Title Page Dedication Epigraph
chapter 1 - In the Beginning—Or How I Learned to Love the Ceiling Fan chapter 2 - Wrath of the Con chapter 3 - Lust Disease chapter 4 - Bonfire for Vanity chapter 5 - Three-Toed Sloth chapter 6 - My Waterloo chapter 7 - I’m with Envy chapter 8 - Greedy Little Pigs chapter 9 - Glutton for Punishment chapter 10 - For Your Consideration. . . TheNew Magnificent Seven chapter 11 - The Dramatic Conclusion
Acknowledgements Copyright Page
TO MY CHILDREN
whom I hope I inspire ...
TO MY WIFE
whom I hope I endear. . .
AND TO MY GRANDMOTHER
who instilled in me the will to succeed.
I cannot call to mind a single instance where I have been irreverent, except toward the things which were sacred to other people. —MARK TWAINActive Evil is better than Passive Good. —WILLIAM BLAKE
Fuck it all and fuck it—no regrets. . . —FROM “DAMAGE INC.,” METALLICA
chapter 1 In the Beginning—Or How I Learned to Love the Ceiling Fan
I always told myself I would write a book.
I knew one day I would sit myself down and pound words into submission—spinning yarns, webs, and tales of days gone by, of woebegone afternoons tingedwith bittersweet delights. I would hunch above the paper and weave in and out of fancy, hoping I would be the next Hunter S. Thompson. . .or at least somebody like Anonymous. But I also made a solemn oath to myself that I would try to write something not only of value but also something that had never been done before. I wanted to do the unthinkable: Bring to the world a whole new subtext, awholly different genre. I wanted revolution in wood pulp. I wanted death in the sentence. I wanted to reinvent the word. Obviously this was not going to happen right away, and on some kind of masochistic level I was okay with that. I was still kicking emotional crabs out of my soul crotch, reaching for the razor while rinsing out the Rid. Anyone confused by that last metaphor can pat themselves on theback and walk away clean, so to speak. Anyone who has dated a stripper or lived with scumbags knows that scenario too well, and we have more than likely met at a survivors’ meeting or two. Anyway, between Tony Robbins and Dianetics, I really do not know what the hell is going on in the literary world today. People shill get-rich schemes on late-night TV disguised as tax dodges and governmentgrant programs. “Celebrity” wannabes suck off traffic cops once or twice and are thrown book deals like fish to the porpoises at Sea World. When Paris Hilton can top the bestsellers’ lists, we are one more Connect Four move closer to Armageddon. I wish I were being funny, but I am clearly not. No one this awesome gets incensed for no reason at all. No one in my zip code anyway. I was hoping to have myshot at irreverence. I was hoping to be a shot in the arm for some kind of polysyllabic retaliation. Instead I am just hoping to keep from neutering the global book market. I mean, come on. What can I say that has never been said before? Between the Kennedys and the Royals, what could I possibly bring up that has never been uttered? Unless I plan on making up words, I might be lit out of shuck.Last time I checked, the written word has been around since those Celtic Hippies put little crazy tree symbols on anything flat and called it “Beowulf.” So
therein lies my conundrum: Much like Cialis, what will I do when the time is right?
Fast forward years later, when I found myself across a dingy wooden table from a mysterious learned man in an exotic locale, seated for a meal offoodstuffs called “sushi” in a dark and cursed land known as Los Angeles. It was in this dinette of Japanese comestibles that I was toiling over this tome you hold in your hands, and I had reached a point of no return when this man posited writing about the Seven Deadly Sins. Now I countered that the only way to do this subject, one that has been driven into the ground with derisive frequency, was to...