Bitterness Leads to My First Children's Book/Lawsuit

What have I done to my life?! Seriously. I've done something horrible. I didn't focus in high school and now I have no prospects whatsoever. My god, this is awful. I have to face the fact that I soon must become a total degenerate to survive. Should I enter poilitics? Become a professional gambler? Huff asbestos every day for two years then contact the law offices of Dr. James Sokolove? I really don't want to have to get mesothelioma but it is quite possible that I might be forced to.

I mean, I threw out all chance of finding a career that will both utilize and satisfy my intellect by fucking off in high school and dropping out of college. I don't even know if such a career exists, most likely because of the LSD and whatever else I popped, snorted and dropped back in the day. Perhaps I could surrender, maybe get a job at McDonald's again, or work as a roadie for a Great White cover band that cleverly but insensitively closes their shows by playing the Talking Heads' classic, "Burning Down The House".

I know what people are thinking; that it's "never too late for your education". Yes it is, goddamnit! Look around you! If you don't identify with this situation, you either:

A. Attend a university.

B. Actually like your job.

C. Are just kind of a dick like that.


D. Smoke so much weed you don't give a rat's ass.

I'm so fucking jealous of the lucky bastards in D because pot makes me so paranoid and antisocial nowadays I can't enjoy being high at all.

And for those of you in community college, that old lady you see in your english class who is actually paying attention is merely escaping the harsh reality her life became after wasting her high school years crying over boyfriends she sepnt the rest of her time whoring around on anyways! And that old guy? Well, that dude's just plain creepy! Am I wrong? Yes, I probably am!

Although it is possible that I have a somewhat exceptional but completely unpolished talent for writing. At least I tell myself that, if only to briefly boost my morale, but I soon realize that the only real journalistic instincts I have are for the irreverent and nonsensical, and for exclamation-point laced rants on my extremely skewed views of politics and life in general (see last paragraph).

I've already beaten it into my head that I am a complete hack and I don't even have the right to use the word "hack" when describing a persons' creative talent. What are the features that actually define a true "hack"? I'd like to know so I can rule myself out, maybe that would put an end to the scrambled mantras of subconscious disapproval that plague me every time I try to "seriously" write. I'm telling you, self-doubt runs deep through these veins, people. I have more neuroses than George Costanza and Larry David combined, which means that I'll hide under a desk all day at work and convert to Latvian Orthodox just to avoid having to do a stop and chat.

Maybe I can catch a break writing letters to the editor of my local newspaper every day. Oh, I know, I'll dig through my gigantic bin of doodle-filled spiral notebooks and finish one of the eleventeen novel layouts I wrote during one of many "performance enhanced" periods of uncharacteristic ambition.

Nah, scratch that. I'll just write a children's book. That's fuckin' easy, I'll do it right now:

My Children's Book
by Joshua Arthur Knutson  

Almost all kid's books begin with an animal. Ok, I choose a cuddly, adolescent koala bear. I chose an adolescent character in order to appeal to a wider age base. Younger children are still doing the majority of their learning through the psychological process of modeling, because of which they subconsciously seek older children in order to learn socially accepted behaviors. Older kids closely identify with characters their age because it helps them find comfort within the awkwardness and confusion children often experience during their preteen years. I chose a koala bear because kids love those goddamned things, genius.

I'll name him alliteratively, 'cause kids like that shit too. Korey Koala, that's perfect. Now, the story, I will just pull right out of my ass because it doesn't matter: any douchebag can write a fucking children's book. Then I'll just run with it and not stop until I start thinking about marketing ideas, that's when I'll know I've gone too far.

So in MY book, young Korey Koala becomes curious about the perils of drug addiction as his streetwise, cirrhosis-suffering uncle Jaundice Jerry is released from prison. Alright, I'm pretty sure this is destined for the bestseller list, so Ill keep grindin' out the details.

Soon danger arises in Koalaland and the two are forced to embark on a courageous journey to save the eucalyptus tree, which is fast becoming endangered in the area because of the dangerous chemicals being emitted by clandestine methamphetamine labs being ran by the fearsome kangaroo mafia. Along the way Korey indeed discovers the terrible things drugs can do to a person as his uncle Jerry reveals the tale of his fall from grace: Jerry Jumpsalot, a star high school quarterback, who had the world in his grasp until temptation and ultimately addiction landed him in prison and left him with a life-threatening liver illness.

The book's climax will peak with Korey himself face to face with temptation, as he is lured into a dark world of drug experimentation and unprotected sex by a sexy female kangaroo. The End. This'll give the readers that jolt of disorientation characteristic of a good dramatic conclusion.

Like the end of that episode of Six Feet Under where Nate Fisher's arteriovenous malformation pops and he totally narms out. Or the end of 40 days, 40 nights, when you realize you've been stripped of your testicles just by watching it, and also that you're not getting laid because the chick you watched it with is asking you a bunch of retarded questions and withholding sex because she says you don't appreciate her enough.

Well, Jesus Christ, woman, I know I'm no Josh Hartnett, but you sure as hell ain't Shannyn Sossaman!...........Oh, what the fuck ever, I'm closer to being Josh Hartnett than you are to looking as good as Shannyn Sossaman. ......No, I didn't mean looking like Shannyn Sossaman, I meant........ No, I don't think you're fat..........I swear to god, I wasn't checking out other girls when we were at the mall. Why, were you checking out other guys?....................Oh, you never check out other guys, that's why you talk like a whore when you're with your friends.............When I with my friends I only talk about sports and work........Ugggh, of course I talk about you........No, I'm not talking a bunch of shit about you..........Well just because he cheats on his girlfriend doesn't mean I do too!.............Fine, leave...........If you think my house smells so bad then get the fuck out!.......(car pulls away) AND I WANT MY KINGPIN DVD BACK, YOU BITCH!!!!

Ahem, sorry about that, folks. Man, what a bitch. Don' t tell her I said that.

Yeah, I know it sounds a bit dark for a childrens book, but times have changed. We live in a different and much more dangerous age than the one us twentysomehings grew up in. The horrors of 9/11 introduced us to the frightful and confusing modern age of uncertainty. What better way is there to introduce the nation's youth to the inevitable reality of the world they've been brought into than letting them experience the fear and anxiety of not knowing what fate has in store for their furry friend Korey?

At some point children do need to learn that the good guy won't always win, or that believing in yourself and doing the right thing sometimes aren't the best ways to get ahead in life. If parents don't like the prospect of their children facing the harsh truths of life's unpredictability, they're a bunch of pussies.

You really think feeding your kids the same happy ending, recycled crap lessons is gonna harden them up enough for the possibility you both could die in a car wreck and they might be split up and placed in different foster homes? They won't even be one-tenth of the way ready unless one of you is a hardcore alcoholic or you had a messy divorce. I do understand however, that many parents are simply not ready for my books' innovative method of teaching. To fix this problem I came up with a way to appeal to more widely accepted, less psychologically manipulative variations of parenting; in which the aspect of uncertainty is avoided.

So, for the parents that are too scared to let their kids be freaked out for a year or two: Although your children won't reap the lifelong benefits of my groundbreaking childhood development program, fiction-induced minor childhood trauma (patent pending), they can still learn with Korey about drugs, peer pressure, interspecies sex and many other things the first book didn't get to! They'll just have to wait for the second and third books in the trilogy.

At that point the limited edition hardcover boxed set will be released, around the same time as the first motion picture opens in theaters. What, did you think that cliffhanger ending was just for suspense people? That's Cash Money, bitches.


Ok, maybe I ain't the guy for the job when it comes to writing children's literature.

Well, anyway, I guess no matter what my predicament is I'm still young. Although I feel as if time has ticked too far for an underacheiver such as myself, I am comforted by one thing: I haven't even left Fort Dodge, Iowa yet. Plus I'm not in prison, and never have been. So that means I'm comforted by three things. But, I am on probation, therefore stuck here until I get off.

In the mean time I'll keep loitering in the Psychology/Self Help section at B. Dalton. If I avoid getting kicked out I'll attain self-actualization sometime Tuesday, probably around two or three. Then I can pack up my stuffs and move out to L.A. and peddle my screenplay about the midget identical twins addicted to cough syrup who form their own religion in order to raise money for limb-lengthening surgery. That is pure gold.

Joshua Arthur Knutson, Male, 28, Shitty Town, Iowa. Growing up in an area with no culture, Joshua Knutson, inspired by Mel Brooks' Life Stinks entertained himself by sleeping in a cardboard box for two months and pretending he was homeless at the age of 6. Started compulsive writing at 17, after becoming an over-enthused psychonaut. Now lives a mostly sober life and hopes to one day gain the clarity and perspective to finish one of the dozens of unfinished novels in his closet and also hopes to spread a wave of contagious intellect to the brainwashed masses. Joshua is a Pisces.