Back In The Land of Cat Jokes

November has shaped up to be a busy month. The developmental edit for Does This Collar Make My Butt Look Big? A Diet Book For Cats came back this week from my editor which means I am once again buried in cat humor. 

A developmental edit is basically just the editor going through the manuscript and pointing out what she likes, what jokes she thinks fall flat, what needs more explanation, etc. For example, I had written: While other diet and exercise books encourage a healthy lifestyle based on portion control and exercise, this book promotes the more feline-friendly approach of retching up most of your calories.

The editor's comment about "retching up" was "Is there a funnier, less gross term we can use here? I know there are a lot of funny slang terms for upchucking." So my edits this morning included sorting through options like "regurgitating, disgorging, heaving up, hurling, blowing chunks, yacking, ralphing..."

Seriously, I get paid to do this. It's awesome.

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Overheard In The Locker Room...

Forget coffeeshops, forget airplane terminals, forget park benches. If you want to do some quality people watching, go to the locker room of your local gym. 

I was in there last week, changing clothes, and a woman, mid 50's, was on the bench next to me, talking into her cell phone. She was no nonsense in her tone. 

"No. No. It has to ship by 3 today. Today. Call Mark and he'll give you what you need. (Pause) I don't care about that. Tell Leslie we're moving it forward. And three o'clock. Okay. I'm on my way in." 

Nothing unusual about that conversation except for the fact that the woman was stark naked as she had it. With one foot up on the bench. Facing me. 

She hung up the phone and looked over at me. "Ha ha! Wonder what they'd think if they knew I just had that conversation with them while I was naked!" 

I held eye contact. Really, really strong, steady eye contact. "I know, funny," I said. 

"Well," she said (that one foot still up on the bench), "I figure men over the years have called in often enough from the golf course that I can afford one or two calls in from the gym."

"Uh-huh, right," I said.

She then proceeded to have a 5-minute conversation with me about the role of men/women in business and her company in particular. All the while, her towel was on the bench beside her and her clothes in the open locker next to her. I had to wonder if it crossed her mind why, during the course of our conversation, I never once blinked. Lovely conversation though. Smart woman with a lot to say. 

Then there was the knee-high conversation. This is a favorite of mine. I was in the locker room right after a swim class let out and a swarm of older woman--70's and 80's--flooded the locker room. They were talking about shopping online and one woman held their rapt attention as she informed them how to score some quality knee-high stockings. 

"You go to this site and you can buy 5, 20, 50--however many you want--and the price is nothing! It's maybe sixty-four cents a pair! I bought 100 and just had them delivered to my house."

"And you used the internet-thingee to buy them?" asked one woman.

"Yes, yes. All on the computer. My son showed me how. And the knee-highs were sixty-four cents!"

Her enthusiasm was contagious. Even I started to get a little excited about the knee-high deals to be found online. 

Once this new cat book is complete, I may just have to write a book of locker room stories. Not the racy stuff, but the everyday conversations overheard in the gym. Good stuff.



Let Them Eat... Wait, That's Not Allowed On This Diet

Just when you thought ALL the funny material that could ever be written about cats already existed, a new book comes along to challenge your perspective and make you ask, "Huh. Are more jokes about overweight tabbies really necessary in my life?" 

The answer is yes, yes they are. I'm happy to announce that Ten Speed Press/Random House has picked up the contract on my next book. Does This Collar Make My Butt Look Big? A Diet Book for Cats will be released in Fall 2013. 

Similar to the set-up of my last book where each chapter parodied a popular self-help book on the market, this book attacks human diets and exercise plans and examines them from a cat's pont of view, which is is to say the diets are viewed while napping upside down over the edge of the couch. 

Needless to say, I've spent a whole lotta time this summer reading diet books. Paleo, South Beach, Atkins, Raw Food, Slow Carb, Dukan, all carb, no carb, fasts, cleanses, celebrity diets... there's no lack of material to pull from.

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