Saturday, December 10, 2011

EVIL EDITOR CLASSICS


Guess the Plot

The Touch- down at the End of the World


1. The second coming of Jesus finally arrives...during the final moments of a Texas A&M football game. Jesus scores the winning touchdown for the Aggies and then initiates the Apocalypse.

2. Norville Drebs ran as fast as he could, clutching the pigskin, making his dad proud. It was the first time he had ever scored on his high school's foo... The heat and blast waves hit the field; then the mushroom clouds bloomed.

3. One night, a frustrated wife asks if there's a heaven for football fans. Unfortunately, the drunk genie nearby doesn't pick up Annie's sarcasm.

4. A geeky quarterback is taken by his teen friends into a mystical realm, and forced to play in a football game for the survival of the human race.

5. A man and woman have a chance meeting at a football game. They fall in love but lose contact. Years later, they meet again by chance and finally score a touchdown of a marriage.

6. When a former NFL quarterback is murdered, his best friend sets out to avenge the crime. The top suspect: the backup quarterback, of course.


Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

Some people go to Europe to start up new lives. Others simply go to die. [No, no, those are the reasons people go to Florida.] [European morgue employees are sick and tired of all these Americans going to Europe specifically to die.] [Surely there's a more common reason people go to Europe--though it would sound silly to say, Some people go to Europe for the croissants. Others simply go for the cannoli.] And in The Touchdown at the End of the World, [Which is what? A sports bar in Newark?] Brooklyn Private Eye Jimmy Gambles goes to avenge the murder of his best friend.

A former NFL quarterback, Eric Kiransky has gotten a new start in a European football league that showcases the stars of yesterday. But when he’s kidnapped and found brutally murdered in London, Jimmy Gambles decides that he has to help catch the killer. It’s a bit more [More . . . expensive? Interesting?] than his usual run of divorce cases, but he’s lived in England before and he knows the lay of the land.

Soon, he’s sunk deep into a world of American outcasts and expatriates, the kind Henry James never quite got around to writing about. The backup quarterback, a good ol’ boy from Texas who sure does love his guns and whiskey. The club owners - two brothers who are just a little too friendly with the Sicilian mafia. And a fellow private detective, who had a Magnum P.I.-type series based on him twenty years ago but who might be broke enough now to work as a freelance hit man. [Evil Editor is imagining himself on The $25,000 Pyramid. It's the big-money final round, and the late Tony Randall is feeding me the clues. We've breezed through the first five squares in twenty seconds. The last one flips over, and Randall thinks a moment and says, "Backup quarterbacks from Texas who love guns and whisky." Evil Editor guesses, "People who enter bass fishing contests." Randall shakes his head and says, "Brothers who are connected with the Sicilian mafia." Evil Editor guesses, "The actual members of the conspiracy to kill JFK." Wrong again. Randall hits me with, "A washed-up private eye who's now a hitman." Evil Editor thinks hard. What do they all have in common? Time passes. The clock approaches zero. Suddenly Evil Editor has it! He blurts out, "Outcasts and expatriates Henry James never got around to writing about!" Bells ring and sirens blare.]

[Now, where was I? Ah yes, you've listed some suspects, you need to say something else to wrap up the plot portion.]

As for myself, I grew up in New York but I’ve lived in London for the last twelve years, working as a freelance writer. My work has appeared in Newsday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Kansas City Star, and I currently report for [a tiny little news service you’ve never heard of.] [Evil Editor will do the brackets, if you don't mind.] If this 60,000-word mystery sounds interesting, please do return the SASE and I’ll have a copy sent on to you immediately. [By my staff.]

Sincerely...


Revised Version

Dear Evil Editor,

Some people go to Europe to start new lives. Others go to experience their heritage. In my mystery novel, The Touchdown at the End of the World, Brooklyn Private Eye Jimmy Gambles goes to avenge the murder of his best friend.

Former NFL quarterback Eric Kiransky has gotten a new start in a European football league that showcases the stars of yesterday. But when Kiransky is kidnaped and found brutally murdered in London, Gambles decides that he has to go after the killer. It’s a bit more daunting than his usual run of divorce cases, but he’s lived in England before, and knows the lay of the land.

Soon, he’s sunk deep into a world of American outcasts and expatriates, each of whom had reason to want Kiransky dead: a backup quarterback from Texas who sure does love his guns and whiskey; two club owners - brothers who are a little too friendly with the Sicilian mafia; and a fellow private detective, who might be broke enough now to work as a freelance hit man. Dangerous men all; can Gambles expose the killer before he himself is killed?

I grew up in New York but have lived in London for the past twelve years, working as a freelance writer. My work has appeared in Newsday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Kansas City Star. If this 60,000-word mystery sounds interesting, please let me know and I’ll send a copy immediately.

Sincerely,


Notes

Though Evil Editor assumed the outcasts were the suspects, that wasn't made clear. They could be the people Gambles recruits to help solve the case. One is a private eye, after all, and there's nothing sinister about being a quarterback. Unless you played for Miami University.


Selected Comments

David Baker said...EE, your editorial inclusions had me in tears. Haven't laughed so hard since I divorced my second ex-wife: a shame because Ruth was a riot. My question, though, is this: is London really in Europe? I thought it was on some island near Iceland. In any case, I'll offer a suggestion: "Some people go to London for the latest Andrew Lloyd Webber. Others go simply for boiled meat..."


frainstorm said...Some go to London because they speak the bloody language. But just because they don't use the Euro doesn't mean they're not in Europe. Last I checked, Switzerland was still in Europe too. Where do they fit all those countries?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

American Football? In Europe? I am confused.

The start of the query should be more specific. If you talk about London instead of Europe you have an opportunity to gently make fun of the English. Why waste it?

Love the website EE. It's a whole lot of fun.

Evil Editor said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_League_of_American_Football

Xan said...

Revised version at least specifies England. The original made 'Europe' sound like a country. Also, I assume European football is actually soccer in this context, right?

Evil Editor said...

Wrong. See link above.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Seems to me there's a country song called "The Truck Stop at the End of the World." Great title, if a bit of a rip on _The Restaurant at the End of the Universe_.

By the time we get to "The Touchdown at the End of the World," it doesn't seem quite as clever.

If the world ends in the story, seems like it should be mentioned in the query.

If we're talking Ends of the Earth rather than End of the World, then I don't think that's located in the UK. I'm pretty sure it's in Alaska.