Monday, September 12, 2005

Read my sister's book or so help me god I'll come over there and kick your NASCAR-lovin', McGriddles-eatin', reality-TV watchin' ass!

OK, lissen up, people: My beloved sister's first novel is out, and you need to read it. In fact, don't even waste any time reading this stupid blog, OK? Just buzz on over to Amazon and buy the book. Here's the cover, isn't it beautiful? (The original art is by Nancy Currier. Isn't she great?)

So here's the deal: The Triangle Pose by Mary Welp is a funny, charming, smart novel about Anna Wallace, a college professor, food writer, and political lefty who falls into an unexpected romantic infatuation with Jasper Clayquot, a conservative, Christian, lovable dipwad. Comedy and drama ensue. Sparks fly. Entertainment happens. You will love it!

Who will like The Triangle Pose? Here's who:

* People who breathe: Studies show that people who read The Triangle Pose get so caught up in the story that they don't even notice they're breathing. What a boon to mankind, especially smokers!

* People who eat: If you like food, you'll LOVE The Triangle Pose. Check out this passage from Chapter Five, called The Love of a Good Oyster:

"… I didn't only want to eat. I wanted to think about food, dream about food, read about it, write about it, and prepare it. Fortunately, I am an ectomorphic individual with high metabolism, never higher than during pregnancy. Thus when my students wanted to analyze eating disorders (not a subject to garner much tolerance from me in the first place, but perennially one of their favorites), it drove me to distraction. 'How can you possibly think about bulimia?' I wanted to shout at them, 'When there's gorgonzola cheese in the world?' Not to mention crusty French bread to smear it on."

* People who like politics: The political fireworks between Anna and Jasper are like Crossfire if Crossfire didn't suck and wasn't frightening and disturbing and dominated by mean, old, creepy, ugly bald men who shout stupid nonsense bullshit at each other. (Also? The Triangle Pose hasn't been canceled.)

* Heterosexuals: The Triangle Pose is very straight-friendly! In fact, several major characters are straight and not afraid to show it. Check out this passage from Chapter Two:

"…And with that sentence I sealed the crux of our whole relationship. Sex and God would be our subjects. Our stances toward them determined everything that Jasper Clayquot and I did and did not do. They determined our responses to music, to movies, novels, TV shows, weddings, funerals, wars, motherhood, fatherhood, affirmative action, welfare reform, the Supreme Court, the past, the future, the present, the purpose of education, the purpose of life itself, to politicians of every stripe, and, most especially, to love. Our battles would be the means both to intimacy and sabotage of that intimacy…"

* Homosexuals: But it's not all hot man-on-woman action in TriPose. Check out this passage from the gay Halloween party in Chapter Ten:

"Seth was dressed as a cell phone. He had encased his torso in a gigantic silver lamé pouch with actual numbers you could push down the front of it. He wore black tights on his shapely legs. He must have spent days making it. I knew he was going to get a lot of mileage out of this at the party, pressing the End button when he got bored with someone and letting hot little twenty-somethings phone him up."

* Conservatives: Are you a conservative? Instead of sending the NRA $20 this month, why not buy The Triangle Pose instead? You'll get paragraphs like this one and you won't contribute to the ever-increasing violence in our society or risk shooting a loved one:

"…He had come to a panel discussion at the university where I used to teach classes under the dubious rubric of 'Sex and Gender Politics.' This particular forum was titled 'Clarence Thomas or Clarence X: The Persistence of Prejudice.' The guest speaker was Lucrecia Simmons, a civil liberties law professor from UCLA. She'd created quite a stir the year before when she wrote a piece on the newly elected Supreme Court Justice in which she claimed that Thomas (who, during his confirmation hearings, held up Malcolm X as his hero) had about as much in common with Malcolm X as Little Richard did with Richard Nixon. She had called Thomas an "accomodationist in the manner of a Chevrolet Suburban salesman.'"

* Liberals: If you're a pansy-ass liberal like me, you'll love every single word of The Triangle Pose. Here's a passage to whet your pinko appetite:

"I realized the end was near the week I assigned my "Gender Constructions in the Novel" students to read Tom Jones. We had already finished Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina. At least we were not reading joyless Hawthorne, beloved by Jasper ostensibly for Hawthorne's passionate and defiant heroines, though in actuality, no doubt, for his states' rights approach to slavery and his preoccupation with sins of the flesh. While the students, during the discussion of Madame Bovary, had argued about whether Charles Bovary or Rodolphe was the more patriarchal specimen of masculinity, I read those two lines to them aloud over and over: 'Iced champagne was poured out. Emma shivered all over as she felt it cold in her mouth.' I couldn't get over the loveliness of those sentences together. They remain, in fact, my favorite two sentences in the novel, the perfect frisson for what is about to unfold."

* Fundamentalist Christians: It seems like it's been forever since a book came along that you could interpret literally. Well now one has! In Chapter Ten, when Anna says, this, you can interpret it literally!

"Ricky, who was nearly seven feet tall, had dressed himself as Mother Superior. As at the majority of gay costume parties I'd attended, there were at least a dozen nuns in wimples among the crowd. There were also a pope and two altar boys, and one little slip of a fellow had come as Mary Magdalene. He wore a long brown wavy wig and carried a wide porcelain bowl for washing the feet of you-know-who. He was so submissive looking I couldn't bear to watch him."

* Atheists: If there were an intelligent designer, he'd totally smite your ass for not reading The Triangle Pose. But just because there isn't is no reason not to read it! Read it, goddammit! WWJD? Read The Triangle Pose (if he wasn't dead and the book was available in Aramaic translation and he was a sucker for good, feisty, political literature), that's what!

* People who like oral sex: Are you having oral sex now? If so, go ahead and finish, because it's one of the few things you'll enjoy more than The Triangle Pose. When you're done, though, buy the book! (Hint: there's oral sex!)

* Illiterate people: Yes, even illiterate people will enjoy this book. There's the beautiful cover, for one thing. And a fetching photo of the author on the jacket. And even if you don't read it, you can use it to smack Republicans upside the head whenever they say something stupid. What's not to love?

* Everybody else: OK, everybody won't like this book. There's probably somebody somewhere – what my sister's father would call a dumbass – who won't like The Triangle Pose. There's no accounting for some people's taste. For example, some people like that Dr. Phil guy. Oh, and that show Joey. But, aside from that one dumbass who won't like it, who WILL like The Triangle Pose? EVERYBODY ELSE.

OK, go by the book. If you live in Louisville, go to Carmichael's and you'll get extra bonus points on your soul for supporting a groovy, local merchant. Or if you're feeling chainy, go to Borders. If you live anywhere else, buy it from Amazon. Just buy it!

A word about the author and wonderful human being without whom OFGS and quite possibly my life would not exist: Mary Welp is my sister. She's been there for me my whole life. She was there for me when Fatso Sunderman stole the cat and then lied about it. She was there for me when Babin drove away from the root beer stand while Mamaw still had the car door open. She was there for me in 8th grade when I needed advice on how to get this one totally hot girl to hold my hand. She was there for me when I needed somebody to stop the car so I could ralph up a 12 pack. She was there for me over and over and over again when The Man kicked my ass. She was there for me when I needed a grammarian, a cook, a job counselor, a psychologist, a priest, a fashion consultant, an agent, a pharmacist and a lobbyist. Just last week? She showed me some stretching exercises that totally made my back pain go away. She is always there for me. She's a good girl. Buy her book.

Oh, and if your sister writes a book? Let me know and I'll read it! (Some restrictions apply. This offer is not applicable to siblings of Ann Coulter.)

Oh, just buy the book.

Thank you.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.