I’m one of those people who shouts, “Ooh! Colors pretty!” at a nice book cover. If I’m at the bookstore, I want to hold the precious. If I’m on Amazon, I’m more apt to scroll the reviews and summary. The author has my attention…at least for the next ten seconds.
For me, the greatest covers belong to the Choose Your Own Adventure series. This article from Slate made me feel all gushy and nostalgic. Even now, when I see that familiar font, and those cover pictures it brings me back. I used to read those books every day until I wore them out. Which Way books weren’t so bad, either. I was so obsessed, I even played the hybrid Apple II+/book titles back in the ’80s. Obsessed!
Someday I’ll write a post about my love affair with Choose Your Own Adventure. It will be very long.
I only have one pet peeve when it comes to covers: faces. I know it’s popular to show a picture of the main character before the reader even starts turning pages. I’m probably in the minority, but if I see someone on the cover, I can’t visualize them correctly while I’m reading the book. It’s like the character moves through the book wearing a mask. This is especially true with movie adaptations. When I read Jurassic Park, I’d already seen the trailer for the movie. Ruined it. And yes, my imagination is fickle. I’m just being honest. This is why I was so hesitant about watching Game of Thrones, and why I can’t read the Charlotte Harris books after watching True Blood. Hell, Robert Redford almost ruined my first reading of The Great Gatsby, for crying out loud.
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My owner is an eight-pound miniature dachshund. I’m a grown ass man, but that dog wears the pants. Why else would I feed her on an exact schedule every day? Why would I take her for long walks, stand in the rain as she defecates, provide a warm lap and fresh hot towels for her to burrow into? Yes, we all love our pets. So it follows that I would do these mundane tasks out of love, right? Wrong. Maybe that’s the case for you; maybe you haven’t had “the incident” yet. But I have.
My dog can talk. Not metaphorically; I’m talking full on Now-I-Know-My-ABCs verbalization. The first time she spoke, I thought it was the coolest thing. I saw dollar signs, guest spots on Maury, an elaborate ventriloquist act. But once my pea brain processed the dog’s first words, reality sank in.
I was putting on my underwear at the time, getting ready for work. “What did you say?”
I began to mouth the first syllable of “Tell about what?” but stopped. Did it matter? Your pet knows more about you than anyone in the world. It knows you color your hair. It knows you spent last Tuesday watching Never say Never with the curtains drawn–that you purchased the All-Day Loop on pay-per-view, and cried into your pint of Rocky Road each time Bieber took the stage. It curled up on the edge of the couch and watched you whisper, “Never say never, Justin,” as the credits rolled.
Let me offer these words of wisdom: When you are alone with your pets, you’re not alone. They’re watching. So feed your pets on a schedule, take them for long walkies, provide a warm lap. Or one day, they’ll look up at you while you’re putting on a pair of dirty underwear and say, “I’ll tell.”
Burklin, the main character of Nether, has this problem. His soul is trapped inside his dachshund, giving the dog heightened intellect and the ability to speak. But Burklin keeps worse secrets than yours; his secrets could destroy the world.
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This public service announcement is brought to you by ZomClene.
In death, as in life, good hygiene is a must. Whether pursuing a career, interacting socially, or engaging in ritualistic mating, a pungent scent will spoil a first impression. Unfortunately, our dead brethren lack the wisdom to work a bar of soap and a spigot. Responsibility falls to the breathing. But there are risks to bathing your loved ones. To protect yourself, adhere to our patented Seven-Step ZomClene Process:
1) Mouthguard — Dental protection saves lives. Purchase a ZomGard from any major pharmacy. Remove from box and shake briskly to begin the coloring process. ZomGards change from lime-green, to ocean-blue, to red and so on. Wait until your zombie is hypnotized and begins mumbling happily. At this point, wedge ZomGard into its mouth until all teeth are covered. Remember to choose your mouthguard carefully. While most manufacturers flavor theirs with mint, we produce our ZomGards with 73% cow brains. This makes them so delicious, you’ll never have to worry about your zombie spitting them out prematurely. Taste tests prove our brand ten-times more preferable than Toothalicious, Yum Yum Brain, or the generic Zombie Mouthguard. And ours come fluoridated for the whitest possible smile.
2) Add Water — Fill the tub. Your zombie won’t notice the temperature when submerged, so it is your responsibility to make sure the water does not scald. Scalding may result in damaged flesh and domestic abuse charges from local authorities.
3) Add Soap — Grab an eight-ounce bottle of ZomClene (*now with prettier bubbles!), and empty it into the water. Once your zombie notices the swirling colors it will try to leap into the tub. Undress it first.
4) Add Distractions – Toss in plenty of toys to distract your zombie. Recommended bath toys include Rubber Human, Intestine Putty and our exciting line of ZomPlay action figures.
5) Begin Bath – Gently apply ZomClene to all orifices. Use our ZomBeauty sponge and ZomWash stick to reach difficult areas. Allow zombie to soak for ten minutes.
6) Remove Water — Drain the water around your zombie. If you encounter a clog, add six ounces of ZomPurge to the drain.
7) Distract and Dry — Studies show that zombies become angry as the “pretty water” disappears. Be prepared to counter their aggression with ZomDry Flashy Towels (at least three). Our patented technology causes them to change colors when wet.
With ZomClene your loved one can be a productive member of society. Stop chaining Uncle Bob in the shed, risking domestic abuse charges and visits from Zombie Social Services. Just bathe Uncle Bob daily, keep plenty of ZomGards handy, and move him into the guest room.
ZomProducts. We’re blurring the line between life and death, removing prejudice one bath at a time. That’s the ZomWay!
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