I know it’s considered bad form to be mentally indulging in future book proposals when I should very well be concentrating on the one that I already have in play, but I can’t help it. My mind is a relentless Perfect Storm of brilliant book ideas, wacky publicity stunts and creative ways to stalk Michelle Hunziker, who you may recall is my girlfriend and soul mate even though her boyfriend and lawyers have fairly strong feelings otherwise.
I’ve been thinking about this proposal since it came to me in a dream (coincidentally, featuring Michelle, or “Bella Shella” as I like to call her) and I’m confident that it’ll sell one copy for every heterosexual, literate man on Earth. But before I serve up this banquet of literary genius, please read the following caveat:
ATTENTION INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THIEVING HACKS: By posting this, I am laying claim to the idea, worldwide, in all forms of media, for the rest of humanoid existence. If I even hear a vague rumor that you’re planning to snatch this pitch out from under me, I’ll send freelance gutter punks after your sorry ass, with instructions to box your ears, pants you in public and group-pee on your laptop!!
Anyway, on with the proposal.
‘ROUND ITALY WITH A LAMBORGHINI
Cultural Immersion, Wine Appreciation and Shallow Relationships at 180 MPH
by Leif Pettersen
‘ROUND ITALY WITH A LAMBORGHINI is a daring new form of travelogue where the “hero” (me) gets buck-wild and jiggy, living out every straight man’s fantasy: driving fast, eating and drinking everything that becomes available and testing the Real World Chick Magnet Factor of tooling around in a vehicle that looks like it’s capable of inter-planetary flight. This concept flies in the face of traditional travelogues where bitter-sweet suffering, personal growth and life changing experiences are de rigor. Titles such as VACATIONS IN HELL, DARK STAR SAFARI, and ‘ROUND IRELAND WITH A FRIDGE have clearly demonstrated the success of this approach, relying on bare-naked, personal writing to help the reader identify and side with the protagonist, always with an upbeat and heart-warming ending.
Well, I say identifying is for jackholes. This is 2007. I can have a life changing experience on the internet – with the exception of Italy, where the connection speed and reliability does indeed require an actual lifetime to download your choice of personal growth, but that’s beside the point… It’s time to blaze new ground in what I call the “Stupefying Envy” genre of travelogues. Personal growth has been done ad nauseum and I think we’re running out of heart-warming endings. It’s time to take it to the next level. So you had a bad time, did something wacky and everything turned out all right. Well, la-de-frickin-da. Welcome to the club. Your member number is 3,438,948,028.
Which brings us to ‘ROUND ITALY WITH A LAMBORGHINI. This story will drive readers (men between the ages of 16 and 92) into a jealous, writhing tizzy, while providing a unique case study on the phenomenon of perceived power through appearances and materialism in one of the world’s most image-conscious countries. Well, that’s the broad idea, but just between you and me, it’s mostly about driving a cool car, basking in rock star treatment and waiting for girls to fall all over me.
The experiment will begin with a short road trip through northern Italy in my 1990 Dacia 1310 (top speed: 60MPH, downhill, with a tailwind), just to get a benchmark of what it’s like at the bottom of the perceived class scale. This stage of research will only require two to three days maximum, since there’s no point in drawing out the bummerfest. The Dacia will then be swapped with a Lamborghini Diablo and then the next, oh, six months just to be thorough, will be spent roaring around the country, staying at top hotels, eating in the best restaurants and a whole lot of just standing around and letting people ogle the car, while I take down girls’ phone numbers.
I won’t be traveling alone obviously. I’ll need appropriately presentable company in order to perpetuate the ruse. As such, I will draft a “note-taking nymph” to fill the passenger seat (not my idea, this job title was suggested by the leading contender for the job) who will dress provocatively, document in absurd detail the adventures that we have on the way (I’ll be too busy driving the car and shaking off wine hangovers) and lend some sex-factor credibility to the whole scene.
Certainly this book won’t connect with the reader in a meaningful, personal way, but it’ll be so damn cool, so who gives a rip? The reader won’t identify with me – hell, they’ll probably despise and curse me if I do my job right – but I guaran-fucking-tee you they’ll still buy the book. Am I right, or what?
There are approximately 300 million men in the English speaking world within my target demographic. Assume that pretty much all those guys buy a copy, then factor in the Gravy Demo – curious women and guys who speak just enough English to follow along – and you’ve got the largest selling book since the Bible. And if we get the book translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German and Mandarin, the Harry Potter folks won’t know what hit them. A feature film starring me (and Natalie Portman as the “note-taking nymph”) is virtually guaranteed.
“Imagine FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, except with a Lambo in Italy, driven by a Robbie Williams caricature and written by a hybrid of Chris Rock, Jack Black and Robin Williams. Leif Pettersen is a genius and a god. And by the way, he has an ass that could start wars.” – Salma Hayek
That’s pretty much all I’ve got so far. Oh, you want me to write a table of contents? Sure thing:
Part One – Awesome car
Part Two – Rock star lifestyle
Part Three – ‘Nuff said
Publishers, send all offers to my agent. A savage bidding war is highly probable, so liquidate some assets and put your accountants on high alert.
Meanwhile, I’ll be developing a follow-up book, “EUROPE ON $20,000 A DAY” and finalizing details for my latest publicity stunt: breaking the Guinness World Record for “number of bras unhooked, one-handed, through a shirt in 60 seconds”. The current record is something like 18, which is a damn shame. I could beat that blindfolded, using only my tongue. Hmm, there’s a thought…