If you think writers are insecure and in constant need of reassurance, try publishers! Nan Talese, who was presumably seeing a deity of no particular denomination after that little dental surgery mishap, has gushed to the Wall Street Journal about how much she’s loved LOVED loved by her minions. Never mind that the pressure of holding onto your position and the concomitant ass-kissing is par for the course in the American office. When the world revolves entirely around you, there’s simply no stopping the steady march of progress!
Now I’ll be the first to note that a standing ovation should never be taken lightly! Why, that’s the kind of magical moment straight out of Working Girl or some touching 1980s office film of your choice!
Fortunately, being a rather resourceful literary blogger with many covert agents and sources in the publishing industry, I’ve obtained six more reasons why Nan Talese will be painting the town red for many months to come:
6. While having a $200 club sandwich for lunch, a waiter generously hunched over and offered his back as a footstool, causing Ms. Talese to enjoy her meal in typical Manhattan splendor. Ms. Talese obliged and offered to pay for the waiter’s chiropractic bill, drawing the appropriate funds from a hushed up expense account.
5. A woman, recognizing Ms. Talese in the street from her Oprah appearance, invited Ms. Talese to her cell phone users twelve-step program, expressing tears of joy.
4. That kind and constantly cheerful African-American gentleman who holds the door open for Ms. Talese every day gave Ms. Talese a surprise tap dance. Just after his final foot shuffle, he said, “Nanny, that’s for you,” causing Ms. Talese to cry for many minutes and walk to the elevator without offering him so much as a George Washington.
3. On the Friday morning that Ms. Talese returned to her office, 3,000 bouquets were personally delivered to Ms. Talese between 9:00 AM and 9:45 AM.
2. During the same time, Ms. Talese also received four marriage proposals.
1. Fifteen of Ms. Talese’s personal assistants, smitten with joy at the prospect of spending the rest of their days working for Ms. Talese, offered to continue working at half their regular salaries. They also offered to sacrifice their children to the volcano gods, should Ms. Talese request it. Ms. Talese offered each of them a personal kiss of benediction.
Now, none of this can be verified by Jeffrey Trachtenberg, the Wall Street Journal fact checkers, or even the staff of the Nan A. Talese imprint. But unsubstantiated rumors have never stopped Talese from printing memoirs in the past. And it won’t stop Return of the Reluctant from idle speculation.
© 2006, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.