Thursday, September 6, 2007

Pots and Pans
In which I spend one (1) calendar year getting high smoking pot and going to movies and writing about it. Because people are so uptight there’s always someone in the theater yelling, “There’s no smoking in here!” or “Are you smoking marijuana?” I tend to get belligerent and either I walk out or end up hating the movie as my experience (and high) is downed. Hence the “pans.” I told the editors at Atlantic to imagine Frank Bruni eating Russell Stover at Max Brenner and then writing about it. They were all over that.

The Idiots Next Door
This one’s a bit difficult as there’s a lot of kinks to work out, but basically I move in next door to a “green” family (these people who live in N.Y.C. and try to exist without benefit of anything inorganic) and just spend a year making fun of them and mocking their tofu-eating, compost-living ways. (It’s like, seriously, what the fuck are they doing here anyway?) Sample chapter: “Mister Softee/Fry-U-Lator!” This is where I buy a Fry-O-Lator and make French fries day and night to torment the children. When that gets old, I buy a Mister Softee ice-cream truck, park outside and ring that bell constantly. Anyone with kids will appreciate how frustrating this is to parents. And nothing but comedy!

House Boy
I move into the Playboy Mansion for one (1) year. I didn’t even bother doing a market-analysis for this, as it’s a no-brainer. My original working title was Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, but I guess that was taken.

Ants on a Tree
I go wander around China for one (1) year and eat in all of the different provinces. Anthony Bourdain is pretty much doing this, but that’s in the market-analysis. I just want go to Shanghai and if I can find a way to subsidize it, well that’s awesome. (And of course I’ll need a guide who looks like Gong Li in Curse of the Golden Flower.) Also, I will spend part of the book learning about the etymology of names for traditional Chinese dishes, stuff you can’t find on Wikipedia. I never actually tried “Ants on a Tree” because it just doesn’t sound all that appetizing; but, you know, there’s the conflict right there. Hello, Oprah! (Alternate title: Shanghai Surprise!)

stingleypenguin.jpgI, Penguin
Penguins are really hot right now and I always liked penguins, even before those movies. I don’t know about surfing penguins or tap-dancing penguins, but the Morgan Freeman penguin movie was cool and I think it would be killer to go live with some penguins for one (1) year. But not anywhere cold; maybe the book would start out in Antarctica (definitely in the summer) but then would progress to a much warmer climate. Like Jamaica or the Caymans. Maybe I bring a penguin to a timeshare in Grand Cayman and live with it (alternate title: Grand Penguin). I actually pitched this to Penguin first, because, well, duh. The budget might be a little high for them right now, but the payoff would be incredible. Me and a penguin living in luxury in the bikini-infested waters of a Caribbean paradise? The movie rights alone would pay for this a thousand times over.

Haze of Wine N’ Roses
I go to the French and Italian Riveria and drink wine and listen to Guns N’ Roses for one (1) year. Sort of Kevin Zraly meets Beppe Severgnini at the crossroads of Chuck Klosterman and Samantha Brown but less cloying and institutional and with way, way more drinking and partying with rock and roll and tons and tons of hot naked chicks. Sample Chapter titles: “Cap D’Antibe pour la Destruction”; “Employez Votre Illusion dans Villefranche-sur-mer”; “Bambino dolce di Portofino di mine” etc., etc.

Mick Stingley is a freelance writer who lives in New York City. He is featured in Rock and Roll Cage Match, available from Three Rivers/Random House. He is 40 years old and refuses to cut his hair ’cuz he’s so fuckin’ metal.



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