Words from the Top

Some Ideas Are Not Very Good

Believe it or not, not everything submitted to the Squelch is a winner. If you haven’t noticed (because you’re not a writer or dedicated stalker), all of our submission information is on the bottom left corner of the opposite page. That means anyone who reads the Squelch can submit anything. ANYONE. And they can submit ANYTHING. At ANY TIME. As a general rule of thumb, the less we want to read something, the more likely it is to show up in our inbox.

Aside from the unbelievable piles of disconcertingly racist and sexist jokes sent our way (seriously, stop, please just stop), we also get a surprising number of submissions that make almost no sense. To quote one e-mail, “i thnk itd be funy if u do sumthng about dick traps…” Dick traps? Like Chinese dick traps? Is that a thing? Please don’t tell me that’s a fetish thing.

The weirdest thing is that, with each passing day, with each “SHAQ loves SHAKira” that enters my inbox, I begin to understand how these terrible ideas might make sense to people. Maybe “Apocalypse Meow” would make a great musical, and I should divert the rest of the year’s funds to producing it off-Broadway. Maybe Food Court episode 1: “This Pizza is Pressing Charges!” is the pilot that will make my career, if only I can learn to trust the Korean businessman who wants me to co-write it with him.

I suspect that I may be losing touch with reality as a result of my prolonged exposure to all these bad ideas. I keep finding mysterious pieces that I don’t remember writing. Today, after falling asleep at my computer, I found the following on my screen after I woke up:

     What if the five second rule applied to everything? EVEN MURDER.

Later on, I fought for two hours to publish a piece called “Six Flags: Magic Scorpions.” I don’t even know what it would be about. I really need to hire someone to screen my e-mails.

Lena Brooks,

Excerpted from the upcoming novel Six Flags: Magic Scorpions by Max Ebert, Editor-in-Chief