Two old author friends, beloved by generations of readers and pranksters alike, came together for a brief reunion on red Ravine to talk about the challenges of publishing and staying relevant in today’s world.
I.P. Freely: It’s been ages, Seymour, ol’ boy. What have you been doing??
Seymour Butts: Likewise, I.P. What a pleasure to see you! Well, I never got married—just a perennial bachelor, I suppose. I live with my brother Harry and write books. Pretty sedentary life. Oh, although I just published a new book, inspired by the current financial crisis and the sudden rise of “Joe the Plumber.” It’s called Under the Sink, and it’s the first bestseller I’ve had since Under the Bleachers.
Freely: You don’t say?! Congratulations! Don’t tell me you’ve not been writing for that many years, though. Under the Bleachers must have been at its pinnacle back in the late 1970s.
Butts: You’re right, I.P. I wrote a lot of other books since then but none took off. I had a whole series—In the Locker Room, Women’s Sauna, Memoir of a Proctologist—but for whatever reason, they never made it out of manuscript. It was a bum deal, and I was pretty sore for a long time. How about you?
Freely: Well, Yellow River was great while it lasted, but it set off a host of copycats, notably A River Runs Through It. I was disappointed, of course, that Brad Pitt passed over our film script—in fact, that was a real pisser, but such is life. I had some blockage after that, but things finally got moving. I met a great woman, Toots, and we’ve been married for 15 years.
Butts: Hey, I noticed that red Ravine used your name for a title on a post about bathroom habits and stress incontinence. That might generate a stream of opportunities for you.
Freely: Doubtful, although I was pleased to see ‘em pick it up. Hey, I heard through the grapevine that “Seymour Butts” was the other title they were toying with. That would have been a nice plug for you.
Butts: Oh, indeed. It would have worked, too. Oh well, win some and lose some, or, as I say, see some and see none. It’s been grand talking to you, I.P. One last thing, do you see Mister Completely any more?
Freely: Nah, he got really depressed after his sole book, Hole in the Mattress, was such a downer. He and the Missus got a divorce.
Butts: Ah, that always a risk. Writing—it’s a hard life.
Freely: That it is, Seymour, that it is.