Hey, it's me, Jehovah. It's been a while since . . . What do you mean, "Jehovah who?" Jehovah who can grow a tumor the size of a Christmas tree ornament on your taint. That Jehovah. Don't get smart with me. I know if you are sleeping, I know if you're awake, I know if you've been bad or good and if you've been bad, guess what Chester, I don't give you a lump of coal, I turn you into a lump of coal and shovel you onto the "down" elevator.
Great. I'm already cranky and I just started. What is it about the blogosphere that brings out the extremes in everyone? (Of course I know. It was rhetorical.) Anyway, regular readers may remember me from Michael's old blog, "The Mighty Middle." But as popular as that gig was, (especially with the young folk,) I think most of you still put me together with my own book: The Bible. And a lot of you are wondering what the hell is happening with the long-awaited "re-imagining," Bible Too.
Yes, I do realize that's about the ninth different working title. But my old editor -- who was totally on-board with Bible: The Divine Cut -- got a promotion. Now she's a Vice President in charge of some damn thing, I can't make any sense of the titles there. (I could: but it would involve a plague of frogs and blood raining from the sky.) Assistant editor, associate editor, editor, editor and publisher, editorial director, vice president in charge of publishing editors-in-chief? WTF? What's the matter with Pope, Cardinal and Bishop? Or if that's too religious for the secular bastards, how about Tall, Grande and Venti? That's something they'd understand, and so would the rest of us.
Anyway, out with my old editor, in with this new one. And she'll be damned (actually . . .) if she'll stick with the old title. "I'm just not feeling the whole Divine Cut thing. I think the zeitgesit has shifted."
The zeitgesit. Bitch actually zeitgeisted me. Do you believe that shit? Like I'm some peckerwood Gallilean. Like I'm going to just shift nervously in my seat and go, "Oh, well, if the zeitgeist has shifted . . ."
I didn't want to get off on the wrong foot with the woman, right? But you can't let a New Yorker pull the "Z" word on you and get away with it. (Especially when by 'New Yorker' we mean Tennesseean-who-lost-her-accent-at-Swarthmore.) So I say, "Yeah? Because I was thinking the whole gestalt of the word 'divine' will really work for the demo."
That's right, I gestalted her ass. You're going to zeitgesit me, beeyatch? I will gestalt all over you. Keep it up and I will shift your paradigm. And by the way? That's not a metaphor when it's Me talking.
Anyway. Where was I? Oh yeah: everywhere!
Come on, that's still funny.
Anyway, back and forth and back and forth on the title, and we end up agreeing on Bible Too. Fine. Whatever. But then she starts in with her notes. And I swear to Me, if brimstone wouldn't contribute to global warming . . . But do I want to end up as the bad guy every time Al Gore opens his mouth? No. No, I do not.
So I spare my editor -- and the surrounding two blocks -- and I sit there (and everywhere else) listening to her tell me how she still wants to cut Ten Commandments down to three.
You people know I'm really not difficult to work with. You know that I love you and keep you. And if you give me half a chance, I will make my face to shine upon you and give you peace. But I'd already voluntarily gotten rid of the stuff about idolatry. Plus, I'd already dropped the coveting. (Funny story: it was actually Satan who asked me to cut the coveting and lusting thing. Overcrowding down there is out of control. Seven circles of Hell? I wish. We're at 312 circles and still expanding. It's like Phoenix.) Plus I dropped the whole Sabbath thing and the adultery thing. (Speaking of overcrowding in Hell. Not to mention a certain lack of torment. If you catch my drift.) So I was already down to six commandments. But three? Three? And then she's like, "Could you write it so that they're all shalts and not shalt nots?"
At that point I realized that my art was being severely compromised. Not that I think I'm that great, I'm not saying I'm Shakespeare -- let's face it, "Nehemiah begat Azriel" isn't exactly "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" -- but still, within my genre (Holy Writ) I'm one of the top talents. I've sold almost as many books as Stephen King. I don't have to put up with this.
And I was all ready to tell her that. I was. But then it occurred to me: Oh, my Me, we haven't even started to talk about a cover concept yet.
So, yeah, I wussed. I gave in on the commandments because I knew (duh) we'd be going ten rounds on the cover. You have to pick your battles.
Besides, maybe three commandments really are enough. Who am I to argue? And she gave me some leeway on the wording. I can't use "shalt not," but I can use, "shalt avoid wherever possible." It's a little wordy, but as long as I get my point across.
Anyway, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I feel a lot better. As always, try to behave. Love your neighbor as yourself. As you do unto the least of . . . Oh, hell you know the drill. Just don't make me smite you. Peace out.