The Joys of Lying to Children

11 Oct

I am a bad parent. I lie to my children.

I lie to my children nearly everyday. I’ve told them lies, they have repeated my lies in school, and I get phone calls from stern-sounding teachers wanting to discuss their concerns about my fibbing children. That was another lie; my ex-wife gets phone calls from the teachers. Then I get the talk.

I once told my son, who was attending preschool at a Presbyterian church, the reason we celebrated the Easter Bunny was because when Jesus died and was buried in a cave, an egg-shaped rock was placed in front of the cave so Jesus couldn’t get out. The Easter Bunny pushed the rock away from the cave and saved J.C. The chocolate symbolizes the wood of the crucifixion. We got a very nice phone call from the school to discuss what I’m teaching the children.

Sometimes I lie because my children ask far too many questions for their size. I have two little boys, 4 and 7, who are bubbling fountains of questions. Sometimes I lie because I don’t know the correct answer, but usually I lie because it’s a lot more fun.

One day while shaving, flanked by both boys quizzing me on my shaving ritual, my oldest asked me, “Dad, why do you grow hair all over your body and mommy doesn’t?” I crouched down to their level, looked them both in the eyes, and very seriously explained to them I was a werewolf. I had to shave because some people are afraid of werewolves, and I didn’t want to scare them. I watched as their eyes grew big. They both nodded obediently when I explained this was a big secret and they shouldn’t tell people I was a werewolf.

Here are the facts as I described them:

  • My hair is brown when I’m a werewolf (they asked).
  • I don’t transform in front of them because I’m afraid it would scare them.
  • I won’t eat the dog.
  • I became a werewolf when I was bitten by a werewolf when I was a boy. That makes me a 2nd Generation Werewolf.
  • They may also be werewolves, but they usually won’t show until they are teenagers. They would only be half werewolf because their mother doesn’t like this werewolf business. That would make them 3rd Generation Werewolves.
  • They may show signs early. I instructed them to check their feet when they woke up after a full moon. If their feet were dirty, then they were out howling at the moon.

At this point, the reader should expect a story about frightened children who could not sleep; afraid of the werewolf dad prowling around in the dark. My lie had the opposite effect: it stopped the bad dreams, monsters in the closet, and moving shadows on the wall. I hadn’t made the connection until I overheard the boys playing. My oldest, speaking as the elder statesman of the two, wished the boogyman would break into our house so they could watch me transform into a werewolf and scare him away. My youngest speculated I would only need to show the boogyman my claws and roar, and the boogyman would never scare another kid again.

My double life as a werewolf has been the answer to numerous pre-pubescent concerns. Vampires? Werewolves and vampires don’t bite each other’s children because we are equally strong. A vampire attacking a werewolf’s pups would be inviting an attack on their children. Peace is maintained through equal power; the Cold War with fangs. Zombies? Werewolves don’t taste good to zombies so they stay away from us. Of course, no self-respecting werewolf would ever eat a zombie. That’s just disgusting.

My oldest is now at the stage where he’s excessively fascinated with guns, war, and all about my military experience. Enter the werewolf; I fought in the Great Werewolf-Zombie War. Werewolves and Vampires rounded up all of the zombies and locked them into underground bunkers (because you can’t kill zombies. Duh!). You try to explain the U.S.’s foreign policy in the 21st century to a four year old. There are people running for president who can’t explain why we’re in Libya.

At dinner one night, my oldest gravely told me his teacher had explained to his class that dragons weren’t real. The child was upset with the thought that dragons didn’t exist in his world. So, like any bad parent would do: I moved dinner into the living room, and streamed a documentary on Komodo Dragons. Now, in case you don’t know, Komodo Dragons don’t breath fire, but they do have pretty nasty mouths which might as well be venomous. We couldn’t find a documentary on fire-breathing dragons because they’re hard to film. They keep melting the cameras. Armed with new knowledge, my son happily marched into school the next day and informed his teacher dragons do exist.

My question to the well-meaning adults out there: Why are your lies better than my lies? Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are permissible lies because they fall into an agreeable construct we’ve all accepted? Open the imagination box wide. Better yet, kick the lid clean off. Let the kids have their imagination. It just might do you some good too.

Don’t Read This Buhlog

7 Sep

I still don’t want to write a buhlog.

My book isn’t selling well. Let me rephrase that: My book isn’t selling. I’ve been trying everything I can think of to generate some publicity. Some how start a ground swell that will eventually form a surfable wave. Right now, a ripple would be nice. I don’t understand it. I have more fans on Facebook than I have sales. How the fuck does that work? I’m a fan of Bob Marley on Facebook. I also buy Bob Marley’s albums (and Ziggy’s). I consume the product he created; therefor I am a fan. I’m a fan of Californication (Free Hank Moody!). I watch the show; therefor I’m a fan. Noah Baird doesn’t have any other product; just a book. How can you be a fan if you won’t consume the only product? The only logical alternative is they are fans of Noah Baird, the person. Which is ridiculous. I’m not even house-broken.

Anyway, enough bitching. So, in a lame-ass effort to generate more sales. I’m hosting a contest. Because . . . well, I don’t know why. I know one reason is to get me out of writing this piece of dookie. The other reason is because, apparently in some universal equation I’m too thick to get, giving away books gets people to buy books. I guess it’s like if you donate a dollar, you’re supposed to get $2 back. Maybe all of the losers of the contest feel cheated and go buy the book. So, I’m hoping if I give a book away, I’ll sell 10,000 books. I’m not really sure what the karma conversion is for books, but I’m hoping it’s skewed in my favor.

So, in the interest of giving crap away for free- I’m hosting two contests! That’s right, kids: dos! And I’ll tell you why: coming up with names for characters is really hard. It’s not like naming a dog. I usually end up flipping through books and albums looking for a name. So, help me out:

Contest 1: Name a Female Roller Derby Player!

I need an original name for a female roller derby player. Here’s a link to The International Rollergirl’s Master Roster. These are the types of names I’m looking for. You can’t use one of their names. These ladies are professional athletes and will kick your ass.

http://www.twoevils.org/rollergirls/

Contest 2: Name a Bad ’80s Rock Band/Hair Band/Glam Band!

I need an original rock band name, circa late ‘80s. I want something so sleazy, so nasty, you’ll want to bathe in Purell and throw your keyboard away.

If I pick your submission:

– I’ll use your submission in an upcoming book (Unless I come up with a better idea later on).
– I’ll send you an autographed copy of Donations to Clarity. Complete with my own shitty signature. I may even write something witty in my equally shitty handwriting.

Now, if you win BOTH contests; well, I’m not sure what to do. I could send you two books, but what are you going to do with two of them? If you wouldn’t spend the money to buy one book, then you probably don’t need two. So, if you win BOTH contests I’ll send you:

– An autographed copy of the book.
– A pack of Bigfoot Breath Mints (I’m not making this up. They really exist).
– A sock. I was doing laundry the other day and one of my socks are missing. I’ll send you the orphaned sock! So, you’ll get a book, mints, and sock! Try to get that deal at Barnes and Noble!

Rules:
– The names have to be original.
– I can’t think of any other rules, so don’t do anything stupid that will get me into trouble.

Send your submissions to bfcomedywriter(at)gmail(dot)com. Don’t use this email address to send me a bunch of spam and crap. I don’t need ground tiger testicle impotence cures. Send those to:

http://www.webslingerz.com/jhoffman/congress-email.html

If all of the submissions suck, I’ll use the book to balance out my nightstand, eat the mints, and give the sock to the dog to play with. I may give the mints to the dog. His breath is horrible. I know he licks his balls all day, but his breath shouldn’t smell worse than his balls.

I’ll announce the winner in the next buhlog.

Or- I have a crazy idea! Just buy the book! Then I won’t have to do this anymore.

This contest shouldn’t be confused with contests hosted by Second Wind Publishing. Not because I didn’t want to have a contest hosted by the publishing company, but because I didn’t get off my ass and submit my contest ideas to them in time. Apparently, the folks at Second Wind think I only need one email to remind me.

Don’t Read This Buhlog

7 Sep

I still don’t want to write a buhlog.

My book isn’t selling well. Let me rephrase that: My book isn’t selling. I’ve been trying everything I can think of to generate some publicity. Some how start a ground swell that will eventually form a surfable wave. Right now, a ripple would be nice. I don’t understand it. I have more fans on Facebook than I have sales. How the fuck does that work? I’m a fan of Bob Marley on Facebook. I also buy Bob Marley’s albums (and Ziggy’s). I consume the product he created; therefor I am a fan. I’m a fan of Californication (Free Hank Moody!). I watch the show; therefor I’m a fan. Noah Baird doesn’t have any other product; just a book. How can you be a fan if you won’t consume the only product? The only logical alternative is they are fans of Noah Baird, the person. Which is ridiculous. I’m not even house-broken.

Anyway, enough bitching. So, in a lame-ass effort to generate more sales. I’m hosting a contest. Because . . . well, I don’t know why. I know one reason is to get me out of writing this piece of dookie. The other reason is because, apparently in some universal equation I’m too thick to get, giving away books gets people to buy books. I guess it’s like if you donate a dollar, you’re supposed to get $2 back. Maybe all of the losers of the contest feel cheated and go buy the book. So, I’m hoping if I give a book away, I’ll sell 10,000 books. I’m not really sure what the karma conversion is for books, but I’m hoping it’s skewed in my favor.

So, in the interest of giving crap away for free- I’m hosting two contests! That’s right, kids: dos! And I’ll tell you why: coming up with names for characters is really hard. It’s not like naming a dog. I usually end up flipping through books and albums looking for a name. So, help me out:

Contest 1: Name a Female Roller Derby Player!

I need an original name for a female roller derby player. Here’s a link to The International Rollergirl’s Master Roster. These are the types of names I’m looking for. You can’t use one of their names. These ladies are professional athletes and will kick your ass.

http://www.twoevils.org/rollergirls/

Contest 2: Name a Bad ’80s Rock Band/Hair Band/Glam Band!

I need an original rock band name, circa late ‘80s. I want something so sleazy, so nasty, you’ll want to bathe in Purell and throw your keyboard away.

If I pick your submission:

– I’ll use your submission in an upcoming book (Unless I come up with a better idea later on).
– I’ll send you an autographed copy of Donations to Clarity. Complete with my own shitty signature. I may even write something witty in my equally shitty handwriting.

Now, if you win BOTH contests; well, I’m not sure what to do. I could send you two books. But what are you going to do with two of them? If you wouldn’t spend the money to buy one book, then you probably don’t need two. So, if you win BOTH contests I’ll send you:

– An autographed copy of the book.
– A pack of Bigfoot Breath Mints (I’m not making this up. They really exist).
– A sock. I was doing laundry the other day and one of my socks are missing. I’ll send you the orphaned sock! So, you’ll get a book, mints, and sock! Try to get that deal at Barnes and Noble!

Rules:
– The names have to be original.
– I can’t think of any other rules, so don’t do anything stupid that will get me into trouble.

Send your submissions to bfcomedywriter(at)gmail(dot)com. Don’t use this email address to send me a bunch of spam and crap. I don’t need ground tiger testicle impotence cures. Send those to:

http://www.webslingerz.com/jhoffman/congress-email.html

If all of the submissions suck, I’ll use the book to balance out my nightstand, eat the mints, and give the sock to the dog to play with. I may give the mints to the dog. His breath is horrible. I know he licks his balls all day, but his breath shouldn’t smell worse than his balls.

I’ll announce the winner in the next buhlog.

Or- I have a crazy idea! Just buy the book! Then I won’t have to do this anymore.

This contest shouldn’t be confused with contests hosted by Second Wind Publishing. Not because I didn’t want to have a contest hosted by the publishing company, but because I didn’t get off my ass and submit my contest ideas to them in time. Apparently, the folks at Second Wind think I only need one email to remind me.

Donations to Clarity

9 Aug

Noah Baird’s first blog entry. Star Date: I don’t know how star dates work. It’s August 8th here on Earth.

I don’t want to write a blog. I want to write a book. Even the word sounds unappealing: blog. Say it out loud. Boring, right? “Buhlog”. Sounds like you’re trying to get a spider web out of your mouth. I understand the reason I should blog is to connect with a fan-base, get my name out, promote the book, etc. Blogging just seems counterintuitive to me. Any jerk-off with a keyboard can blog. An author writes books. I’m not implying I’m better than bloggers, or that all bloggers are crap, but there are plenty out there digitally converting the mundane into cyber flotsam.

My mental picture of what writers do is probably skewed. I want to do what Hemingway did: drink, fish, write. Maybe run with the bulls in Pamplona. Papa did not blog (I know there weren’t blogs then; just go with me on this). When my publisher told me I needed to start blogging, I told him I wanted to pull a Hemingway: drink, fish, write. We could negotiate on the fishing, but I was going to remain firm about the drinking and writing. Since I’m sitting here writing this blog (and drinking), we can see who won that little argument.

My other issue with blogging is I don’t know how or what to blog about. What’s the theme? Do I write about my life? My life as a writer? I’m not a good enough writer to think I could teach you anything about writing. Someone suggested I blog as Bigfoot; like a Bigfoot celebrity diary. I have to tell you: after writing a book with Bigfoot in it, I’m fucking sick of Bigfoot.

I still don’t know what the general theme of this blog should be. So, for this entry, I’m going to tell you the things I’ve learned since becoming a writer.

Bookstores don’t have an open door policy for book signings. When my book was released, I checked my local booksellers to ensure they had the book in their inventory. Then I called to offer my availability to sign books in the store. Seems logical, right? Wrong. Some bookstores can be a pain-in-the-ass about letting new writers come in for signings. They either wanted to evaluate the book to see if it’s suitable for a signing, or it was a flat “No” because new writers don’t have a large fan base.
I learned local papers don’t review books. There’s one person in a cabin in Montana who reads books and posts reviews on the internet. Newspapers just link to those reviews.
I should’ve practiced my signature. Sharpies make crappy signatures permanent. To compensate for my poor penmanship (or should it be ‘penpersonship’ in this politically-correct America), I doodle dog turds and monkey faces. It was either that or pretend I have palsy.
If you call the newspaper in Ithaca, NY and mention ‘Bigfoot’ and ‘marijuana’ in the same sentence, you will have a long conversation with everyone in the newsroom about Bigfoot and marijuana. I couldn’t persuade them to review my book, but I did get a great brownie recipe.

Hello world!

31 Jul

Welcome to WordPress.com. After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

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