Dr. Lewis B. Turndevelts Big Book of Forewords

David R. Perry

Turndevelt's Big Book of Forewords

Copyright (c) 2004 David R. Perry
ISBN 0-9753554-0-6
For more information about this title, or to order hard copies, please visit www.davidrperry.com.
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******************** Dr. Lewis B. Turndevelt's Big Book of Forewords ********************
Let me begin by saying that I have a personal and moral objection against book introductions and prefaces. My reasons are numerous, but I will be focusing on just two for the purpose of this unfortunate, but publisher-mandated, preface.
The first is that the only reason they exist is to give would-be book buyers a convenient way to check over a book's contents before making a purchase. To the consumer, I'm sure that this seems like a good and reasonable thing to expect. After all, if someone is going to spend their hard-earned money on a stack of papers, they might like to have at least a false sense that somewhere in the middle of that stack is something of value and importance. Yes, I'm sure that the consumer does in fact feel this way.
Now let me tell you how I, the book author, feel. I think it's stealing. You stand around in the bookstore, killing time before you head off to your "real" entertainment for the evening, consisting of yet another regrettably awful Hollywood movie, and decide that you can at least browse over the preface of a book, hoping to find out what it is about, who this yahoo is that is writing it, and why can't they have comfortable chairs in this store anyway? So you, or someone that looks suspiciously like you, will read through the whole introduction, decide that the book is too complicated - too much English - and put it back on the shelf.
The reason I regard this as stealing is because it was my full intention for you to not realize this until well after you had purchased the book, taken it home, and cracked the spine of it so that the store wouldn't take it back. This was a very well thought out, highly involved tactical exercise on my part that was to all but eliminate the possibility of having this book returned. Additionally, my specific instructions have always been that the book should be constructed from the cheapest materials available, using bargain-basement quality glue as a page fastener; a fixative that would barely even hold up to the manhandling a book receives going through the checkout. This is a book you were meant to purchase and then be stuck with forever - "forever" actually meaning "in a loose pile inside the store's bag." In fact, I recall my initial conversation with my editor about how this book should be sold, which went a little something like this:
Me: Ted, I think the preface is a bad idea. I mean, you've read the book. It's sheer genius. Would you buy it if all you had a chance to read was a hastily thrown together preface, instead of the glorious prose inside?
Him (Ted): Well, I mean it's difficult to say. I haven't read the book. You were supposed to turn it in last week, what is taking so long? Plus, I would like to think that as a book editor I might be a little pickier about that kind of...
Me: Just trust me that it is fantastic. And no, Ted, you're not. You're no pickier than the next person, who, unless someone else walks in here, happens to be me. You're a man that buys x-brand kitty litter simply to make a point. You've said so yourself. And to be honest, I'm not even sure what that point is supposed to be.
Him: I just don't think that you have to pay those outrageous, name brand prices just to get better clumping. When I scoop up those little balls of dried urine, they are perfectly clumped. You've seen them, I bring them in here all the time.
Me: Yes, we've all seen the clumps... But what I mean is that "picky" is never a word I would use in the same sentence as your name. Unless, of course, that sentence happened to be "I picky Teddy for my teamy."
Him: Cute, very cute. Are you done?
Me: "Does Teddy likey the drinkey? Maybe he likey to picky another?"
Him: Alright, I think I see where this is headed, and it's actually pretty annoying...
Me: ...
Him: (squirting a leftover packet of ketchup into his mouth, since he is not picky enough to care about the contents of his afternoon snack)
Me: But as I was saying, prefaces are just really nasty and evil things. And superfluous too:
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