did arise and was sitting quite close to their table. A young man with nose rings, earrings, lip rings, chin rings and eyebrow rings was just sitting down with a decent looking young woman. It made Greg sick to look at him. He sprang up from his chair and moved quickly to an adjoining table and sat down across from the guy with all the metal on his face. Sophie tried to grab him before he got to his feet, but she was too late. She just murmured, “Oh no.”
In his coat pocket, Greg was carrying a small booklet, approximately four inches by two inches and on the cover was a color photo of a once handsome young man with his nose missing. In its stead was a gaping raw hole.
Placing the booklet on the table, he hammered it with his finger and shouted so everyone dining in that section could hear, “Infection. Staphylococcus aureus and that’s if you're lucky. I guess by the looks of you that you’re also wearing metal on your dick so you can look forward to penile engorgement and urethral rupture.”
He left the booklet for the stunned diner, and he was mumbling as he stomped back to Sophie. “We shouldn’t have to look at this freak.” Then shouting he waved his arms at the other diners and said, “None of you should have to look at this gruesomeness.” Some of the diners clapped, but most were embarrassed by the entire episode. “ Come on Soph, we are leaving,” he said grabbing Sophie’s hand.
Sophie was used to these outbursts and she had already grabbed two quesadillas and wrapped them in a napkin. As they rushed past the hostess, she grinned, waved and in her sweet voice said, “Maybe you need to be a little more discriminating with your clientele. Ta ta.”
Once outside on the sidewalk, Sophie burst out laughing and said, “Well, that’s one way to get a free meal.”
“It wasn’t about free Soph; it was about decency. I’ll send them a check.”
“I know that sweetie, I’m just kidding and you are right. It was disgusting. I’m just glad we weren’t eating when he arrived.” And with that, she planted a kiss on his cheek and they both began running toward the parking lot.
Settled inside his Mercedes-Benz SL65, Greg asked, “Ta ta? Did you say ta ta?”
“Just drive babe.”
Back in Greg’s apartment, Sophie pulled the quesadillas from her handbag. “Goodie, they’re still warm.” She placed the food on plates and got bottles of beer from the frig. “You’ll feel better after you eat,” she murmured. “ How many of those booklets do you have anyway?”
“I’d like a few hundred.”
“You’re amazing Soph.”
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
So that’s chapter one and now I need to guide Greg through the rest of the irritants he faces as he fixes America. It’s going to be a challenge because there are a total of 12 things that poor Greg thinks he must end.
Wish me luck.
elizabeth (author) from Buncombe County, NC on February 13, 2017:
I understand Maven. You need a chart with all the ribbons laid out with their meanings. How else can you know which to wear on a pertinent day?
Life is so complicated anymore.
Larry Conners from Northern Arizona on February 12, 2017:
There's nothing like wearing your heart on your chest...I care, therefor I am a worthy person, an intellectually engaged person, a person of note, I show my support, not by doing, but by wearing this little ribbon which is so much easier...I'm waiting for the Black ribbon, in support of Black Lives Matter, or the Rainbow ribbon in support of All Lives Matter...No, wait...That one is already taken in support of LGBTX, the X meaning "I'm not sure"...
elizabeth (author) from Buncombe County, NC on February 12, 2017:
I love these comments Maven. Masks are an excellent solution to everything. Tats on the forehead, wonderful, almost as effective as wearing little-colored ribbons.
Larry Conners from Northern Arizona on February 11, 2017:
You do know that Greg is going to get his clock cleaned..Right ?? I hope Sophie is a trained nurse...
Imposing ones preferences on another is what the Left does...It's called Liberal Fascism with a smiley face...To truly change cultural trends one must come up with a competing trend that provides expressions of individuality, albeit, without all the metal and gross anatomy...How about masks..? A mask could signal your attitude for that day...Happy, angry, sexy, friendly, standoffish, thoughtful, playful, so many emots to present to the world... Temporary tats on the forehead to describe how great and intelligent you are, how concerned you are about this and that...Wouldn't that be wonderful...?...
Nose rings, permanent tats, earrings by the dozen, body shaping (Big Butts), and hair eruptions are so 20th century...boring...Lets start a new, more interesting cultural trend where everything is expendable, no hair, no metal, no tats, just expendable stuff like fat...
elizabeth (author) from Buncombe County, NC on February 11, 2017:
Dear Rochelle ad Jodah:
Good Grief, thank you for pointing that out. It is not for children. They can't help what grownups do.
Category is now changed
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on February 10, 2017:
This was an interesting and entertaining first chapter to your book. I would like to read more. I too have to question the choice of "How to write for children" as the category, however.
Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on February 10, 2017:
Wondering why this is published under the category "How to write for children".