Tales for Awful People

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Why?: About the Lazy Little Squirrels

Five years ago, two little squirrels (they were related) wrote a collection of fables, inspired by daily living and the terrible offenses committed in the name of that topic.

The squirrels got the name of a friend’s literary agent, and they agonized over writing a query, but because they are like The Yak Who Feared Success, they never sent it. These squirrels had A Childhood, you see. One of the squirrels recently said “Sister dear, since we are doing nothing better with the fruits of our labor, let us post installments on the internet.” The other squirrel said “Sure!”

But then the first squirrel was trolling around Amazon and discovered that David Sedaris just came out with a book of animal fables. “Fuck,” said the squirrel. There is a moral here somewhere.

For posterity and hilarity, the query is reproduced below.

Dear [redacted]:

[redacted] passed along your contact information and mentioned that you’ve been a great advocate for his work. We’d like to introduce our new collection of contemporary fables, entitled Tales for Awful People. We hope you will consider representing it, and we are pleased to share this exclusively until August 1, 2005 [ed. – ha. hahahaha!].

Like the boorish humans who are allowed to mingle freely with the rest of us, the little creatures of nature are a tiresome lot. Unlike in life, our fables offer swift comeuppance, liberally dispensed in situation after trying situation. Aesop himself would be proud of how the wolf handles the muskrat intent on violating the rules of the express checkout lane.

This book masquerades as novelty, yet the extension of an ancient literary form beams a klieg light at grotesque human foibles and contemporary problems. The collection will appeal to anyone who has ever felt a smidge of Schadenfreude at a rival’s expense or seethes silently during outrageous breeches of etiquette. A point-of-sale location would surely be ideal. The book is the perfect diversion from waiting in line and overhearing loud cellular telephone conversations. As long as people continue to behave thoughtlessly, we anticipate a limitless market.

While Tales for Awful People owes a debt to Kipling and the Brothers Grimm, it is peerless in the current marketplace, going where Fractured Fairy Tales dares not. There is nothing politically correct about these bedtime stories, which have more in common with darker works like The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy or the Lemony Snicket series.

We envision illustrations accompanying selected stories – think Edward Gorey meets Beatrix Potter. The length of the fables varies from a single paragraph to several pages, and the format is readily adaptable to specialized subject matter, such as a holiday edition.

We’ve included samples from each of the book’s categories (Love, Work, Your Friends and Neighbors, and Life’s Journey), as well as the deliciously condescending introduction and conclusion.

About the Authors:
Helen and Cara [redacted] are short-fused sisters, currently being offended by the inhabitants of Boston and Baltimore. Helen holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism (Boston University, ’00); Cara graduated with an English degree (Washington College, ’03). They are famous on the internet (www.vomitola.com and www.mooseandsquirrel.net, respectively) and in their own minds. Turnoffs include codependence and people who tap their teeth with the fork tines when they eat.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration. We are happy to provide any additional information or material that you may require.

Sincerely,

[redacted due to SHAME]

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