Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Last week I received an invitation from an editor, an open door to submit material to her magazine.  I enjoy invitations like this . . . and always feel a sense of obligation not to blow it.  Lord knows I've blown a lot of other invitations through the years.

My wife, for example, has invited me to cook meals on numerous occasions.  In fact, I'm right now the primary "chef" in our house.  But there have been many times when I've let her down.  I've burned some meals beyond recognition, over-seasoned others, attempted to create my own recipes from scratch . . . and not usually with good outcome.

In the past six years, I've also been invited to speak in numerous churches, at special events, and at other venues.  But with one or two exceptions, I've turned down all of these speaking engagements citing, usually, exhaustion or rickets as the primary reason for my invitational decline.  Quite frankly, I could write sermons or speeches until the cows come home, but when it comes to giving a keynote address at an insecticide convention, I usually pass.  I'd rather write an essay entitled, "The Life and Times of the Dung Beetle", or whip out a magazine article for Women's Day or Redbook entitled, "Twenty-five Sexy Moves He Doesn't Know About and If You Tried 'Em on Him He'd Dislocate a Hip."

Still, I love invitations.  I wish more editors would write.  I wish they would send me long, flowing e-mails like:

Dear Mr. Alleycat,
I recently read your article on the Indiana Beaver and wish you would write something for Missouri, the Show-Me State.  There's a lot of things you could show us out here.  For example, you could write a 1000-word piece about your varied experiences at the top of the St. Louis arch, especially the last time when you puked on the way down riding in that tiny elevator.  Our readers love vomit stories and we hear you have some doozies.  Whatdaya think?
Signed . . . an admiring editor.


Dear Mr. Allleycat,
I'm eager to bring you on board and pay you a huge sum of money to write a feature story on electro-shock therapy.  We've had trouble locating a writer who would subject himself to this therapy in the interest of science, but we hear your brain is already fried.  Perhaps you wouldn't mind?  And you could spend the money on a decent mousse to make your hair lay flat.  Give me a jingle if you are interested.
Signed . . . (anonymous)

Yes, I'd love to receive more invitations like these.  But I have a feeling I'm not in that high of demand.  My wife won't let me leave the house anyway.  I've got to get back to the microwave before those TV dinners burn. 


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