Posted by: stillironic | January 27, 2010

Let Me Set the Record Straight—11

Sitcom, the Title

I don’t mind saying Sitcom is a total misnomer of a title. The book couldn’t lack more “com” if the author had been the pope. The title’s name? Probably suggested by some anorexic editorial assistant, turned copper orange from dieting on carrots and tomatoes. Ms. Orange grew up in the steady glow of the boob tube and now floats freely in a sea of text messages. Thus her boss must remind her everyday what an actual book is.

Said boss dawdles in the throws of male menopause—he can’t keep his mind on anything other than schemes for luring Orangey-girl out for drinks and into the sack. The widow-peaked dawdler has yet to master the art of keeping his jet-black rug from slipping forward on his head—hello, Count Dracula! Which is how the book got accepted into publication in the first place. Ms. Orange doesn’t understand books, and Dracula has lost the will to base publishing decisions on any kind of artistic or social relevance criteria.

I can just picture Smarts humiliating himself, trying to win even a sliver of attention from Ms. Orange. I can see a huge sigh of boredom followed by a light bulb popping on under her spiked-hair lid: coming up with a title, any title, just might keep Smarts from diddling around her cubicle all the live-long day.

This induced her to pitch as a prospective title a form of entertainment virtually synonymous with her hedonistic, postmodern, monolingual, sugar-free-gum-smacking consciousness. And although after said suggested title bounced, barely managing to dribble inside the base line, the never-could-be-too-obsequious Smarts no doubt gave it the treatment of a line drive. Finally having it safe in his glove after several fumbles, the former maladroit athlete wannabe took it home and treasured it till it had reached the stature of the home team’s bottom-of-the-ninth, game-winning home run. Voila, a title was born; once you have a title, the book itself can’t be far behind.

© 2010 by Virginia Gerhart

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