“When I wrote this book…..”
Don’t give me that crap. Usually trying to keep my writing positive, I am going to accentuate something negative, or shall I write, realistic, today. There are many things on this earth which annoy me: terrorists, Trump, Hillary, The Family Circus, but nothing more than a celebrity or ex sports star claiming to have written a book about themselves, unless it is written by themselves. “When I wrote this book”……wait a minute……….who wrote this book? You may as well begin by stating the truth. “When I was sitting on a bar stool telling stories, some man or woman jotted down notes, then converted these stories to well crafted sentences, paragraphs and chapters all ending with, ‘wait till you hear this next one’ so I could get most of the credit by paying him or her to do so. Only in miniature font, shall I give the man or woman credit putting in the majority of the work into said book.”
I despise the term “Co-written” unless you have two people collectively sitting down with a pen, notebook, laptop, sticky notes, journaling over a cup of coffee or a can of beer and composing sentences together. Screen writers do it all the time. That, I respect. What I don’t respect is the lack of integrity some possess by not properly acknowledging those actually writing the book, which is the most difficult part.
Sadly, my father convinced me at a young age to read the book “The Mick”. It is an autobiography about the “Great” Mickey Mantle. With “Great” bold letters, the book’s cover read, “The Mick” MICKEY MANTLE, H. Gluck. Who’s this H.Gluck guy? Who cares? Naively, I believed this was written by Mickey Mantle himself. How does this freak of baseball talent with good looks, Centerfield speed and astonishing power find the time to write a book about hitting home runs while hung over on a daily basis in Yankee Stadium? Of course, I want to be this guy! Drinking and dining at the finest restaurants for free in New York, hitting bombs in Yankee Stadium, making loads of money while taking your pick of any girl you want, yet still being educated enough to write an autobiography? Chicks love the long ball, but they also love the brains. He had it all. In the eighth grade, I thought, “oh, yeah, I want to be him.” Mickey Mantle didn’t write one word in that book and probably forgot or regretted every word he uttered while giving the writer complete artistic liberty.
Heartwarming as the stories may be, whether it be blaming your failures on drug, alcohol, or mental issues, please give those who write these tender stories verbal credit or a crap load of money.
This morning, I was motivated to write this piece because of something I read on the front page of the sport’s section. Since I am overseas, and you wouldn’t know which periodical I may be referring to, I still won’t disclose who inspired me this morning, but I will tell you, he made me question his complete lack of integrity, not just as a “writer”, but as a baseball player.
If I ever told someone my silly stories and wanted them to write them down while falling off a bar stool, thus completing a book, I would insist the title be, “Co-Laziness”.