Well, I got the latest email making the rounds, a look at the versatility of the cucumber. It starts off sensibly enough, informing us that cucumbers contain Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc. It also told me that cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
Then it starts to get into the non-edible uses of this veggie. Okay, I know people put cucumber slices on their eyes to help with facial stuff but apparently, if you rub a slice of cucumber on your bathroom mirror, it will keep your bathroom from fogging up. Which begs the questions; who was the first person to do this and why did they have a cucumber in the bathroom?
“Hey, honey! The mirror’s all fogged! Wanna hand up the cucumber?”
I mean, they also say you can use it to polish shoes, but I get that. Obviously, someone was eating a salad and dropped a cucumber on their shoe and noticed the shoe was shinier. But the bathroom mirror? Unless the train of thought went something like:
“Look where I dropped that cucumber on my shoe, it’s so shiny now. It looks great! I wonder what’ll happen if I rub some on my mirror or door hinges?
The email goes on to say that if you don’t have gum or a mint you can take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath. Now, here’s the thing, if I don’t have gum or a mint, what are the odds that I’m going to have a cucumber handy? Cucumbers are also a great way to clean stainless steel and repel garden pests. So that makes it sound pretty toxic, right? Not so fast, Atlas, the email also proudly announces that if you’re looking to fight off an evening snacking binge cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation. And you know why? Because cucumbers are food! So that’s a pretty self-evident use of the cucumber. Unless you’ve been using it to stop your hinges from squeeking.
And it saves the best for last. If you make a mistake writing a letter in ink, you can use an unpeeled cucumber to erase it. Plus it gives that letter a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress.
So, the next time you see me and want to know if I have a cucumber in my pocket or I’m just glad to see you, rest assured I have a cucumber in my pocket.
You know you’re growing up when…
…you don't have to save shoe boxes for your dioramas.
…you don't look at old baby carriages and think you need them as wheels for a go kart.
…picking up a penny doesn’t seem such a big deal anymore.
…when cooties becomes the least of your girl problems.
…you DVR “Saturday Night Live” for Sunday Afternoon viewing.
…you lose track of school holidays.
…New Year’s Eve comes around 9:00 PM, either because you passed out or went to bed.
…when snow goes from being a decoration to an obstacle.
…when your date movies have more exposition than explosions.
…when the events in your kids’ history books are memories of your childhood.
It’s my honor to participate in “The Next Big Thing” Interview Series, being run over at www.litbridge.com. I was tagged, as it were, by novelist Doug Molitor and his comic novel Memoirs of a Time Traveler.
Now, then, my book is called Lost Claus, available as a ebook over at Amazon.com.
So, let's begin, shall we?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
First, a real love of all the Christmas specials I grew up on. I’m such a fan of comedy and mash-ups, always trying to fit one character into an alien premise. Also I’m a big fan of movies like “Maltese Falcon” and “The Big Sleep” so where’s the most outlandish place for an old-school, film noir detective? The North Pole, right?
What genre does your book fall under?
It was always written as a comedy, first and foremost. It's kind of a genre-blender, but I guess you would say it’s a fantasy/mystery/holiday story. A Christmas-tery for short.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
For some reason I had Steve Buscemi in mind for the lead, then he goes and plays that weird PI on “30 Rock.” Danny DeVito as an elder elf. Not to put to fine a point on it, Peter Dinklage would be a great Tweedle. Although I could never make up my mind if the elves would be actors or CGI. Elizabeth Banks, who has some amazing comedy chops as Sandra. In a dream world it would be Humphrey Bogart and Doris Day.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
When Santa goes MIA, a P.O.-ed P.I. has to find him PDQ.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Oh, man. Hard to remember. I tend to write and re-write while commuting. The Staten Island Ferry is like the best place to think and write. So, I guess, five or six months to get it into book form.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My wife. Back when we were dating, I realized that she’s in love with all things Christmas; especially the movies and holiday specials. I wanted to write something that would be, could be one of the holiday standards. But funny.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Well, it started out as a screenplay. And it got optioned by Warner Bros. And in a bizarre bit of Hollywood logic, they decided it would be a perfect vehicle for one of their stars that owed them a picture. So I was hired to re-write it as a movie for Pee-Wee Herman. Alas, once Pee-Wee Herman got into his, er, legal entanglements, the project died on the vine and I had to rescue it.
Freelance writer, still hacking away.