Alan Taylor writes:
Subject: Your book --
*How about "You thought they were all kidding you", from "Like a Rolling Stone". I would love to see a character from the book be a guy from California who moves to Lake Wobegon. He or she might see your bachelor farmers from a different perspective. I am not suggesting you tarnish their reputation. This California character would not understand the way people hide their wealth in the midwest. He would be a character who believes that education can save your soul. He would be frustrated by broken down poorly maintained schoolhouses. He might not look at the talent of the teachers in those schoolhouses. He might get involved in a poorly executed bond issue. Maybe he would die or at least face death when he tries to go cross country skiing in February. He wears his shorts because the day looks so nice. He gets into a white out and sees a vision from "The Ring". A tall ,broad Nowegian woman with horns in her head. He begins to sing to her in German and she can't understand him because she only speaks Norwegian. She reaches out to him and spreads her warm animal skin coat wide to receive him. He blacks out. He wakes up lying on his back and sees what he thinks is another vision of a giant duck floating above him. (when is duck season?) He slowly realizes he has been saved by a member of the benevolent order. He decides to dedicate himself to the service of women to pay back the lady of the lake who saved him. It was not really a lady of course. It would not be romantic for a man to dedicate himself to the service of other men. Anyway he organizes and coaches a ladies softball team. The men in town are embarrassed because the ladies hit on a winning streak. The ladies go to Japan, the men go with them, to play the softball world series against a group of Japanese ladies whose men are embarrassed because their women are winning. The men from Lake Wobegon and the men from Japan watch the game on a big screen TV in a Tokyo bar. They sing karaoke together. What's that Ry Cooder song about women ruling the world? A Mexican band touring Japan happen to hear the singing. They come in and play background music. Meanwhile back at the ballpark. The women are behind 5-0 in the 6th. The pressure is too much for the coach. He has a vision from "Madam Butterfly". An American naval officer comes to the ballpark to take away his team. He contemplates suicide. The lady of the lake with horns and dressed like a Geisha saves him again. It is the 7th inning. During the stretch the coach sings "Se Voy Baire Sinor Contino", sorry about the spelling, from "The Marriage of Figaro". He is trying to tell the ladies that even though it seems hopeless he has a plan. They can't understand him because he sings in Italian. He finally says in English, "If they want to dance, we will name the tune", the ladies look perplexed. The game goes on....... Another thing about this guy from California. He notices that the economy is so good in Minnesota that many jobs are not filled. He contacts some of his Mexican friends in Ca. They fill the jobs. These people provided content for conversations in the bars and restaurants. The used car lots in town are emptied. The attendance at Our Lady of Perpetual whatever swells. The people of Lake Wobegon are not happy with the increased night life in town. They reluctantly admit that these newcomers have a good work ethic. Maybe this is too much opera but.. People are standing around smoking and drinking beer. A Mexican lady sings a song warning the men about the power of love.
OK, I'm sorry. But you started it.
You've dreamed up a story as big as War and Peace, and all we have is a little part of a two-hour radio show to deal with. It's exciting, but.....don't they teach you about metaphor in the Stuart school system? You know ---- the use of one small action or experience as symbolic of the whole life? The slice-of-life short story? Chekhov? Your story is fascinating, but where are we going to find the actors to play all those parts? We'll have to buy about twenty more microphones and rebuild the Fitzgerald to add dressing rooms. We'll need a director in a director's chair. We'll need to hire a team of writers. We'll have to hold a pledge drive to pay for all this. How much are you willing to pledge, Alan? Yrs. GK
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