I bet you all clicked over here expecting biblical raving about what everyone else is raving about right now in the form of a “This is what’s pissing me off today” to end all “This is what’s pissing me off todays”. Well, you’re not getting it.
There’s just no point. I haven’t read the book, details leaked by lazy media hacks about the book are turning out to be wrong, the book’s scandalous anecdotes, it seems, are greatly embellished… I’m not gonna waste my time filleting rumors that are so thinly connected to reality. I’ll just do what every other LP author is planning to do: wait until the release date, walk over to my neighborhood Barnes and Noble, pick up a copy of the book, swing through the on-site Starbucks for a ginormous iced coffee, sit down in a comfy chair, read the good portions of the book, put it back on the shelf 20 minutes later, come home and go to bed confident in the knowledge that my memoirs, staged in over a dozen countries, illustrating how success at travel writing can be had with honest, hard work rather than passive-aggressive deception and lies, while being hilarious without resorting to cheap shots or sabotaging my colleagues’ repute, would have been about 1,000% better. Or thereabouts.
Honestly, it seems to be nothing more than a so-so account of a couple short trips, with liberal Hunter S. Thompson style-theft, exposing the supposed dark underbelly of guidebook writing, while detailing with baffling honesty why he’s the worst travel writer to ever do the job. Where’s the controversy?
Meanwhile, I have larger matters to puzzle over, specifically my new LP business cards. It’s not that I don’t like them. Indeed, they’re infinitely cooler that the old ones. One side has the usual contact info and the other side has our pictures!!!
Now, Lord knows I like to see pictures of myself, but large portions of a guidebook writer’s job requires them to surreptitiously enter, assess and review hotels, restaurants, etc, and it seems if we’re running around handing out business cards with our pictures on them, it might make it a little easier for proprietors to spot us coming down the road and quick repaint the walls and herd the family dogs out of the kitchen into the back alley. We might as well have an advance team, entourage and police escort since any semblance of anonymity will be completely erased as these cards proliferate around our research regions.
Don’t get me wrong, under the right conditions, I’ll take all the attention and notoriety I can get. Never mind the business cards, if the right tourism official/publisher/beautiful woman appears, I yank a rip-cord on my belt and a neon green, glow-in-the-dark, full-body sandwich board inflates in exactly 1.4 seconds that reads “Yes, I’m a travel writer!” Best $29.99 I ever spent.
That said, I’ve been proudly handing these babies out to every person even remotely tied to tourism in the past few weeks to resounding ‘ooos’ and ‘ahhs’. These cards are like little, instant celebrity bombs. Every time I hand a card to someone new, their mouths go slack, their eyes dilate and I can feel the recipient start undressing me with their eyes. That’s assuming I’m wearing clothes in the first place, which I often wasn’t on Guam and Saipan. Jesus, it was hot there.
While I struggle with the ethical dilemma of whether to use my new business card superpowers for good or evil, I’ve gotta do some actual work over here. It took almost a week, but I’m finally moved in and set up in my bitchin’ new condo. I’m sitting at an honest-to-Buddha desk for the first time in almost five years and I can feel a tidal wave of productivity gathering strength that I’ll harness to finally knock out this article about Guam/Saipan.
But first, maybe I’ll make an omelet.