Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Face-Lift 11

Guess the Plot

The Touchdown at the End of the World


1. The second coming of Jesus finally arrives...during the final moments of a Texas A&M football game. Jesus scores the winning touchdown for the Aggies and then initiates the Apocalypse.

2. Norville Drebs ran as fast as he could, clutching the pigskin, making his dad proud. It was the first time he had ever scored on his high school's foo... The heat and blast waves hit the field; then the mushroom clouds bloomed.

3. One night, a frustrated wife asks if there's a heaven for football fans. Unfortunately, the drunk genie nearby doesn't pick up Annie's sarcasm.

4. A geeky quarterback is taken by his teen friends into a mystical realm, and forced to play in a football game for the survival of the human race.

5. A man and woman have a chance meeting at a football game. They fall in love but lose contact. Years later, they meet again by chance and finally score a touchdown of a marriage.

6. When a former NFL quarterback is murdered, his best friend sets out to avenge the crime. The top suspect: the backup quarterback.


Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

Some people go to Europe to start up new lives. Others simply go to die. [No, no, those are the reasons people go to Florida.] [European morgue employees are sick and tired of all these Americans going to Europe specifically to die.] [Surely there's a more common reason people go to Europe--though it would sound silly to say, Some people go to Europe for the croissants. Others go for the cannoli. Jimmy Gamble goes to avenge the murder of former NFL quarterback Erik Kiransky.] And in The Touchdown at the End of the World, [Which is what? A sports bar in Newark?] Brooklyn Private Eye Jimmy Gambles goes to avenge the murder of his best friend.

A former NFL quarterback, Eric Kiransky has gotten a new start in a European football league that showcases the stars of yesterday. But when he’s kidnapped and found brutally murdered in London, Jimmy Gambles decides that he has to help catch the killer. It’s a bit more [More . . . expensive? Interesting?] than his usual run of divorce cases, but he’s lived in England before and he knows the lay of the land.

Soon, he’s sunk deep into a world of American outcasts and expatriates, the kind Henry James never quite got around to writing about. The backup quarterback, a good ol’ boy from Texas who sure does love his guns and whiskey. The club owners - two brothers who are just a little too friendly with the Sicilian mafia. And a fellow private detective, who had a Magnum P.I.-type series based on him twenty years ago but who might be broke enough now to work as a freelance hit man. [Evil Editor is imagining himself on The $25,000 Pyramid. It's the big-money final round, and the late Tony Randall is feeding me the clues. We've breezed through the first five squares in twenty seconds. The last one flips over, and Randall thinks a moment and says, "Backup quarterbacks from Texas who love guns and whisky." Evil Editor guesses, "People who enter bass fishing contests." Randall shakes his head and says, "Brothers who are connected with the Sicilian mafia." Evil Editor guesses, "The actual members of the conspiracy to kill JFK." Wrong again. Randall hits me with, "A washed-up private eye who's now a hitman." Evil Editor thinks hard. What do they all have in common? Time passes. The clock approaches zero. Suddenly Evil Editor has it! He blurts out, "Outcasts and expatriates Henry James never got around to writing about!" Bells ring and sirens blare.]

[Now, where was I? Ah yes, you've listed some suspects, you need to say something else to wrap up the plot portion.]

As for myself, I grew up in New York but I’ve lived in London for the last twelve years, working as a freelance writer. My work has appeared in Newsday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Kansas City Star, and I currently report for [a tiny little news service you’ve never heard of.] [Evil Editor will do the brackets, if you don't mind.] If this 60,000-word mystery sounds interesting, please do return the SASE and I’ll have a copy sent on to you immediately. [By my staff.]

Sincerely...


Revised Version

Dear Evil Editor,

Some people go to Europe to start up new lives. Others go to experience their heritage. In my mystery novel, The Touchdown at the End of the World, Brooklyn Private Eye Jimmy Gambles goes to avenge the murder of his best friend.

Former NFL quarterback Eric Kiransky has gotten a new start in a European football league that showcases the stars of yesterday. But when Kiransky is kidnaped and found brutally murdered in London, Gambles decides that he has to go after the killer. It’s a bit more daunting than his usual run of divorce cases, but he’s lived in England before, and knows the lay of the land.

Soon, he’s sunk deep into a world of American outcasts and expatriates, each of whom had reason to want Kiransky dead: a backup quarterback from Texas who sure does love his guns and whiskey; two club owners - brothers who are a little too friendly with the Sicilian mafia; and a fellow private detective, who might be broke enough now to work as a freelance hit man. Dangerous men all; can Gambles expose the killer before he himself is killed?

I grew up in New York but have lived in London for the last twelve years, working as a freelance writer. My work has appeared in Newsday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Kansas City Star. If this 60,000-word mystery sounds interesting, please do return the SASE and I’ll have a copy sent on to you immediately.

Sincerely...


Notes

Though Evil Editor assumed the outcasts were the suspects, that wasn't made clear. They could be the people Gambles recruits to help solve the case. One is a private eye, after all, and there's nothing sinister about being a quarterback. Unless you played for Nebraska.

11 comments:

David Baker said...

EE, your editorial inclusions had me in tears. Haven't laughed so hard since I divorced my second ex-wife: a shame because Ruth was a riot.

My question, though, is this: is London really in Europe? I thought it was on some island near Iceland. In any case, I'll offer a suggestion: "Some people go to London for the latest Andrew Lloyd Webber. Others go simply for boiled meat..."

frainstorm said...

Some go to London because they speak the bloody language. But just because they don't use the Euro doesn't mean they're not in Europe.

Last I checked, Switzerland was still in Europe too. Where do they fit all those countries?

frainstorm said...

Smashing, by the way, EE. Jolly good. Did I mention that already?

Bugger, I say. Way to kick some arse!

Cheerio!
John

lottery ticket said...

Your $20,000 pyramid dream sequence had me spewing coffee on my keyboard! Thanks for a great laugh to start the day.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit thrown by the idea of a European league for American football. And does the book take place in London, or all over Europe?

Bernita said...

Dayum, had my girl go to England for a bloody conference - nothing esoteric at all.

Pepper Espinoza said...

Oh, the European NFL is the best. Most of the players are from the NFL, back-ups and players from the training camps, and the occasional starter. It's standard rules. The NFL Network broadcasts some of the games. As far as I can tell it's all over Europe.

And the best part of course is that it's during the off-season, so when you're desperate for that football fix, you don't have to turn to arena football (which let's face it, is boring as hell and exists only so people can gamble.)

Mad Scientist Matt said...

I know they had a European league of American football for a while. One of the teams practiced at the field outside my high school for a summer before going over there. I think the name was World League. I'm not sure what's become of the it.

BuffySquirrel said...

I was pretty surprised myself at the idea of a European NFL league, anonymous, but apparently it does exist.

http://www.nfleurope.com/

Anonymous said...

Hey, there was a Family Guy episode like this--Peter is quarterback for the Patriots, but gets kicked off and has to play for the English team, the Silly Nannies.

Wait, I don't think there was a murder. Never mind.

Julia said...

EE, as usual, I spewed my coffed, but what's with the NJ jab?

The Touchdown at the End of the World, [Which is what? A sports bar in Newark?]