Nocturnal Submissions | By Sami Zahringer

Cat’s In the Bag With Surprise Bestseller

Accidental Best-Seller Keeps Cat in the Bag


April, and the self-improvement proceeds apace! (Having taken a short break from January 1st to yesterday.) I know you are reading this in June or later but bear with me. All(ish) will (sort of) become clear(ish). Anyway, back to now, in April!

I rose early, as the virtuous do, and performed a series of vigorous physical jerks, thereby flushing blood and health around my etiolated body. Then, feeling ruddy and bounding, I saw that the Air Was Good so, with nostrils flared in fiery determination, I took in great gusts of it while with sweeping gestures I parted the curtains to view Splendid Nature and the bins. God, I felt marvelous! Having breakfasted lustily on a leading innard-scouring cereal and sent the Loinfruit off to school, I then read something dry and edifying about the GDP and proceeded to have a Puritan work ethic for some uprightly souldeadening hours and did not permit myself even the whisp of a bored daydream.

Then, awash in smuggity, I looked about me to see the un-pulled-up socks of lesser beings (the guinea-pig) and shouted things like “Go big or go home!” and “I choose success!” to the general ear (the dog).

You see, that day, April 21st, marked the beginnings of a whole new me. Who will be my guide on this journey I totally sense all you people of June baying to ask?

Why, me! Yes! Yes, me! For I am hot off the runaway success that is my best-selling self-help book and eager to try out some of my own advice! At this point, I have to confess that I never actually researched or practiced in any way the advice contained in my barn-stormer, and therefore the runaway success of the book could not have surprised me more had it called itself Clive and bought me a pony. What happened was that, during a number of
months sitting with a poorly relative, I would, from time to time, pick up some of the burgeoning self-help books that seem to bloom like thoughtful mushrooms on the shelves of the many waiting-rooms where the sick gather to tensely hope for better days.

The contents of these books — some, not all — often sort of slithered by me but it was the language which stuck to me most, sort of like a horsefly on the rump of my brain. Self-help-speak is an insidious, beguiling sort of beastie which, if you spend too much time in its company, starts to buzz around, infecting your own patterns of speech and thought, even as you try to swat it away. Weary one day, I decided if I couldn’t beat it, I’d join it. I got myself a pen.

Armed with bold purpose, an army of platitudes, a crack-squad of New Age fatuity, and a small platoon of things my granny used to tell me; and shielded from the scorn of my betters-in-letters, with a bloody-minded shamelessness that defied all decency, I holed up in my room for a week and turned out one of the first hits of Trump’s new America. But back again to April, and the point of all this, which is, unexpectedly, cats. I consulted my book, grabbed my yoga mat and clad in my new “Forest Fern” Lululemon leggings, I set about doing the yoga I had advised me to do each day for half a knotted hour. Never having kinked myself into even the simplest of yoga poses, I was a little uncertain about what to do, but, checking my book, I recounted that I had also advised myself that whenever uncertainty hit, I should tighten my pony tail with high-chinned conviction, square up, and above all remember that PERCEPTION REFLECTS NONLOCAL BLISS. Well! It was a newly invigorated me, with all the vague profundities of such topnotch bovem stercore ringing in my ears, who decided that I should indeed GO BIG OR GO HOME!

At this point, dear reader, it all fell apart. Prior to my yoga sesh, I had remembered to put the dog in the yard on account of her unaccountable but very real fear of leotards. But the cat. I had forgotten about the cat. I will never forget the unblinking disdain with which he watched me attempt the Pungu Mayurasana — the legendary Wounded Peacock pose. Right arm screaming “Dear God, WHY?” as my alarmingly twitching body teeter-tottered around it, I posed gamely on, doing my best to ignore his contemptuous stare. I blinked. He blinked.

A drop of sweat plopped from my nose onto the tufted Wilton, as my eyes narrowed. I blinked again, fatally, and then, with a small but gloomy squeak, I plunged headfirst into a pot of variegated hostas.

I should have known. His withering gaze has hobbled many of my previous attempts at self-improvement, prompted a nervous nighttime condition born of waking to find him staring at my soul, inches from my face, and on at least two separate occasions his preternatural peer has deflated, with a sad sort of fart, my perfectly risen souffles. Defeated, I retreated to my room with a dark-brown pick-me-up and realized that I needed to write a new chapter for my book: “So Your Cat is An Asshole: What to do when your pet wants your life to fail and your happiness to die.” It would be a short chapter.

Anyway, that was yesterday. Today I’m off to stride places and BE A WINNER NOT A LOSER! some more.

Nocturnal Submissions | By Sami Zahringer

Cat’s In the Bag With Surprise Bestseller

Accidental Best-Seller Keeps Cat in the Bag


April, and the self-improvement proceeds apace! (Having taken a short break from January 1st to yesterday.) I know you are reading this in June or later but bear with me. All(ish) will (sort of) become clear(ish). Anyway, back to now, in April!

I rose early, as the virtuous do, and performed a series of vigorous physical jerks, thereby flushing blood and health around my etiolated body. Then, feeling ruddy and bounding, I saw that the Air Was Good so, with nostrils flared in fiery determination, I took in great gusts of it while with sweeping gestures I parted the curtains to view Splendid Nature and the bins. God, I felt marvelous! Having breakfasted lustily on a leading innard-scouring cereal and sent the Loinfruit off to school, I then read something dry and edifying about the GDP and proceeded to have a Puritan work ethic for some uprightly souldeadening hours and did not permit myself even the whisp of a bored daydream.

Then, awash in smuggity, I looked about me to see the un-pulled-up socks of lesser beings (the guinea-pig) and shouted things like “Go big or go home!” and “I choose success!” to the general ear (the dog).

You see, that day, April 21st, marked the beginnings of a whole new me. Who will be my guide on this journey I totally sense all you people of June baying to ask?

Why, me! Yes! Yes, me! For I am hot off the runaway success that is my best-selling self-help book and eager to try out some of my own advice! At this point, I have to confess that I never actually researched or practiced in any way the advice contained in my barn-stormer, and therefore the runaway success of the book could not have surprised me more had it called itself Clive and bought me a pony. What happened was that, during a number of
months sitting with a poorly relative, I would, from time to time, pick up some of the burgeoning self-help books that seem to bloom like thoughtful mushrooms on the shelves of the many waiting-rooms where the sick gather to tensely hope for better days.

The contents of these books — some, not all — often sort of slithered by me but it was the language which stuck to me most, sort of like a horsefly on the rump of my brain. Self-help-speak is an insidious, beguiling sort of beastie which, if you spend too much time in its company, starts to buzz around, infecting your own patterns of speech and thought, even as you try to swat it away. Weary one day, I decided if I couldn’t beat it, I’d join it. I got myself a pen.

Armed with bold purpose, an army of platitudes, a crack-squad of New Age fatuity, and a small platoon of things my granny used to tell me; and shielded from the scorn of my betters-in-letters, with a bloody-minded shamelessness that defied all decency, I holed up in my room for a week and turned out one of the first hits of Trump’s new America. But back again to April, and the point of all this, which is, unexpectedly, cats. I consulted my book, grabbed my yoga mat and clad in my new “Forest Fern” Lululemon leggings, I set about doing the yoga I had advised me to do each day for half a knotted hour. Never having kinked myself into even the simplest of yoga poses, I was a little uncertain about what to do, but, checking my book, I recounted that I had also advised myself that whenever uncertainty hit, I should tighten my pony tail with high-chinned conviction, square up, and above all remember that PERCEPTION REFLECTS NONLOCAL BLISS. Well! It was a newly invigorated me, with all the vague profundities of such topnotch bovem stercore ringing in my ears, who decided that I should indeed GO BIG OR GO HOME!

At this point, dear reader, it all fell apart. Prior to my yoga sesh, I had remembered to put the dog in the yard on account of her unaccountable but very real fear of leotards. But the cat. I had forgotten about the cat. I will never forget the unblinking disdain with which he watched me attempt the Pungu Mayurasana — the legendary Wounded Peacock pose. Right arm screaming “Dear God, WHY?” as my alarmingly twitching body teeter-tottered around it, I posed gamely on, doing my best to ignore his contemptuous stare. I blinked. He blinked.

A drop of sweat plopped from my nose onto the tufted Wilton, as my eyes narrowed. I blinked again, fatally, and then, with a small but gloomy squeak, I plunged headfirst into a pot of variegated hostas.

I should have known. His withering gaze has hobbled many of my previous attempts at self-improvement, prompted a nervous nighttime condition born of waking to find him staring at my soul, inches from my face, and on at least two separate occasions his preternatural peer has deflated, with a sad sort of fart, my perfectly risen souffles. Defeated, I retreated to my room with a dark-brown pick-me-up and realized that I needed to write a new chapter for my book: “So Your Cat is An Asshole: What to do when your pet wants your life to fail and your happiness to die.” It would be a short chapter.

Anyway, that was yesterday. Today I’m off to stride places and BE A WINNER NOT A LOSER! some more.

By |2018-08-26T15:02:38-07:00August 23rd, 2018|Breaking News, Nocturnal Submissions|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jim Walsh August 23, 2018 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Sami,

    This is wonderfully droll humor that has the ring of universal truth.
    I am reminded of the old guard producers who take their breakfast at Nate & Al’s Delicatessen in Beverly Hills!
    When they reach a certain age, and they know when that is, they start wearing jogging suits.
    They do not waste any of their valuable time actually jogging.

    I am nearing the completion of phase one of a self help book that I will be writing pretty soon if I muster the energy!
    The title of my book is “Getting Up And Getting Dressed”!
    It’s sure to be a best seller.

    In the immortal words of Charlie Sheen: “We ( that is me and you), are WINNING !!!

    Jim Walsh

  2. ilona saari August 25, 2018 at 8:40 am - Reply

    ilona weeps with tears of laughter… not a good thing at 8:40 in the morning

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