Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but

Gabriella Herkert
Catnapped and Doggone
If I were to write non-fiction book, what topic would I choose? I’m going with the idea that all the mayhem I have so far committed on paper, are assumed to be mere figments of my imagination. Generous assumption of my innocence aside, I’d love to write non-fiction if for no other reason people would start to believe what I say.

I would really like to be the author of a mandatory textbook used by all first year law students. I’d call it Remember Nobody Dies. The practice of law, while painful, metaphorically bloody and downright invasive isn’t usually fatal. Self-important lawyers tend to forget this fact and leave the profession with nothing but ulcers to show for three years of education and tens of thousands of dollars of student loans. Now my motives aren’t pure the driven snow. (I know it shocks and dismays many of you that I would admit to being less than pristine about anything but just go with me on this.) T extbooks are the biggest selling, best income-producing segment of books sold in this country. Every year there’s an updated version and when you multiply the number of wannabe legal beagles by the number of revisions I’d get to be one of those lucky writers earning a living. At which point, I’d need to hire contract lawyers and intellectual property lawyers and tax lawyers. It’s a circle of life thing.

If I were to go the true crime route, I would love to pen the tale of the Greenhalghs. Have you heard of this them? Talk about your family business. Recently, Shaun Greenhalgh was arrested in Great Britain after almost twenty years spent forging works of art. He, along with his brother, parents, grandfather and great-grandfather are the alleged masterminds behind the production, provenance and sale of works of art ranging from pastels to sculptures to bas-reliefs. Production. As in they made the things themselves. I don’t know about you but I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, have two left feet and draw like a kindergartner with no talent. They made them at home. Then, they sold them to collectors, dealers, museums. Frequently, they were asked to authenticate the very pieces they made. I say put them on that British talent show. I’d bet they’d win. Even if they didn’t, even if they are found guilty, do we really want to put some senior citizen Picassos behind bars? My working title, Garden House Gang, is the headline nickname given to the entrepreneurial family tree.

Or I could go with the self-help section. Anyone who’s ever met me has suggested that I need to spend a little more time in this part of the bookstore although I sense the suggestion is aimed more at me as a reader than as an author. I should go with something deeply psychological and spiritual but I’d probably end up with Bad Hair Days Aren’t for Everyone -- Just You. I’d do a chapter on hat hair, one on becoming an accidental dye goth and another on the unique hornlike directional challenges of going grey. My sage advice -- as an expert worthy of non-fiction publication – is accessorize your coiffure with a matching attitude and no sane person will mess with you. Under my non-fiction tutelage, you will never again be greeted with ‘what the hell happened to your hair?’ We’re talking a life changer here. Talk show circuit, DVDs, maybe even a group exercise workbook.

Maybe telling the truth is in my future. Maybe it’s in my past. Maybe it won’t be that easy to tell the difference. Maybe you’ll have to keep reading to figure it out.



Shane Gericke said...

Gabi, I love that story about the Greenhalghs. It's fascinating--can you imagine having so much talent you can fool that many experts? You should write it. Heck, I'd buy a copy!

Gabi said...

They're amazing. It makes you wonder why they committed crimes at all. Was it not enough to be immensely talented and artistically well-rounded? Do even geniuses need the adrenaline? Imagine going to the National Gallery to "visit" something you made on a rainy weekend.