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Tuesday, May 27, 2003

 

Rejection Dept.



I don't have the foggiest notion as to why, but the Memorial Day Weekend had me thinking about rejection.

This may be hard for some of you to believe, but every word I've submitted for publication was not immediately preserved in the relative immortality of print.

Yes, yes, I know this is hard to believe. You think I'm a genius, etc etc, every word that's pounded out on my keyboard is gold and should be carefully examined and properly revered etc etc. Even the double etc etc's probably deserve to be placed in a glass case next to the Guttenberg Bible.

But I am no stranger to rejection.

I still remember the first time I had my words sent back to me, unpublished and disrespected. I was on assignment for the Akron Coupon Clipper after an editor there (whom at the time I'd thought to be a visionary but has since proven to be some sort of mongoloid with an MLA style guide) solicited some work from me upon seeing a piece I'd done for TV Guide excoriating NBC for canceling "Circus of the Stars." He desperately wanted my words in the Coupon Clipper, which was then a publication quickly losing market share to the Northern Ohio Value Page. Something edgy from the mind of Bunsen would help him put the Clipper back on top.

I spent the better half of an afternoon crafting a postmodern detective story fashioned completely from the text of car wash and frozen dinner coupons.

The editor wanted a review of the best jarred spaghetti sauces, albeit one incorporating the blow-by-blow of one of my trademark trysts with insert-name-of-nymphomaniac-upcoming-actress here.

We clashed. A hastily scribbled rejection notice arrived by registered mail a couple of days later. This letter has since been framed and placed above the headboard of my four-poster waterbed, where it serves as a reminder of misunderstood genius and is a fine substitute for "thinking about baseball" when the action turns hot.

In the end, my detective yarn ran in serial form in the pages of Oui magazine, alongside some of the most avant-garde erotica of its day.

The moral of this story is: fuck that guy from the Coupon Clipper.

He's probably a junkie begging for loose dimes in front of an Akron Jack in the Box, mumbling about the time he blew the opportunity to put his paper back on the map, if only, if only.

And if I were to see him there, I might scribble an impropmtu haiku on a ketchup-streaked napkin:

Your suffering makes
this here* bacon cheeseburger
taste like victory

Or maybe I'd just toss him a dime and kick him in the ass when he bent over to pick it up. Either one would do the job, really.


[*ed. note--this post updated due to helpful reader suggestion on missing syllable.]



About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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