Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Requiem for a stalled audiobook

For L and P, who probably need a laugh right now

Interviewer (I): So, I hear you're stalled out on another audiobook.  Care to share?
Me: Well, you know, I've hit that point.
I: What point?
Me: The one where if it's written well and consistently, it will end horribly as a tragedy where the evil triumph and the righteous suffer and die horribly, and I cry a lot, and when I get out of the car with my reddened eyes and tear-ravaged face, people look at me with concern.
I: And if it's not well-written and consistent?
Me: Then it will have a sappy, inconsistent, probably literally deux-ex-machina sort of happy ending where everyone who deserves it is miraculously saved and all the evildoers are punished and they all live happily ever after (the people who are alive, anyway) until they die young because it's 14th century Europe. 
I: And that would be bad?
Me: Kind of.
I: ?
Me: Then I will feel bad because I will be happy about the ending even though I have an advanced degree in creative writing and should have standards.
I: But you don't.
Me: Nope.  I have no real standards to speak of.  And I will feel a tiny twinge of guilt because I don't feel as badly as I should about the ending being crappy from a literary standpoint.
I: But no one will stare at you in the parking lot.
Me: Well, not for the tear-stained ruin reason. 
I: Ah.  Well.  You could always punish yourself by reading a piece of highly-acclaimed literary fiction.
Me: True.  I might be willing to take that one for the team, so to speak.
I: Many folks online seem to think that the book in question is NOTHING LIKE THE AWESOME PILLARS OF THE EARTH, which is also in medieval Europe and has a cathedral, so maybe you could try that one.   
Me: Sounds promising.  However, I would know nothing about finding spoilers on the Internet.  I am actually testing my self-control because I really want to go to the library and spoil the ending for myself, so I will know whether I should listen to the last discs in the comfort of my own home where I can throw things, not cause traffic accidents, and cry for hours while experiencing a work of fiction and having no one look at my in a judge-y way unless I time things badly and have to do laundry.
I: That sounds very . . . um, twisted of you.
Me: Thank-you-I-think.
I: I note how you carefully said you would know nothing a bout finding spoilers on the Internet, but you didn't say anything about looking for them.  I take this to mean the Internet failed you in the spoiler department?
Me: Yes!  Complete Internet Fail!  Curse you, Internet!  You are full of spoilers I really don't want to see, but when I am actively searching for spoilers, there are none to be found in the English-speaking world only willing to spend half an hour looking.  If I spoke Spanish, I bet I would totally know everything and already be done with the dratted thing.  Maybe I should ask my Spanish-speaking friends to go look for me.
I: Okay.  So you've been in withdrawal for the last couple of weeks?
Me: Indeed.  I will be sad when I no longer get to hear people talking in awesome (but incorrect) Spanish-accented English every time I get into my car.
I: There are always the voices in your head.
Me: True.  They are a comfort.
I: And Princess Bride if you really need it.
Me: Also true.
I: You could go get it at a library if you're that determined to spoil it.
Me: The library book will not speak in awesome Spanish-accented English.
I: Drawback for sure.  Well, let us know if you ever find out how this thing ends.  I mean, it's not like you already spent 19 hours listening to it or anything and stalled out a couple discs from the end.
Me:  Yeah.  Thanks for rubbing that in.
I: Until next time, keep up the good work!
Me: Thanks!  I'll, um, try.
I: So, audience, has this ever happened to you?

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