Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Airing Dirty Laundry

The possible jacket cover for my blockbuster novel.
What a dilemma. I've been working on a novel loosely based on my family's dirty laundry, and there's quite a pile of it, let me tell you. But I don't want to embarrass any of the people who are still living, and so I thought maybe I should come up with a pseudonym under which to publish--one that totally hides my identity but somehow lets people know it's me. Because if nobody knows I wrote it, I won't get any of the credit, and where's the fun in that? Plus, if it goes to film and becomes a smash hit starring that new Jennifer Lawrence girl who fell on the stairs when she went up to claim her Oscar-- my cousin Brian who knows all about movies says she is great, even though I don't get it--then once again, I would have to remain anonymous. So far I have come up with Andrea Bouda, Adrienne Doodah, Sandra Mooda and Alexandria Hooha, admittedly all decent enough, but still I worry people might guess my real name. So I'm just not going to bother, even though, in the dysfunctional department, my family is definitely in the top 1%. Here are just a few of the characters:

Aunt Ilene: The manipulating matriarch who buys herself furs, diamonds, fast cars and fine collectibles, subsists on ice cream and cake, and hates everyone except for her dead brother Teddie and her dead housemaid Hester. She dotes on her thousand-dollar cats, showering them with affection but, oddly enough, never cleaning their litter box. She only eats off of paper plates, despite owning many sets of fine bone china she keeps hidden away for "company," even though there is never any company because she has no friends and her family hates her. (She had a friend once, a kindly woman named Mona who died under suspicious circumstances in Ilene's horse barn.)

Cousin Luanne: Ilene's horribly selfish daughter who may or may not have been adopted as she was found in a basket on the front stoop in infancy. After a spoiled childhood, she moves to a remote island and never returns, until the death of her "parents" when she swoops in and raids the family estate, taking everything--remember all the furs and jewelry and fine collectibles?-- she can fit into her VW bus, and changing her mother's will while Ilene is lying in a coma so that none of the money goes to her sweet and loving brother, Ryan, who donated a kidney at the end to save his father and a lung to save his mother, but they died anyway. Luanne didn't care.

Saltah and Peppa: Sisters from the old country, each one shorter than the other, who are trapped in a love-hate relationship on Queens Boulevard. Saltah, a mean-spirited and critical witch, is a great cook, and so people flock to her meager two-room apartment for her brisket, coleslaw, stuffed turkey, ruggelah, kreplach, matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, roasted chicken, let's not forget the noodle kugel and the kasha varnishkes and the potato pancakes at Hanukkah, and those unbelievable sugar cookies and of course the apple cake, but Peppa is the angelic one who everyone really likes better and always has those fruity jelly candies in a silver dish with a cut-glass domed top on the coffee table, but she can hardly boil water. They battle each Passover for seder attendees. Saltah always wins.

Hinda: A born-again, hippie lunatic who despises anyone who is thinner, richer, or smarter than she is, which is everyone in the world, most especially her younger sister Mandrea. Hinda goes from job to job, working as a manicurist, telephone operator, telemarketer, school bus driver, taxi driver, sales clerk, prison guard and shoe shine girl in Grand Central Station. She gives away all her wages to charity while she steals money for drugs from her mother's purse, father's pants pockets and sister's offshore bank accounts.

You get the idea. It would have been great, though.

No comments:

Post a Comment