Confessions of an Inappropriate Man – A Book Proposa
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Now then… At my little breakfast group, a couple of weeks ago, one of my friends (I think it was Pat), used the phrase “confessions of an inappropriate man.” This has stuck with me ever since as a stroke of genius. Almost immediately it sounded like a grand title for a book. A book that should be written. A book that could be written…by me.
Men in general have come under attack on all sides in recent years, and much of it (but not all) is deserved. The attacks seem particularly aggressive when aimed at white men of a certain age – let’s posit past 60 years or so. All of them (us) are evidently swinish beasts who are racists, sexists, and guilty of all sorts of horrid actions, statements, and thoughts going back decades. I hate this sort of mob mentality thinking and action, which although despicable is an entirely predictable manifestation of human behavior.
It would be nice to see a book that presented a different view. It would not defend the actions of the men, many of them rich and famous, who have justifiably come under attack for their actions. Rather, the book would present the story of men who have been considered to be inappropriate in thought or deeds or action who either do not think what they did was inappropriate or were the victim of selective memory and context manipulation. Or just flat out lies.
Next point to ponder: what sort of book? It could be a semi-comic novel, where the main character keeps creating or being dipped into situations where he says or does the wrong thing – usually inadvertently. Sort of a Walter Mitty of the mouth.
Perhaps it could be a series of essays or short stories recounting misadventures of the mouth or expression or action that are now comic in retrospect. I already have enough of those from my own life to fill many pages. Stories of good deeds gone horribly wrong, innocent statements that were incendiary, wrong place wrong time scenarios, and so forth.
But the best concept, in my humble opinion, would be a collaborative effort. Stories of men who are not inappropriate by nature but found themselves in a situation where the approbation of others was probably inevitable. I would edit the stories, if and where needed, and the names of the guilty could be used or withheld – original author’s choice. Those I wanted to use I would return to the sender after my efforts for approval, perhaps a few times. If I chose not to use a submission, I would respond with a (hopefully) polite reason for the rejection. An inappropriate response (as a person who used to submit work to magazines, I have received a couple), would be funnier, but perhaps too ironic.
If you have a story to share, please consider sending it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that this is not my web site e-mail address. And your recompense for your efforts? Nada, nil, zilch, which will probably pretty much equal my profits from the book. If I am wrong and the book becomes a break-out mega-hit – we’ll talk. But… this book must be written. And it will be fun. (I think)
Copyright 2018 David Preston