Friday, January 19, 2007

The Memoir that wasn't Fiction

I have decided to start writing tall tales when faced with a dearth of ideas, rhymes etc. Please note,the work below is entirely fictitious and probably realistically unfeasible. All characters are a figment of my imagination. Any resemblance to individuals (humans, animals, plants, fungi,protozoans, bacteria etc) is unintentional, and is purely an outcome of subconscious internalization. No animals were harmed during the conception of this work. All animals were left out in the garden. If the little yellow kitty gets hurt; it is because she was stupid enough to entice the dogs and not because the diva attempted to introduce her to the dogs.

Let us call our protagonist Jason (no relation whatsoever to Jason from the 'Friday the 13th' movies). Jason was a placid, innocuous and agreeable man of 25. He wasn't mysogyinistic, anti-semetic, racist, holocast-denying, global-warming-denying, homophobic or politically incorrect. He paid his taxes on time, recycled garbage, was polite, helpful and never forgot to vote during the elections. His political convictions are irrelevant to the rest of the tale, so I will ignore them. So if Jason is near perfect, where's the tall tale?

Jason had a great weakness for being 'well-known'. He worked at the counter in a rather 'well-known' five star hotel. His pleasant nature made him very popular with the regulars at the hotel. A more twisted person would have suggested that he was 'well-connected'. Alas, little ones, human desire is insatiable and dangerous. Jason's life was to take a dramatic turn the day an ageing client of the hotel asked him, 'Say Jason, would you know someone who is not very well known, but can help me do justice to my memoir'. A little alarm went off in Jason's head, it had been ticking ever since he decided he wanted to be 'well-known'.

To cut a tall tale short; it should have become quite obvious that Jason 'helped' the gentleman with his memoir. 'The Hippie in a Muse', it was called;despite the fact that the man was neither a hippie nor particularly fond of musing over things. The book made it to the bestsellers list of 'The New York Times'. 'Unassumingly witty, original,blunt,honest and simply magnificient'- wrote a particular reviewer. It didn't quite make it to Oprah's book club owing to the fiasco over 'A Million Little Pieces'. There were no visible traces of plagarism, and it was the most lauded memoir of its time. The gentleman had no antecedants, or decendants who could question the credibility of his memoir.

To cut a tall tale even shorter; Jason soon became well known among a circle of folks possesed with the gift of the gab, but severly lacking dexterity with the pen. Jason became the counter clerk, turned writer, turned editor, turned confidant. Almost every memoir he 'helped write' was dedicated to him. He had indirectly become 'well-known'. Unfortunately, Jason wasn't a big fan of subtlety. He decided to write his own memoir.

'Jason: The Janitor who writes Memoirs' , was the rather unarticulate yet curious title of the book. 'To expose, to literally spill the beans, and to dispell any misconception', was the supposed purpose of the book as deemed by the man himself. Jason thought it was his best work, the publishers thought otherwise. Jason sent his manuscript to every respectable publisher there was. He decided that sending copies to publishers of 'disrepute' would be a crime against ecology.

Jason continues to help other people write their memoirs. He still has a job as a hotel receptionist. No one, barring the publishers who rejected his work and some of the secretaries who shredded those rejected manuscripts, ever got to read 'Jason: The Janitor who writes Memoirs'. Every publisher dismissed his work as 'creative but insulting to common intelligence'. In his memoir, Jason had committed the crime of embellishment only once. He made himself out to be a janitor.

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