TQA

HOST (V.O.)

Eugene, Oregon!

 

Ext. Midday. Rain pummels a tiny little city while the homeless runaways with face tattoos still sit in the open on the corner outside of Voo Doo Donuts, demanding baked goods from passersby.

 

HOST (V.O.)

A sleepy little hamlet known for its rain,
the birthplace of Nike, and its rain.

 

Ext. Midday. Rain continues to pummel a tiny little city as an old homeless woman struggles out of a filthy red bra and bounces around Ken Kesey Square, next to Voo Doo Donuts. A black editing box is applied across the torso of the bouncing woman, although it is not clear if the flapping in that area is due to her social security boobs or…wings. The homeless runaways stop harassing passersby for a moment and watch, now visibly scared. One drops his recently secured donut into a mud puddle. He does not notice.

 

HOST (V.O.)

…and also the home of Laurie Notaro, a self-proclaimed writer and author of the newly released The Potty Mouth at the Table. But approximately two years ago, an online reviewer known only as Cheryl, read one of Laurie’s books and left a scathing missive on Amazon, writing, “I read everything from the back of cereal boxes to classics but this book was a waste of time.” Additionally, Tee Bee, another reviewer who had most recently penned a five-star review of “Fireplace DVD: Real Wood Burning Fire (Anamorphic – FullScreen Edition)” entitled, The Perfect Ambiance, referred to the contents of Notaro’s book “like nails on a chalkboard for me.”

 

Cut to a woman sitting in a blue La-Z-Boy with a TV remote in her hand.

 

WOMAN

Nails on a chalkboard? Really? Has Tee Bee ever heard nails on a chalkboard? Because I have, and it really wasn’t that bad. I have heard worse things. The sound of UPS pulling up and going next door? That’s worse! The sound of my husband coming home before I hide the red Vitamix I got from QVC because the blue Vitamix took the last spot in the bathroom closet? THAT’S WORSE. What an idiot. If that’s the worst thing you heard, I want your life. Gimme that life. If she thinks my daughter’s book is no good, I’m telling her to leave the book store. Leave the book store and don’t come back! Go to hell, you. And you’d better pay for that book! So Nicholas Sparks is going to Laurie’s house to tell everyone how good her book is.

 

Ext. Midday. Rain Pummels a tiny little house with four newspapers, soggy and bleeding ink, stacked on the front porch. A scatter of loose mail dots the rest of the porch, which is decorated with a dead bush in one planter and a half dead bush in the other.

 

HOST (V.O.)

With very little knowledge of Laurie’s books or even who Laurie Notaro is, Number One New York Times Bestselling Author Nicholas Sparks, Scribe of The Notebook, arrives at Laurie’s house to determine why Laurie needs his expert help.

 

Number One New York Times Bestselling Author Nicholas Sparks, Scribe of The Notebook, walks up to Laurie’s front door and after getting his sleeve caught on the dead tree, rings the doorbell. Several seconds go by.

 

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK

Hello? Hello? Gloria Motaro? Is Gloria Motaro home?

 

Number One New York Times bestselling Author Nicholas Sparks, Scribe of The Notebook, rings the doorbell again. A muffled voice is heard from inside the house.

 

MUFFLED VOICE

I’m sorry if you are troubled youth looking for a chance at life, but I don’t want any magazines and I don’t have any donuts. I just got laid off.

 

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK

No, no, Gloria! It’s me, Number One New York Times bestselling Author Nicholas Sparks, Scribe of The Notebook, coming to help you on this episode of Book Nightmares. Come on, come on, my darling. Open the door. It is raining even more than it did in my masterpiece, The Notebook. You really need Ryan Gosling in this rain to make it look good.

 

The door opens a sliver, and a disheveled head pokes out.

 

MUFFLED VOICE

Did you say Ryan Gosling?

 

Number One New York Times bestselling Author Nicholas Sparks, Scribe of The Notebook, walks into the house past Laurie Notaro, wearing a huge grey terrycloth robe, slippers, and hair in a very messy ponytail. She is eating an English muffin. There is a smear of strawberry jam on one lens of her glasses.

 

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK

Gloria! Are you Gloria? I’m Number One New York Times bestselling Author Nicholas Sparks, Scribe of The Notebook. I’m also a millionaire. You seem like a miserable failure. I’m here to fix that!!

  

LAURIE/GLORIA

I’m Laurie, and I did not invite you or your film crew in.

 

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK

Don’t worry about that! We’ve already been in your house for days, watching and taping you to see why you don’t sell as many books as I do. Your mom called us. She said you needed help. Now, tell me a little bit about your books that I’ve never read.

 

LAURIE/GLORIA

They’re just humor essays about things that happen every day.

 

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK

Like wives getting cancer and then husbands finding love again?

 

LAURIE/GLORIA

No, no, like trying to buy a little illegal alien boy from a street corner.

  

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK

Oh, boy! That never turns out well. What about wives getting Alzheimers and husbands finding love again?

 

LAURIE/GLORIA

No, more like throwing up in front of 100 very mean people on a train.

  

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK

Some of whom may have had wives who had cancer and were just finding love again?

 

LAURIE/GLORIA

No.

 

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK

Does a mudslide hit the train? Or a storm comes and tosses two teenagers from different social stratas into each others arms, only to have the boy go to Iraq? Then the girl could get cancer. That could work. There has to be a role for Richard Gere, I promised him.

 

LAURIE/GLORIA

Um….he could be my dad?

 

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK

Is your father a widower looking for love again?

 

LAURIE/GLORIA

No. You just said my mother called you.

 

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK

It’s not going to sell if she’s still alive. What do you think suits her best, Parkinson’s, cancer or Alzheimer’s? It’s got to be one of the big three. We could give her a stroke if we stretched it, but Gere is not big on dribbling, so…..

  

LAURIE/GLORIA

I’m still not sure why you’re here.

 

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK 

Clearly, it’s because you suck. Haters online said so.

 

LAURIE/GLORIA

Well that is bullshit! My Klout score went up two points yesterday. I got an email.

 

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK

Nails on a chalkboard….

 

LAURIE/GLORIA

Tee Bee reviewed FAKE FIRE. Would you trust someone who reviewed fake fire? The Perfect Ambiance? She’s a pansy. She’s not used to real life things! She’s used to watching processed fire. And she better have paid for that book!

 

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK 

You need to understand that I’m here to show you what’s right. And you can’t take that.

 

LAURIE/GLORIA

I just really want to eat my English muffin and finish my coffee.

 

HOST (V.O.)

This morning, Number One New York Times bestselling Author Nicholas Sparks, Scribe of The Notebook arrived with a plan on how to turn around the books of Gloria Motaro. But she wanted to clear up a few matters first. Unfortunately, she is still not prepared to listen to what Number One New York Times bestselling Author Nicholas Sparks, Scribe of The Notebook, has to say.

 

LAURIE/GLORIA

(looking at the ceiling) Who is that?

 

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK 

That’s the man who we placed in your attic four days ago. He confirmed that there are bigger issues here, like your drinking problem.

 

LAURIE/GLORIA

That was years ago!

 

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK

Then why are you dressed like a lady alcoholic now?

 

LAURIE/GLORIA

I get dressed…often! Sometimes. I was answering email this morning. I was busy. Ask him! (points to ceiling) Where is he going to the bathroom?

 

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK

We checked with the mailman. He says you always look like that. At noon. You’re not ready to hear the truth. You’ve convinced yourself that everything you write and touch, in your little “Gloria’s world” is perfect. Love it! Illegal alien children go well with vomit! I’m telling you the problems. You need cancer. I can’t help people that can’t help themselves.

 

Number One New York Times bestselling Author Nicholas Sparks, Scribe of The Notebook stares directly into the camera and looks like a widower who just lost his wife to cancer but open to the possibility of loving again. Possibly Kate Hudson, or Lauren Graham.

  

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK(CONT’D)

 I have the right to do the right thing. And the right thing for me is to get out of here.

 

HOST (V.O.)

I do need to use the restroom.

 

Suddenly, the doorway darkens, and the light is blocked out. Both Laurie and Number One New York Times bestselling Author Nicholas Sparks, Scribe of The Notebook, turn to see a hulking blonde figure in a terror stance, bold and fierce and frightening. A hand from the figure is outstretched.

  

HULKING FIGURE

I’m Tabitha. Give me your keys. I am taking over. Your mother was right, Gloria. Your hair does look like shit. And it stinks in here. There’s hair all over your robe.

 

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS,
SCRIBE OF THE NOTEBOOK

Do you have any donuts, or English muffins left over? I’d like to try and get out of this town alive. That is, if I don’t find love…first.

 

End scene.

  

The Potty Mouth at the Table (05/2013), by Laurie Notaro

__________________________

Laurie Notaro 2013Laurie Notaro was a columnist for The Arizona Republic before she got fired for writing a joke about George W. Bush in 2002. Since then, she’s been busy playing with her dog, trying to find an anti-frizz hair product that really works and writing some stuff. She failed typing in high school and still looks at the keys after writing nine or ten books.

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TNB Nonfiction features some of the web's best essays, excerpts of up-and-coming books, self-interviews, profiles, and humor from a wide range of authors. Past and future writers include Emily Rapp, Mira Bartók, Nick Flynn and Melissa Febos, among many others.  Our editorial team includes:  SETH FISCHER is the Nonfiction Editor. His work has appeared in Guernica, Joyland, Best Sex Writing, and elsewhere, and he was the first Sunday editor at The Rumpus. His nonfiction was selected as notable in The Best American Essays, and he has been awarded fellowships by Jentel, the Ucross Foundation, Lambda Literary, and elsewhere. He is also a developmental editor of nonfiction and fiction, and he teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles, UCLA-Extension, and Writing Workshops Los Angeles.

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