Prelude To The Last Chapter.

What you’re about to read (hopefully all the way through) is an aborted first chapter for what was supposed to be my second book. As you’ve no doubt surmised by now (you clever devils) I’ve decided against going down that boulevard of broken dreams again, so you get to enjoy it here for free.

Enjoy.

 

Any monkey can write “Introduction” at the top of the page and the beginning of the book, right?

But as my wife always says, “You’re a special kind of monkey all-together.” And so I’ve done things differently. Get used to it.

The format and purpose of this little book will be made clear soon. (Assuming I’ve done my job correctly, that is.) Until then, get comfortable and prepare to laugh at least twelve times. As a further incentive, everyone who makes it to the end of this book will receive total consciousness on your deathbed, so you’ll have that goin’ for you, which is nice.

Now let’s talk about human memory for a moment. Ask ten people at a party to recall the gathering in detail and you’ll get eight different responses. One person will always be too hungover for coherent thought and one simply won’t give a toss. Who says math isn’t fun, isn’t right? But back to memory; everything you’re about to read about really did happen.

To be clear, this is an account of real-life events, a collection of memories.

According to me, at least.

I have to admit I’ve always found reality to be quite boring and history even more so, and so there may have been times my brain made an alteration or two in the heat of the moment, just to keep things interesting.

Now that we’re clear on my brain’s inner workings, let’s proceed, shall we?

The best way to describe what I’m attempting to accomplish here is to share a conversation between myself and one of the hundreds of colleagues I rub shoulders with on a daily basis as I wander the expanse of the hotel where I toil in the hospitality trenches as a bellman. This particular guy is just that, a down-to-earth, unpolished, working-class Joe… whom I like to refer to as Crazy Eddie From Laundry (Crazy Eddie for short, naturally) because of his resemblance to “Nice Guy” Eddie Cabot, Chris Penn’s character from Quentin Tarantino’s crime noir masterpiece, Reservoir Dogs. Why “Crazy” and not “Nice Guy”, you ask? Read on…

The Place:  The hotel’s basement staff cafeteria.

The Time:  The height of the lunch hour frenzy, as hundreds of employees, mostly housekeepers, gather to break hotel-provided bread and bitch about the sheer “joy” that is known the world over as working for a living.

 

wc-the-walking-dead-dont-open-dead-inside

CRAZY EDDIE:  (Slapping me on the back as he takes the fast food restaurant style seat opposite me in the cafeteria’s outer ring.)  IT’S THE HOOK! What’s up, Numb Nuts?

ME:  (Suppressing the urge to choke to death on my Subway assorted sub.)  Oh, not much. Most recently, I almost died when some crazy bastard from Laundry slapped me on the back as I tried to eat my lunch.

Here’s a helpful tip, kids: When dealing with a rough character it always helps to match their mannerisms and language. It puts them at ease and ensures they’ll never look upon you as anything less than a friend. It goes without saying that you don’t want a guy named Crazy Eddie as an enemy, right?

CRAZY EDDIE:  (Scanning the room.)  Oh yeah? Where’s the prick now? I’ll kick his ass!

ME:  I think he left when he saw you come over.

CRAZY EDDIE:  HA! Lucky for him! Hey, by the way, I always wante dto ask, why do they call you “The Hook” anyway? Are you a pirate? Is your junk curved?

ME:  (Suppressing the urge to say, “Ask your mom”.)  Nothing so nautical or pornographic, I’m afraid. My last name is Hookey, so they call me “Hook” or “The Hook”.

CRAZY EDDIE:  Well, that’s boring as fuck!

giphy

ME:  I’ve always thought it was a cool nickname. Beats the hell out of Numb Nuts…

CRAZY EDDIE:  Fine, I’ll give you that one… Numb Nuts.  So what you writing about these days? The douchebags you have to carry bags for every day? Hey, you know what I’d do if I was you? I’d go on your little computer at the desk and get the home address for one of these D-Bags. Then I’d take my machete and pay him a visit in the middle of the night! He’d never stiff a bellhop again!

Can you tell Eddie is a real people person?

ME:  Actually, I’m working on a new project. I’m thinking of calling it “Life Advice From A Loser: Winning Isn’t Everything.” It’s going to be all about my life and some of my not-so-shining moments.

Eddie just sat there silently for an eternity. (Honestly, a moment of silence from a guy like Eddie definitely feels like an eternity.) When he finally spoke, Eddie certainly proved why he’s the greatest muse an author ever had.

CRAZY EDDIE:  “Not-so-shining” moments? You mean you’re writing about all the times you fucked up? The thing’ll be the size of Encyclopedia fuckin’ Britannica!

Fortunately, the cafeteria was packed and the cacophony of conversations kept anyone from noticing Eddie’s colorful language. Then again, to everyone at the hotel cursing is a first language; you can’t survive in the hospitality trenches for long without letting loose with a fit of colorful language at least once every few minutes.

ME:  My mistakes are more entertaining than my victories, man.

CRAZY EDDIE:  You’ve had victories?

ME:  Exactly. The way I figure it, this should be the perfect vehicle for my self-deprecating humor and –

CRAZY EDDIE:  But people are going to think you’re a jerk-off.

ME:  Aren’t I?

CRAZY EDDIE:  Sure! But people don’t need to know that.

ME:  Well, I think they do. I’m hoping they’ll be intrigued by my unique world view.

CRAZY EDDIE:  (Uncharacteristically reflecting for a moment.)  Hey, I just thought of something.

ME:  It was bound to happen sooner or later…

CRAZY EDDIE:  Shut up, Numb Nuts! Anyway, isn’t it funny how this conversation seems to be explaining things about your life? It’s almost as if we’re characters in one of your stories.

ME:  Thinking is nothing but trouble, buddy. But to be fair, readers do need servicing.

CRAZY EDDIE:  Don’t we all?

ME:  Fair point.

CRAZY EDDIE:  Anyway, I gotta get back to Laundry before they start bustin’ my balls. But about your project, I think people are going to be intrigued all right… by your unique world view as a jerk-off! Good luck, Numb Nuts!

Told you he was crazy. Now let’s see if he’s right, shall we? The journey begins…

 

So what did you think? A masterpiece? A… not-so-masterpiece? Were you bored moved to tears?

Either way, see you in the lobby, kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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31 Responses to Prelude To The Last Chapter.

  1. I liked it a lot. The content is great but the dialog needs to flow. I think you can drop the “Crazy Eddie” and “Me” designation and just let it rip. If you get a little lost on who’s talking just add a tag in the end or beginning. Also, lose the exclamation points. They are not needed. I took your words for this example:
    “My mistakes are more entertaining than my victories, man,” I said.
    “You’ve had victories?” Crazy Eddie said.
    “Exactly. The way I figure it, this should be the perfect vehicle for my self-deprecating humor and –”
    ” But people are going to think you’re a jerk-off.”
    “Aren’t I?”
    “Sure. But people don’t need to know that.”
    “Well, I think they do. I’m hoping they’ll be intrigued by my unique world view.”
    Uncharacteristically reflecting for a moment Crazy Eddie finally pops awake “Hey, I just thought of something.”
    Keep at it Hook. You are a good writer. What I’ve pointed out are just mechanics. Hope this helps.

    • The Hook says:

      It actually does, John.
      You’re a great editor.
      Wish I’d had your help with my first book.

      • Just continue. The idea is for the reader to be able to go with you and not have to stop to figure out who is talking. Your stories are great and deserve to be read. There are some classic rules which you can learn. Read Steven King’s book On writing. He pretty much lays them to for you. Best wishes Hook. Contact me if you need more information Johnhowell (dot) wave (at) gmail.com (this is to fool the spammers)

      • The Hook says:

        Thanks again, John.

  2. davidprosser says:

    I’m not sure I understand your problem Robert unless it’s one of self confidence. Believe me that didn’t stop me writing four books (one as my cat). You were as entertaining as always and that’s before you reach the funny stories. Any advice I would have given re technicalities John has done far better, the only thing I can add is , if the writing makes you happy, don’t give up. There might just be a niche or a kiss and tell funny of the hotel world.
    Hugs

  3. I think it works, Hook. But, then again, I’m used to how you write from reading your blog for years, so my perspective may be skewed. Of course, my perspective may have started off skewed.

  4. umashankar says:

    You are at your irreverent best, but I tend to agree with the editor fellow up there.

  5. Austin says:

    Why did you decide to abandon the project?

  6. I’m a fan Hook. I even got 2 extra chuckles out of this excerpt. I wish I had the editorial skills that John has to share some helpful pearls.

    What I do notice while reading this was how differently I read blogs compared to books. I tend to “scan” through blogs. Little details are more likely to fly by (unless I’m reading poetry). So the overt cues that are necessary in blogs fall short if used in longer, structured literature.

    That said, I hope you keep writing Hook. I’m a fan.

  7. I love your stories Robert.. you definitely live a “colorful” life. Thanks for sharing Chapter One. I like John’s idea of taking out the designations.. No Me: or Crazy Eddie:. The flow is there, just write it down. Your readers will get it. 😉

  8. Tara says:

    Bring it. I need more Hook.
    And Crazy Eddie needs a cameo or two.

  9. Mark Myers says:

    I like it! Maybe Crazy Eddie could get promoted to the front desk. That would keep things spicy!

  10. Keep trucking! I know that you’re on the right path!
    And so what if it is slow and steady? I have been working on one book for three years and just two weeks ago…I finally uncovered what needed to happen. Keep keep keep plugging – you can do this!!

  11. jlheuer says:

    When you published your first book I thought, “I don’t have to buy this because I have read all these stories on his blog.” Now if that wasn’t true I have missed out but what I mean to say is if you do decide to do a 2nd book I think you have to tell stories no one has read yet. BTW, John’s suggestion of reading Stephen King’s book, On Writing, is spot on.

  12. curvyroads says:

    I like John’s suggestions, and have faith that we devoted fans can keep up with your great stories! Please keep sharing!

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