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“Secret Sex, A Book Alive Online,” written and lived by John Scott G.
Chapter 20 – “Road Trips and Book Reports.”
I have spent a lot of time in motel rooms. It’s not what you think. For my parents, a great vacation was a drive across the nation. So, from an early age, I was in a family that was devoted to the Road Trip. And since we didn’t sleep in our car, I learned a bit about Holiday Inns, Best Westerns, Econo-Lodges, Motel 6s, etc.
We motored around the country at all times of the year. We did it in summer, when I was out of school. But we also did it during Spring and Winter. And sometimes in that other one. Aught-something. Autumn. Sometimes I forget the name because we don’t have that season in California. Well, we have it, but it only lasts about two hours. And since it usually happens during Thanksgiving weekend, nobody notices because they’re too busy overeating.
When my parents succumbed to wanderlust, they pulled me out of school to accompany them. Yaaaay! But unfortunately, things did not work out perfectly because of a nefarious plot. I fell victim to a wicked scheme designed to inflict terrible torment upon my soul. I was betrayed by my own parents who were in collusion with my school’s administrators and teachers.
Yes, it was an evil cabal that conspired to assign schoolwork projects for me to complete during the trip. What a betrayal! What a double-cross! What a —
Wait. Some of the assignments were book reports. Oh, well, that’s different. I like to read. Always have. It’s possible to enter into another world through reading. You already know that. If you didn’t feel that way, you wouldn’t be here. But in case someone you know is not a reader, consider showing them the following example.
From the Edge of Heck
“Hello! I’m Ryan Seacrest!”
“And I’m Kathy Griffin!”
“Welcome, everybody! Kathy and I are high atop an awesome active volcano here on the islands of the Philippines!”
“And it’s time for today’s edition of ‘Tame That Tummy!’ Sorry to be shouting at you but the noise of the churning lava is almost deafening!”
“That’s right, Kathy! And some sources have told us we can expect a volcanic eruption at any minute!
“In addition to the noise, there’s the temperature! The heat from the giant pit of fire is so amazing it’s peeling Ryan’s make-up!”
“But not mine because I’m using Product Placement by Levron, the most powerful cosmetic in the world!”
“Why didn’t you guys say anything about my make-up?!”
“Stop whining and grow a pair, Ryan.”
“You don’t understand — ”
“Sure we do: Your face is all you’ve got.”
“No, but, but — ”
“Yes, you’ve got your butt, too. Not such a big deal, but better than your face. Okay, let’s focus here, people. To show the immense power of this thundering volcano, we’re going to follow the ancient custom of sacrificing a virgin!”
“Hey, I’m not a virgin!”
“Not you, silly. Of course you’re not a virgin, Ryan; we all know how you got your job.”
“But I like where your mind is going on this because I would be so up for tossing you in there. But instead, we kidnapped Christine O’Donnell, the Republican twit who said she’s a witch. Well, she didn’t really have to say it. I mean, hey, she’s a Republican. So it’s ‘witch’ or ‘bitch’ or both, right?”
“I don’t think any of this is in the script, Kathy.”
“Probably not. We call it improv, pretty boy. Go with it or get out of the way. Okay guys, take off her gag and toss her in!”
“First intelligent thing she’s ever said. Whoa! Did you see how her body started melting before it even reached the lava? Now that’s hot!”
“Wait, Kathy, did we just kill someone?”
“You want to go down there and find out?”
“But Kathy, this is terrible!”
“Zip it up, drip-face, I’m workin’ here. Now, in my hand I’ve got just one tiny tablet of Tummy Tamer, the only heartburn treatment you’ll ever need. I’m tossing the tablet into the erupting volcano and let’s listen to what happens …”
“Kathy? . . . Kathy, I don’t hear anything.”
“Ahhhh yes, the silence is wonderful! Now that’s what Ryan and I call relief. Tummy Tamer. Strong enough to tame even the most tormented tummy. Okay, reporting from the Philippines, this has been Kathy Griffin, picture-perfect in Levron cosmetics, plus Ryan Seacrest, the guy who is starting to look like a Salvador Dali painting.”
“Hey Kathy, I’m slipping!”
“Wrong Ryan, you’re being pushed.”
Back to the Now
Wasn’t that fun? You were taken around the globe as well as into the worlds of advertising, politics, celebrities, murder, and reality programming. All with just a few words.
The point is that reading can be fun. As for writing book reports, well, no big problem. You just start telling the reader what happened in the book, what you think about it, how it makes you feel, and why you believe they might also enjoy the story.
Keep in mind that most people cannot write a decent English sentence, including teachers. Which is why book report assignments are frequently given as some sort of punishment. And why most book reports are written as if every word is being excavated from the dictionary with a trowel. Like the next sentence, which is the opening of a sample book report I’m giving you absolutely free of charge:
“The title of this book report is the same as the title of the book about which this book report is about, which is a book called ‘War and Peace’ written by a writer named Leo Tolstoy.”
Now, starting with those 37 words, you can plow forward to complete your assignment with very little effort. Next, you sketch in a few details:
“The year of the story in the book is the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and twelve. The continent of Europe is under the control of a guy named Napoleon. Right: it’s a man and not a cream-filled pastry dessert. This Napoleon is a little guy but he has a big army. And even if he controls Europe, he also wants to control the Soviet Union, which was then called Mother Russia.” (109 words so far)
See how easy this is?
“Against Napoleon’s mighty army, Russia stands alone. Except for Austria, when they switched sides, but that came later. One of the main characters is Henry Fonda, I mean Count Pierre Bezukhov, a hoity-toity who is kind of a coward but he says that he just is not too interested in fighting. Yeah, right.” (up to 151 words now)
We’re really rolling on this thing!
“Pierre’s dad dies and he gets a boatload of bucks. I mean he is left a large inheritance. He is attracted to Audrey Hepburn, I mean Natasha Rostov, but people say she’s too young so he marries someone else but she’s a bitch and you know how that goes. There are some Russian soldiers like Count Nicholas Rostov and Mel Ferrer, I mean Prince Andrei Bolkonsky. It gets really sad when Andrei is captured by Napoleon’s posse but then he is let go and he comes home to watch his wife die in childbirth.” (word count is now 245)
Wonder how many people are going to copy this, remove the silly jokes about the 1956 movie version directed by King Vidor (who I don’t think was a real king), and turn it in as their own book report? Anyway. . .
“Andrei gets a look at Natasha and falls in love. But his dad says he has to wait until she turns seventeen. Too bad they aren’t in Australia or Kentucky because you can have sex there at 16. Or Sweden, where you can do it at 15. Or Lithuania, where the age of consent is 14. Or South Korea, where thirteen year olds can be getting busy. Or the Vatican, where it’s okay to be doing it at 12.” (We’re now at 324 words)
BTW, that’s one of the few things I liked about the Catholics.
“Andrei goes away on a military mission and this leaves the hotty, Natasha, to go all dewy-eyed over Anatole Kuragin, who is not good for her because he’s a playa. But Natasha still has that pesky age problem so there is a plan for her to elope with Anatole. But Pierre squeals on Anatole by telling Natasha what every other woman in the county seems to know.” (388 words)
Has it occurred to you that the “peace” part of the book is pretty boring? Perhaps, like me, you yearn for some action. Well, you’re in luck, because —
“FINALLY, Napoleon invades Russia. Pierre visits Andrei on the eve of the battle, and observes the fighting that follows. Traumatized by the carnage, he vows to kill Napoleon himself. But he never gets around to it unless there is an ending that didn’t actually happen, kind of like at the end of ‘Inglourious Basterds’ where the Nazis were not all exploded in real life but it was exciting in the movie anyway. Which ‘War and Peace’ isn’t.” (word total: 469)
Which does not reach the full 500 words that are normally required for these things, but trust me, there are so many sub-plots that you can easily make up the difference just by mentioning one of them. Alternately, since all the characters’ names are so long, you can just mention a half-dozen of them and you’ll be well over several thousand words for your 500-word book report.
All-Purpose Book Report Sentences
See how easy it is to write a book report? Dear Reader, you are more than welcome! Plus, as a bonus, you can use the following sentences whenever you need to write something that makes you sound smart without actually saying anything about the book you were supposed to have read but you bought the Cliff Notes or watched the movie version instead:
One: What the author’s prose style lacks in delicacy and restraint it more than makes up for in bombast and invective.
Two: Some may cry “hammock” and “let slip the war on dogs” but I, for one, am loathe to censor or censure this intriguing and bold example of semi-artistic composition.
Three: In suggesting such a wide range of possibilities of meaning, the author risks alienating readers who may be seeking a moral compass. By moving across such a boundless sea of interpretation, the writer seemingly seeks to attract those whose interest may be stoked by the various types of depravity and degradation on display in every chapter.
Note to reviewers: feel free to use any of these sentences when writing about my book.
• To read the next chapter or pick up where you left off, visit the main index at: enewschannels.com/tag/secret-sex/ — or visit the Table of Contents for “Secret Sex” at: johnscottg.com/secret_CHAPTERS.htm
“Secret Sex, A Book Alive Online,” written and lived by John Scott G, is Copr. © 2011-2012 by JSG, all rights reserved under U.S. and international copyright conventions. Commercial use in any form is forbidden without express written permission of the author. Originally published on eNewsChannels.com with permission. Credits: Book cover design: Phil Hatten; Author Photo: Brian Forest.