Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

"They dig that intellectual, #author thing..." #Excerpt from @AlexMueck's #Humor Novel

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sample 1 - Chapter 17
Present Day
Baxter boasted, “If you Google the slang word for Johnson, you will find it’s synonymous with penis. The source of the reference is murky, and there are lots of theories, but the first recorded reference was in the 1860s. I believe I have now uncovered the origin of this urban legend.”
Professor Gladstone sighed, shrugged, and brought his right hand to his forehead as if he had a migraine. The summarization of the bar scene alone had Gladstone thinking of some good scotch he had back home. He half-wished he were drunk now.
Even if he’d been inebriated, he was not some sorority hussy. He could never fall for Baxter’s bullshit. Silly songs, college bar games, saucy dialogue, and nudity—the paper reminded him of some cheesy porn script covered over by a few historical clichés.
He recalled camping in rural Maine. At the one general store, one could get live bait, along with an assortment of goods, including playing cards, booze, condoms, and the four-pages-only local newspaper. It also had a small selection of rentable movies, half of which were porn.
Then he had been revolted by some of the titles: The perverted Dickens, A Tale of Two Titties; the Huxley bondage epic, Slave New World; the heroine Indian gangbang adventures of, Poch-a-Hotness; the make-love-not-war lesbian drama, Daughterhouse Five; Surecock Holmes in the “whore done it?”—The Mounds of Baskerville.
It was all so vile, but no more so than Baxter’s thesis.
Baxter had more to say. “All those songs were real, Professor Gladstone, except of course the one he made up on the spot. All those people, John Edwards, Little Archie, Frank James, Badger Bob—they existed.”
Professor Gladstone took his hand from his head and pointed at the student. “The first three names I’m well familiar with, but this Badger guy is likely your own creation—along with the rest of the bit characters.”
“What about the main character, Captain Coytus?”
The pounding against his skull intensified. He closed his eyes for several seconds and willed this nightmare to end. Continual harping about this Captain Coytus reminded him of a matter with his only son, Theodore. For almost a year, his son had insisted a monster lived in his closet. No matter how many times the room was inspected and the closet cleared, when the lights dimmed, the monster returned.
How much more must Baxter’s frightful tale continue? The comparison brought something else to mind—the closet. Behind his office closet door lurked another monster, a deposit of Baxter’s mischief.
He spread his hands. “Mr. Baxter, I really have had enough for one day. We don’t need to rehash this sordid story. I’m at the point where I’ll give the paper a D- grade just for your conviction. Will a passing grade and graduation from Harvard be enough to send you on your way?” His furrowed brow etched with hope.
“It certainly will not,” an insulted Baxter replied.
Professor Gladstone massaged his temples. “How about a C?”
Baxter straightened. “For this magnum opus, I will take nothing less than an A+.”
With vigor that bordered on panic, Gladstone shook his head, holding both hands in a stop motion. “An A+ paper will be seen by fellow professors. If this was ever to see the light of day, I would be ruined with ridicule.”
The student grimaced. “I plan on publishing this. Consider yourself lucky that you got a sneak peak.”
“I owe it to the academic world. I came here expecting at minimum, praise, but I never considered that you’d be envious of my work.”
Heat swelled into his cheeks, and he gripped the armrest of his chair until his nails turned white. “Envious?”
Baxter nodded. “Jealousy is the only explanation I can fathom for pretending to ignore the obvious.” He paused, raised an eyebrow, and asked, “You’re not trying to play dumb, only to steal this scoop for yourself, are you?”
To think he, a professor, would ever author something so maniacal! “I would never—”
Baxter cut him off. “It’s unethical.” And tapping his chest, he continued. “Unlike me, you do not possess the evidence to make the case.”
Like an electrical eel that keeps shocking its already dead prey, Baxter kept zapping away. Professor Gladstone’s brain buzzed but felt short-circuited, as though he couldn’t quite bridge the gap between what was happening and what should have been happening.
“Anyway, at least I don’t have to offer you the privilege of penning the foreword. I felt obliged, being your student. There are plenty of other more acclaimed historians who surely will jump at the chance of having their name associated with this surefire seller.”
Baxter paused for just a second and continued. “I could have placed a review from you on the back cover. Naturally, I would have been happy to return the favor for one of your future endeavors, but it’s your loss on mutual prestige.”
This was beyond cocky; the lad suffered from delusions of grandeur.
Yet he wasn’t finished. “I can see the book tours. I suspect you could meet a lot of women on the road. They dig that intellectual, author thing.” He stopped to observe Professor Gladstone and then quipped, “Well, usually.”
After leaning back and with a cocky smirk, he shrugged. “If you ditch that comb-over and your Mr. Rogers’s sweater-thing, you might reel in a few ladies yourself. Try suspenders; they seemed to work for Larry King. Speaking of which, he might come out of retirement just to interview me.”
Professor Gladstone instinctively moved his wedding-ring-less hands below his desk. His marriage lasted six years, gave him a son, and then his wife left him, claiming he was a bore. He took Baxter’s insults like the anesthetized take pain. The absurdity was heaped in such rapid fashion it was mind boggling. Nothing registered. The boy had to be done with this bravado … he hoped.
Baxter preened. “I’ll do what J.D. Salinger should have done—quit after the first book. Sometimes you only have one classic in you.”
“Indeed,” Professor Gladstone offered at last. “What is this proof you speak of? I want evidence that this Captain of yours existed.” 

"“A historical fiction comedy that packs
as much heart as humor.”
—Michael Dadich, award-winning author of The Silver Sphere
When a Harvard history professor receives a thesis paper titled Jesse James and the Secret Legend of Captain Coytus, from Ulysses Hercules Baxter—an underwhelming student—he assumes the paper must be a prank. He has never read such maniacal balderdash in his life. But after he calls a meeting with the student, Professor Gladstone is dismayed when Baxter declares the work is his own. As he takes a very unwilling Professor Gladstone back in time via his thesis, Baxter’s grade hangs in the balance as he attempts to prove his theory.
It is 1864 as philanderer and crusader Captain Coytus embarks on a mission to avenge his father’s death and infiltrates the Confederate Bushwacker posse looking for the man responsible, Jesse Woodson James. Accompanied by the woman of his dreams, Coytus soon finds himself temporarily appointed to be the sheriff of Booneville and commissions his less-than-loyal deputy to help him carry out his plan.
But when tragedy strikes, the Captain is forced to change his immature ways and redefine his lofty mission—more or less."
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Genre - Humor, Historical Fiction
Rating – R
More details about the author
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