Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Not Knuckling Under

         One reason why I haven't written a book yet is because I'm not good enough to write a hilarious fusillade like this, which is the author's reply to a review. Note: There is much to learn about human interaction in this, so even if you don't get the humor, maybe you'll get the message behind it... 

        I'd like to rebut--point by point--your two-star review of my non-fiction how-to book, THE KNUCKLEBOOK.

        First, the title is my publisher's idea, not mine. He has extensive experience getting these things right, to the point where he sells many books that make money for himself as well as the authors. The checks I got from the sales of this book have me convinced he got this right. Oh, were you expecting a check for something, dear reader?

The subtitle--the words right under the title, the ones right there on the cover--tell you exactly what to expect inside. "This book will teach you all you need to know about the most frustrating yet entertaining pitch in baseball--how to throw it, how to hit it, how to catch it, how to coach it, how to umpire it, and how to watch it." You gave this two out of five stars, in part, because you didn't find any stories or bios of knuckleball pitchers. Well, according to everything right out front there, without cracking the cover open, you could assume that this is also not a story about a little girl and her fuzzy bunny in 18th century Antarctica. Therefore, maybe you should have given this only one star? I'm sorry it never occurred to me to deceive the reading public by writing a book that was not exactly what they'd expect from reading the cover.

You said that the information inside was "obvious." To you? I had to interview Hall Of Famers as well as many others to gather all this information, because none of them knew all of this. If this is obvious stuff to you, then why aren't you in the Hall Of Fame or coaching it? Maybe you know all this, but haven't put this into practice. Sounds like you must be God. If you are, I'd also like to apologize before you throw a lightning bolt at me. But I'd also like to call you out for not posting this under your real name. I wouldn't mind meeting you if you are God. (Give that idea some time, though; I'm not finished with my life on Earth.)

I get the impression by your attitude that you're taking this book as a bit of a personal affont. If I had any idea that you wanted me to write the book for you and you alone, I would not have done so. That would have sold only one copy, and that's not worth the effort. This book was written for many people, those who didn't know this stuff, who wanted to be entertained, who wanted different ideas and clues to how they can approach their knuckleball experiences in a better way. I've sold thousands of copies, and it still sells a decade after publication. The information inside holds up, and readers keep discovering it as useful and uplifting. Even if they're reading it for free at the library, my aim is still accomplished; I have information to pass on to those who'll appreciate it, and I'm doing just that.

        One thing I should have included, which I mention every time I talk about this book: If you take the information and either make the Hall Of Fame or blow out your arm, I'm taking neither blame nor credit. Like the pitchers who take this information out on the hill, you're on your own. No one else is taking blame or credit. That's the same thing with book reviewers, too. You might pitch a complete-game shutout, or you might get lit up and hit the shower right after the last note of the Star Spangled Banner. That didn't occur to you, did it? I guess you aren't God, after all.

My review of your review: One moon.

--Dave Clark, author

Thursday, March 10, 2016


I suspect I did something hideous in the womb to be born into a language as forlorn as English.

Before I go further, the title does not refer to "forlorn", or "further."

I'll get to that in a moment.

First, a peeve.

Is there one English word in common usage that refers to turning on a light?

Not that I know.

For "turning off", you can use the word for a fire, "douse", I suppose. Sounds awkward, though.

I realize that the U.S. had the happy opportunity to steal the King's English and make it better, and it has, in some respects, but not perfectly, as you can see.

That's bad enough.

What I feel is worse is the overuse of expletives.

I can't believe anyone is angered to the point where they'd use one about every third word.

What do they say when they're totally and completely torqued off? "Oh, crudsy?"

They have nothing left in their ammo belt.

And I'd like to see a better expression of the respect and dignity I know they have, if they'd elect to show it.

They may switch off, to other words beginning with other letters. Then again, probably not.

Settling for particular expletives seems to be the kind of habit I see when people put on comfortable old slippers, instead of severe language like this. Really? You'd wear the slippers but not say those things in front of your mother.

Furthermore, the word I reference is a vulgar term for what is the most beautiful experience two people can enjoy between them. I don't understand.

I've given myself migraines trying to get around this, avoid this, and never while needing Valium.

I rarely have the urge to even use the term H-E-double hockey sticks.

I'm not totally against that, or any other coarse word. If the occasion demands it and no other word will do, then feel free to launch it with the full power and effectiveness demanded.

Other than that, I wish people could do better. Really. I'd be proud of them, and they'd realize they really don't mean what they say, the message being ignored and missed through needless repetition.

I want to help. I want to make them better. I want to lead them by example. I want them to understand that communicating with the world at large may bring them rewards and more prosperity in their days by mastering their tongues. They could enter better circles of people.

But I don't think that'll happen. This is a fool's errand.

I don't think I'm better than they are for this, really.

I'm so lost, so confused, so saddened.

Oh crudsy.