from: Ted Vaak
to: The Toby Vok Publicational Company
I have enclosed a partial manuscript for 1000 Words And How To Use Them, a picture book and educationist instructional tome for the pre-literate market (any age). The full manuscript (100 pages, approximately 100,000 words) is available on request.
I have been writing educational works for many years. Both Counting and Sizes and Letters have become industry standards, having formed the basis for all the subsequent works in the 126 years since initial publication.
The Ted Vaaaaaak Educationalismé
1000 Words And How To Use Them (excerpt)
Page 1: Ghost [A picture of a ghost haunting two children and a woman] “Quick, my dearlings, it’s the ghost of your father, returned to wreak his horrors upon us once more!”
Page 2: Revenge [A picture of a ghost throttling a woman] “This, THIS, is my revenge, wife of mine, and mother of my children, for the crimes you committed against my heart.”
Page 3: Evisceration [A newspaper cutting. Black and white picture of a man, tophatted, scowling, next to a black and white picture of a man lying on the kitchen floor, his heart having been cut free from his chest, and his guts also having been sliced free.] Caption: “Barald Vaaaak, a heartless man, both pre- and post-evisceration“]
from: Toby, Children’s Editor
to: Ted, Children’s Predator
You KNOW I can’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. The amount of trouble I had to go to last time was intolerable – ‘A Billion Uses For Eggshell’ took almost fourteen trips to the dump to dispose of. Ideally the primary use for eggshell would have been “disposing of useless manuscripts for books nobody wants”, but perversely that would have rendered your magnum opus slightly useful, and thus increased my reluctance to destroy it. You can see the bind I’m in.
Please self-publish, and I promise to buy a copy. Just don’t expected me to read the damn thing.
P.S. You should get a post-code, they’re quite good.
from: Toby (continued)
to: Ted (continuing)
P.P.S. “Bind”, like a book gets bound. You see?
from: Ted Vaaak
to: Toby Vok
Dear Toby Vok,
Thank you for the prompt reply. I’m sorry the book did not interest you, nor fit in with your current publishing requirements. I shall take on board your criticisms and suggestions, which have been very helpful to me.
I HAVEN’T FINISHED TED STOP INTERRUPTING
P.P.P.S. If you should continue with this book, be aware that you have already used up all three of the best words, and it will be hard to keep up the same level of quality. Before the end of the first chapter you will be using sub-par words like ‘Golf’ and ‘ERECTUS’
I HAVE FINISHED
from: Ted Vaaak
to: Toby Vok
Dear Toby Vok And His Publishing Company,
Further to our most recent conversation, I have taken onboard the criticism and feedback provided to me, and have come up with a proposal that should satisfyi both your requirements and my desires. Therefore, could you please solicit a book from me, with a title of your choosing, so that I can submit to you in a form and to a standard that you will be legally obliged to read, and hopefully accept.
Toby here. I’ve been thinking about Dog Week recently and how maybe there could be a book that outlines all of the activities that take place during Dog Week, like ‘Big Dog Monday’, ‘Small Dog Tuesday’ and ‘Miscellaneous Dog Wednesday’ (Thursday and Friday, as usual, have been cancelled). I’ve never owned or seen a dog but that only adds to the mystique of Dog Week for me, which I suppose is why I’m so fascinated by Dog Week.
Could you please also confirm for me – when is Dog Week this year?
from: Ted Vaaak
National Dog Week is observed the last full week of September (and anytime you like)!
from: Ted Vaaaaaak
National Dog Week: A Guide
Page 1: There is a week, every year, that is devoted to dogs
Page 2: Dogs, and also wolves
Page 3: Day 1: Big Dog Monday
Page 4: Day 2: Small Dog Tuesday
Page 5: Day 3: Miscellaneous Dog Wednesday
Page 6: CANCELLED
Page 7: CANCELLED
Page 8: Day 6: Sports Day (for dogs)
Page 9-10: Day 7: Rest, Recuperation
Page 11: But what is a dog?
Page 12: And why?
Page 13-22: [Pictures of dogs]
Page 23-24: And that is why they, and their week, must be stopped.
That was my solicited submission. Illustration descriptions available on request (of course you may wish to provide your own illustrations, descriptions).
Contact Details (revised)
Ted Vaak House
Ted Vaak Town
Essex (Ted Vaak County)
(TEB VAEL was the closest postcodal equivalent to my name that I could obtain. I begged the authorities to include some new numbers of my devising, so as better to approximate a D, an A, a K, but they refused to even admit me entrance to the offices)
from: Vok Boks
Thank you for submitting your manuscript, National Dog Week: A Guide. Unfortunately we have decided not to pursue this to the next stage, for it is abominable.
We are a small publisher, and regrettably can only publish a few books each year. Therefore, they must be of a standard, which yours does not even begin to meet, for it is terrible in almost every way, and on a subject (Dogs!) that our readership are likely to have no interest in in any way.
We appreciate that a lot of time and effort goes into your submissions, but unfortunately we cannot write personal replies.
We wish you all the best in whatever future you are trapped in.
Vok Boks (Ltd)