Today is Brodi’s book launch. King’s English. 7:00 p.m. Wow!
How do you “launch” a book? I know how to launch a missile. All you need is a lot of fuel and tremendous thrust consisting of foot pounds of pressure per second per second. “Houston, we have lift off!” Not exactly rocket science.
And to launch a ship, one needs only a bottle of champagne…and a Royal. Imagine the flow of the bubbly when Helen’s face launched a thousand ships! It’s amazing there was anyone sober enough to fight the Trojan War!
But launching a book is different. Just what is the protocol? We wanted to do it up right. However, christening it with any alcoholic beverage would contradict the prohibitions of our chosen life style. Ditto hot drinks. After minimal deliberation, we settled on shaking a can of cola and spraying it on the designated book. Of course, it had to be the hard stuff. Definitely, Coke Zero. No decaf. This is a special occasion.
Shakespeare posed the question, “What’s in a name?” And he reasoned that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. I’m sure he’s right, but it seems to me the olfactory senses would be altered ever so slightly if indeed that regal velvet blossom were known as a kumquat.
Choosing a name for one’s child is never easy. Recently a man in Wisconsin changed his name to Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop Bop Bop. Doo-Doo for short. Since Shakespeare and Doo Doo were already spoken for, and because we wanted something a little unique, we opted to name our second daughter Brodi Shawn. Dennis’ mother was horrified, and feared she would be called “Little B. S.” I told her that was entirely possible. No doubt there would be times when it was warranted. Nevertheless, we kept the name, knowing she would grow up to either love it or hate it. Turns out she loved it. It serves as her pen name.
I told Brodi I really wanted to find a red dress like the one on the cover of her book to wear for the launch. She tried to keep her composure and stifle her giggles. She said that she was sure I could pull it off…with Pamela Anderson implants, lipo suction, and massive anatomical remodeling…no offense. I said, “None taken.” I rose with great dignity, taking the high road, refusing to be offended by brutal reality. Contrary to the poets, truth is not always beauty. However, I kept muttering “Little B. S.” under my breath. I opted for jeans, but I am keeping “Plastic Surgeons Are Us” on speed dial.
Once, in a state of supreme neuron disfuntion, Brodi asked me to read the manuscript and make suggestions. As an English teacher, she thought I could be of some use. I told her that I would, but I was not into flattery. If it was good, I’d tell her. But I also had my red pen. She agreed. When I returned the pages, she wryly commented that some areas looked like I’d opened a vein and hemorrhaged. I told her the book was phenomenal. It was not flattery.
I have read Brodi’s book multiple times. But of all the words on all the pages of this amazing tale, my nine favorites occur on the third page, before the story begins. They are Dennis’ Father’s Day gift. She asked me if I could help her say it better. I could not. I could launch a thousand words and still not have said it better. It was her most inspired writing.
Writers are advised to write about what they know best. Brodi knows her Dad.
(Just for the record, I retract everything I muttered under my breath!)