Friday, October 1, 2010

LINCOLN’S MOTHER’S DOCTOR’S DOG

That title might sound silly to you. If so, you’re right. But I’ll explain the brilliant reasoning behind it: Several years ago I read about a survey of American reading habits. It said the four topics that would attract the most American readers were “Lincoln, Mothers, Doctors, and Dogs." Gee, we must have been straight-laced back then! Now it would probably be more slanted to movie and sports stars plus debt and taxes. Dogs still might make the list. Even in supposedly tough times I see more people with two or more dogs, most stopping to leave tributes on my lawn. I don’t mind the lawn-defiling so much, but scraping my lawnmower tire treads could make a dirty stick my Man’s Best Friend!

Now since lots of writers read blogs, let’s think about this: How many times do we find titles that give us FOUR chances to write a Best Seller? So why not use that title, just as-is, (or as-was) and write your own version of Lincoln’s Mother’s Doctor’s Dog? Most people don’t even know much about his mother, and less about his doctor and nothing about any dog he might have had. Or the stick he used to. . . well, you know. And we will ALL know all those people and dogs when you enlighten us with your tale. No fear of perjury, as titles are not copyrightable, unless you’re usurping a famous one and trying to pass off “Gone With the Wind” as your own.

I’ve already messed with the “Dog” part, which I hope will get you started ‘scraping up stuff’ for the three human subjects. Anything you might find that Lincoln said or did should likely come next. His mother and doctor are harder, so I leave that up to you. I do see a framework for a soap-opera plot there, because what mother isn’t attracted to doctors? Even if no more scandalous than only for their sons to become or their daughters to marry.

It is easy to find quotes from famous folk, whether they said them or not. Yogi Berra must be continually surprised when he reads brand new made-up quotes that sound like his “Poils of Wisdumb.” Will Rogers’ zingers could fill books, and does so. But Rogers made his living being a ‘communicator,’ while so many “great names” rarely said much worth archiving. Henry Ford’s statement that fascinates me the most was one he took a lot of guff about: “History is Bunk!” If you’ve ever read a news story of something you saw or experienced you will likely agree with him. I’ve found at least a name or a place spelled wrong, or a typo error in most events I witnessed -- and where the reporter didn’t seem to have been there! Now compare the new (and more expensive) copy of a high school or college history text. See how so many “facts” and heroes have changed to meet the new more trendy viewpoints of what academia wants kids to believe NOW, instead of “last year’s slant.”

But wait! Re-thinking the Henry Ford quote about History - - If it really IS bunk, then maybe he never said that! I am “History” myself! I am “Raker.” Welcome back, Willie!

2 comments:

  1. I think now it would be porn and Twilight.

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  2. I could never tell the difference between Raker and Bill. Hmmm. Food for thought. ;)

    ReplyDelete