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May 16, 2008

The Text of a Children's Book That I Wrote Which My Kids Found Hilarious, But Which My Editor at Simon & Schuster, Who is Normally a Terrific Guy, Inexplicably REJECTED Presumably Because He Hates Me.

NOTE: I have a great relationship with my children's book editor at S&S (shortand those of us in the industry use when referring to Simon & Schuster), and I mean him no disrespect when I say that he's a fucking idiot. The text you are about to read is terrific with a capital "T." I know this because my children told me so and they are both geniuses. How do I know they are geniuses? Because I am a genius and they sprang from my loins. You might argue that my logic is kind of circular here (book I wrote is genius because my kids like it and they geniuses, which I know because I, the author of the book, annointed them as such), but I don't want to get into a syllogistic* debate here. The point is, you are on MY side, and not my schmucky editor's. If you want to be on his side, go read his blog. But just know that by reading his blog, it will be exactly the same as approaching me with a fountain pen and stabbing me in the heart. But if that's what you want to do, by all means go ahead.

Part of his criticsm with the text is he says there "scansion problems," which is a fancy way of saying it doesn't rhyme right. To which I say - horse feathers! I have read this book aloud over and over to my genius children, and not once did either myself of my children detect any problems in the way of scansion. My theory: the scansion is TOO GOOD. It's basically SCANSION FROM THE FUTURE.

The other problem, he said, was that it sends the wrong message. To which I say again: horse feathers! And to which I add, cow pucky! I am a master of sending the wrong message; my entire career has based on inappropriate message-sending, so believe me when I tell you, the message of this book is exactly the RIGHT message, but it is a message which only reveals itself after careful reading of the Futurescansh**.

Anyway, I am publishing it here on my blog because I want others to enjoy it as much as my family did. In fact, our laughter was the only thing that kept us warm this winter; we couldn't afford to heat our house because my editor rejected this manuscript.

I'm considering this story my "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot." That's the album that Wilco recorded, which their label rejected, and then the public outcry was so great for it got leaked online and eventually some other label distributed it, and it sold three and a half billion copies. That's basicaly what I'm hoping happens with this. Yes, I could just take it to another publisher, but that would betray my relationship with my editor, who really is a great guy even though he is being an obstinate fucker in the case of this particular book.

*I have no idea what syllogistic means, but I really hope I'm using it correctly.
** Futurescansh = Scansion from the Future


ADDITIONAL NOTE: The narrator is a sickly, spindly-looking thing. Maybe he's got the rickets.


Do NOT Eat Your Vegetables!

When mealtime comes, as it does thrice a day
Some well-meaning grown-up will undoubtedly say,
“Now Timothy, Margaret, Trudy, or Bert
If you don’t eat your veggies you can’t have dessert.”

If there’s a brain in your head you’ll instantly see
How unfair and uncalled for such statements can be.
Can’t have dessert? The injustice! The gall!
Dessert’s the only reason for eating at all!
Without dessert we’re no better than beasts
Who forage the ground in search of their feasts.
I’m not a rabbit, scrounging for cabbages.
Vegetables, I say, are fit only for savages!
When popsicles begin growing on trees
Perhaps then I will consider eating their leaves.

But until that day comes, I implore you:

Eat cupcakes and cookies! Eat ice cream and candies!
Scrumptious brownies! Warm pecan sandies!
Eat chocolate ice cream in a butterscotch shell.
That’s what you eat when you want to eat well!

Do NOT eat your vegetables - no if, and, or but.
When they offer them to you, clamp your mouth shut.
No broccoli, madam. No asparagus, sir.
Neither zucchini nor turnip should you have to endure.

My friends…
I ate a vegetable once. ‘Twas a pea.
And that pea made me as peevish as peevish can be.
That round little lump of mushy green squish
Somehow found its way onto my dish.
(Where it came from, I have no idea.
Perhaps it arrived all the way from Korea.)
We stared at each other, that pea and I
Until, bravely, I decided to give it a try. 
With a tentative pinch, I plucked up the orb
Which I touched to my tongue so I could absorb
Whatever hideous flavor that little pea had.
I tasted the thing, then started to gag.
The sensation was akin to eating the dirt!
It tasted so bad it practically hurt!
“Ptooie!” said I, as I spat it away,
Then collapsed in a bath that I filled with sorbet.
From that day forward, I swore North and South
To let no vegetable again touch my mouth!


Do NOT eat your vegetables, young masters and misses
If your parents insist, then refuse them their kisses.
“No goodnight kisses for you!” you must say.
If they want to play tough, then tough you will play!

Perhaps you are under the mistaken impression
That vegetables aid in proper digestion.
Or they magically somehow help bones to lengthen,
Hair to grow, and bodies to strengthen.
Well that is a lie that I would like ended.
I don’t eat veggies and I turned out splendid!
I’m fit as a fiddle and strong as an ox.
Need proof? I can lift up this empty shoe box.
Here’s more evidence if you still doubt the truth:
I’ll open my mouth and show you my tooth.
See that? A perfectly formed little chopper
A little brown, yes, but still quite a whopper.
And here – look at this. One half of a muscle.
You wouldn’t want to face THAT in a tussle!

Do NOT eat your vegetables, I beg you once more
No rutabaga, peppers, spinach, or gourds.
Abstain from those foods which are fibrous or bitter.
Cream pies and custard will keep you much fitter.
All leafy things must be met firmly with scorn.
But if you MUST eat a veggie, I suggest candy corn.

Now that I’m done I must go eat some frosting.
All this activity has been quite exhausting.


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"Then collapsed in a bath that I filled with sorbet."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! This is great.


I'm obviously on your side, and thus am biased. But it most definitely IS genius.

Scansion Schmansion. Is it funny? Yes. Is it entertaining? Yes. Do you clearly state that the narrator is malnourished? Yes.

Your editor needs to get over himself, or more particularly, get over the political correctness that pervades and polutes our artistic endeavours.


This was a gem of a blog!


You are a genius.
Your children are mini versions of you.
Your children are geniuses.

And I thought your scansion was quite good...and now I'm hungry!


You have inspired me to finish a poem I started years ago! Now, can anyone help me think of a word that rhymes with panties??


Here, RBishop:

antes, dante's, shanties


HAAAA! This is the best children's story I have read since Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich.

:::throws salad in the trash:::


I heart your rejected book. And when you use the word "loins."


genius ending.

Your Editor's Mother

I'm afraid it's my fault that my boy rejected your children's book. I raised him to be very health conscious and he's maintained a healthy lifestyle ever since. But if you have him take another look at it, be sure to also include a piece (only 1 please!) of candy with it to sweeten the deal. He'll likes to indulge himself in a sweet every once in awhile and I'm sure while he enjoys the candy he will take another look at your book and be very pleased with it.


My 9 yr old son just read it and laughed aloud at the "empty shoebox" line. You really have a talent for writing children's poetry. I think you've find yet another "niche",as Paula Abdul would say.


Best. Children's poem. Ever.


I loved it! I am sure your editor will rethink his position and you will sell 5 billion copies the first week. I will buy at least 1 billion, because I am such a fan of all your work. Thanks for sharing this.

me again

I won't go reading your editor's blog. All my blog loyalty (blogalty?) is to you. He probably doesn't even blog about ass rape....borrrrring!

Tom Lewis

Loved it, no way should that be rejected.

Also, I know I'm a pervert, but initially I read "beasts" as "breasts", maybe they will accept it if you spell it that way when you resubmit it.


Yes, I am totally bloyal to you as well. I squirt my fountain pen in his eye because he is scatological and cracked. I think you should take a screwdriver to his eye.


it's shel silverstein meets roald dahl meets ogden nash.

it's funny because it is true.

nicely done!


I too am a loyal blog fan. My nephew loved the poem.


Brilliant scansion from the future. I'll never read another blog as long as I live.

Hey. I'm thinking your Editor,(named Wally? sounds good to me) is polite and kind but undoubtedly one of those guys you have to explain jokes to. "Wally", was the boy you could easily trick into running home for dinner because you heard his mom calling him.

"Wwwaaallyyy" - Hear her?
"Timmmeee for diiinnneeer".
No, that's not me yelling that from behind my hand, that's really your MOM Wally! Now scoot!"

But enough about Wally, aka as dead man walking.

Kidding. I adore you, but could never kill for you. Might club him in the back of the knees when he least expects it, but that's pretty much the limit.

(Um, Chief? The clubbing. Enough for Cadet status?)


Oh my god, that kills me. So many lovely ideas for a narrator, too! I can't believe they rejected it.




Shet!!! this is so effing good! you ARE a genius

Maul St. Matthews

Loved it! I imagine the narrator as an Ignatius J. Reilly type. :)


i thought it was good however i wouldnt let my 9 year old son read this post since you use the fuck word.


Ha!Brilliant! I'm 21 but would still buy your "not-yet" children's book.


Thats awesome.

And your editor obviously neither has children or nieces and nephews or younger cousins, since when have children ever done what they're told? In fact, the opposite, so your book would surely persuade them to eat their vegetables (just like in one study, when children were told to NOT open a box, a full 100% of them opened the box).

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