The Motor Scooter Diaries

About a year and a half ago, I was really psyched and hell-bent on getting something…anything that I had written, published.   So in a moment of “irrational exuberance”, I sent in a number of personal essays to a few on-line magazines and journals.  For my efforts, I got no response whatsoever.  This is  understandable…almost everyone and his brother (not mine) is now a non-fiction/memoir writer.  And because it’s so easy to submit material electronically, the editors at these ezines are probably overwhelmed with zillions of submissions.   Still, I was somewhat disappointed.

And then, about a year after that brief and feeble foray, I received an email from the editor of the on-line journal, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, Jean Paul, asking if I still wanted them to publish my essay.   I tried to be very cool in my response so the clicking of my heels wouldn’t come through in my return email.   I wrote simply, “Yes, that would be fine with me.”   And then I waited….and waited.  Six months after that,  just before New Year’s, Jean Paul emailed to say that my essay (which was essentially one of my early blogs about riding my scooter) would be published.  It was. And here it is…a collector’s item:                                                                               

Now the reason I’m writing this non-ironic tale is not just some more self-promotion.  It’s mostly to make you, my readers, feel better about all the time you’ve put in on this blog, not knowing whether you’re just being polite but wasting your time or if indeed, these essays might sometimes  be decent enough to interest someone other than my friend(s) and acquaintances.  So maybe, my work showing up in Mister Beller’s Neighborhood is vindication for us both.

Although it’s only been a week or so since I became famous, the reverie  has already worn off.  For a number of reasons.  First, I now realize that anyone can be published  on Mister Beller’s Neighborhood.  Whereas, there is only one person on the planet who’s writing is accepted on the Ironicman Blog.  That’s about exclusive as you can get.  Another reason that I’ve come down to earth is because of a question my sister, Charnie, asked me:  “Did you get paid or is this one of those camper-waiter deals?’  In my family, this camper-waiter reference is shorthand for, “were you a schmuck?”  (As I look at it, it’s not shorthand at all…about the same amount of words.)  What Charnie was referring to is the summer when I was about fourteen or fifteen that I worked as a waiter at a sleep away camp.  For the privilege of working my ass off, I only had to pay one half of the tuition that full-time campers were paying.  My father couldn’t get over the idea that I was paying to work…and talked about it as if it was the biggest scam ever to roll down from the Catskills.  (He even went so far as to entertain the notion of  starting a camp of only camper-waiters; where all the campers would constantly be serving one another.)  This is all to say that I didn’t get paid. (But on the bright side, Jean Paul didn’t charge me a cent.)   

Unfortunately, in the writing world that I often find myself  lately, the measure of quality is very often gauged by having your work published.  And for some reason or another, publishing one’s own blog doesn’t seem to count for much.  So, I’m feeling drawn by the Sirens again and since my scooter seems to my ticket to the big time, I’m considering sending in a companion piece about my accident: The problem with that is,  just as I’ve  worried about being pigeonholed as a Jewish blogger, I want to be careful that I don’t wind up being known only as a scooter writer.  It seems to me, this would be pretty limiting.  But then again, I suppose I could write an interesting piece about Nek, my brother-in-law… Ken and The Art of Motor Scooter Maintenance;  and there’s something I’ve always wanted to write about Phil (“Scooter”) Rizzuto. And of course, there’s the whole world of  scooter politics which could be fun to write about. For example, Dick Cheney’s aide de scumbag, Scooter Libby or Scooter Eisenhower or Scooter Hoover, or Scooter…..  


“…could you be, would you be—my neighbor?”

2 Responses to “The Motor Scooter Diaries”

  1. roberta berman Says:

    you have to many hangups

  2. Jackie Weisberg Says:

    Hey, it’s a good piece, it deserves to be published and it was published. Take some pride, man!

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