…one of the nicest men I know, with the capacity to deal with folks who may not be so nice, is martial arts expert, and superb author, Eric J.Gates… I am well aware of the lurking humour that abides in that crime-novelist’s literary armoury… in this sparkling Guest Post, yeez’ll readily see what I mean… let the chortling commence… the floor, the walls, and the ceiling are yours Maestro…
The perils of writing a Guest Post… from Eric J Gates
As usual, I find I’ve been outwitted! There I was, quietly hiding behind my keyboard, when Seumas appeared and asked me for a guest post for his blog. I was feeling a little lazy and decided to use my ingenuity to thwart the erstwhile petitioner. “Alright, That Man,” I said. “If you can guess how many coins I’ve got in my pocket, I’ll do a guest post.”
Now, just in case there’s someone out there who doesn’t know, Seumas is a canny Scot and his response was not long in coming: “If I guess right, yer’ll do the post and I get to keep one of the coins.”
This was too easy.
“Look, laddie,” I said, “if you guess right, I’ll do the post, and you can keep both of them!”
So here I am
What I didn’t expect was that the post had to be written in situ. For the Greek scholars amongst you, that means in Seumas’ writing pad (photo on right). So I hopped onto a plane, drawing strange glances from the crew, until I told them the ticket said it was a one-leg journey, and here I am in Abu Dhabiland.
My first culture shock was at the airport. No taxi rank; or rather there was one, but no taxis. Just one flea-bitten camel. Now I’ve heard a thing or two about camel’s bad tempers, and I’m old enough to have seen that Swatzen, Swurtzen, Shortzen (oh dammit!) Arnie’s Conan movie, so I asked the man alongside if his camel bites. He assured me it didn’t, so it was much to my surprise the bluddy thing took a nip at me when I got closer. Of course I recriminated the man. His response: “That’s not my camel!”
Finally made it to my meet with That Man and he was a little surprised I’d brought my furry foot-warmer with me (it’s a West Highland Terrier and I thought I might need a translator). “Ay, that wee animal dunna look too good,” pronounced Seumas. “Let’s take him to the vet’s.”
So we parked the post and made our way to the local veterinary office. They had warned me the Emirates were expensive and high-tech, but what happened took me by surprise. The vet lay my dog on the examining table then disappeared to another room. He returned a couple of minutes later with the scrawniest feline I’ve seen in a while. He placed the moggy on my hound and it proceeded to walk all over the inert form of the poor creature. After a short while, the vet grabbed the tabby and disappeared again, only to return with a sheet of paper. “Your dog’s dead!” was his verdict. “Here’s the bill.”
I looked at the bottom line on the sheet: 3000 United Arab Emirates Dirham! I looked at Seumas aghast. “3000 AED, that’s aboot 830 dollars,” he announced, though when he used the abbreviation, for a second I thought he was talking about Improvised Explosive Devices (it’s the Govan accent, laddie).
The vet just nodded, before adding “that’s 100 Dirham for the visit and 2900 for the CAT Scan.”
Chastened by my loss, we adjourned to the laddie’s writing corner.
I had no idea what to write for the guest post. “That’s easy, man,” prompted my host. “Tell us why you wanted to become a writer?”
I thought deeply about that for at least two seconds before replying. “When I was a lad, I wanted to write stuff the whole world will read; stuff that will move people on a truly emotional level; stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!”
“I started writing error messages for Microsoft.” I responded.
“Be careful what you wish for,” said Seumas sagely. “Then what?”
“Well, it all started with a dream. I dreamt I died and was given the choice to go to Writer’s Heaven or Writer’s Hell. Not being clear about the choice, I said I wanted a peek at both places before I decided. I got taken to Hell first: row upon row of writers chained to their desks as they scribbled page after page, year after year. Then I was taken to Heaven: row upon row of writers chained to their desks as they scribbled page after page, year after year. ‘I can’t see the difference,’ I said. Well, Saint J. Peterson, my guide, cleared it up for me in a heartbeat. Up here, he said, your work gets published! Then he added, ‘with my by-line’.”
Well things went downhill from there on. I scribbled this piece and Seumas said his Publisher would give us a ride back to the airport, but I’d have to share the car with his previous guest, a writer from a central-European country. On our way there, the vehicle in front skidded and toppled over. We all rushed out to help but that turned out to be a big mistake. You see, it had been transporting a pair of huge Bengal tigers to a private zoo. These broke free and the male, always the more aggressive, pounced on Seumas’ other guest and swallowed him whole. We all scrambled back to the car and locked ourselves in until the Police arrived. Then our driver wound down his window, pointed to the tiger and told the cop what had happened. Much to everyone’s amazement, the policeman drew his gun and shot the female tiger.
I was shocked and looked to Seumas for an explanation.
The wise ol’ Scot just nodded and clarified everything in a concise question.
“C’mon, laddie, would you believe a publisher who told you the Czech was in the male?”
..thanks for the post, Master Eric… and so yeez will know the range of this man’s talents, here’s a coupla links to show yeez the lad’s ability to write in more than one JONGGR…
..now don’t mess the man around, just start following his stuff :
[Eric J. Gates @ www.ericjgates.com]