Howard Rosen has come forward to claim his prize check, but he doesn’t want his photograph shown, as “the number of people looking for a loan to save their homes are legion.” Then there is the matter of the lottery curse, and “about eighty cousins and coworkers who have already descended on me like a flock of taloned red-tailed hawks.” After cashing his check, Howard plans to disappear for a while and buy an island. In fact, he’s already signed the papers on Palm Island of the Grenadines, in the West Indies, at a price of $16.2 million. It’s 110 acres, next to Union Island, a place with a unique history. “Guy named John Caldwell bought it from St. Vincent for one dollar a year for ninety-nine years,” Howard says, “and spent thirty years developing it from a hell hole into a paradise. Before Caldwell died of a heart attack, he was planning to finance a movie based on his life story, but it never happened. Now, I think it will. I’ll be financing that movie, you see, and I’m writing the script now. I’ve already completed a draft of the story, which includes me winning a solo Powerball of $552 million, after taxes.” How is this possible, you ask? “Well,” Howard claims, “it was just a dream of mine when I began writing the novel years ago, and now it looks like the dream has come true, doesn’t it? Except for the solo part, of course.” To read Howard’s partly ghostwritten story, go HERE.
In related news, The Super Doomsday Preppers consortium has made an offer to the Fed to purchase Carlsbad Caverns.
THE INSTANT CELEBRITY, a Hollywood satire about a $552 Million Powerball winner who disappears, buys an island, and finances an attack on a corrupt dictator so that he can reemerge a hero, is only $2.99 as an ebook for Kindle, Nook, or iPad.
Ryn Jacobs supposedly played short stop for the Yankees in 1948. He was a one season player who once hit a ball so hard it disintegrated in flight. . . not just ripping the cover off, but turning it to dust. (Every other time Ryn hit the ball he never made it to first base.) THE LEGEND OF RYN had been optioned by Fox for a feature film, centering on the controversy that day about whether a flake of dust on the glove of the pitcher constituted an Out or not. The History Channel also planned a special science docudrama on the event to replace a rerun about a swamp monster inhabiting Duck Dynasty’s man-made mud hole. And it all started when a screenwriter named R. Solomon fabricated a fake baseball card, using old stock and vintage ink sufficient to fool The History Detectives. He then pitched the film to studio executives, giving them the card, which was in a display album next to an authentic Mickey Mantle card. The ruse fell apart when a Yankees fan named Howard Ziffle, working at the Fox mailroom during casting for the movie, declared that no one named Ryn Jacobs ever played for the Yankees. Studio heads had R. Solomon arrested on the spot. When asked why they believed a mailroom clerk, even though Solomon had a flawlessly forged baseball card authenticated by Antiques Road Show to boot, (not to mention a History Channel film already in progress featuring J.J. Abrams as director), studio chief Bernie Wolfe replied, “You don’t know Ziffle.” Apparently, although Howard Ziffle can’t get out of the mailroom because he has no marketable skills, no one disputes his baseball expertise. “He can tell you who was traded for who, and for how much, going back to Prohibition. Not only does he know the shoe size of every player in Yankee history, but he can tell you what their lockers contained during any given season. I’m talking about a fan so obsessed that his incense candles are shaped like bats, which he dipped and shaped himself, adding the scent of catcher glove leather. Too bad he’ll be working at McDonalds next week. We’re automating our mail room, and I hear his expertise doesn’t translate into anything but flipping burgers, being nothing unusual among rabid fans.” Fox is going ahead with the movie, as is The History Detectives. As for R. Solomon, he will be replaced by in-house screenwriters related to the studio heads, even as he spins tales in the Big House and (no doubt) tries to craft a gun out of soap.
This new audiobook and ebook is at Amazon.
Bonus Material: On Mice and Men
Three mice were lost in a maze. The first said to the second, “Since our purpose in life is to find as much cheese as possible, and there’s no cheese right here, we must go in search of new cheese instead of waiting for it. We must change and adapt to conditions or we will die.”
The second mouse agreed, but then said to the first, “I wonder if there is more to life than cheese, though. I want to discover who is providing this cheese, and why. Furthermore, I believe I can escape the maze by realizing it’s an illusion, and creating my own rules and reality. My own game.”
Suddenly Mouse Three did an astonishing thing. It stared straight up for the first time, and then shouted to the other two, “Look!”
The other mice looked to the left and to the right, back and forth, inquiring “Where?”
”Up!” insisted Mouse Three.
”Up?” the other two asked in unison. Still caught on the plane of two dimensional thinking, they whirled around again and again, going in circles like lemmings about to dart off and over a cliff they couldn’t detect.
Mouse Three, realizing their dilemma, scampered over to each of them and—in turn—put his head under theirs to tilt their gaze upward toward the parallel universe of three dimensions just above them all. “See?”
They saw a huge creature with a massive head. Large blue eyes peered down at them. A giant hand gripped a thin, flat piece of wood. Another hand held a long, thin tube which it used to scratch along the top of the flat piece. In a flash of insight, Mouse Two said, “It’s making notes.”
”It?” said Mouse One, amazed. “Notes?”
”God,” said Mouse Three, “is taking notes about us.”
At this statement, a mouse wearing a white lab coat appeared, carrying four golden books. Pages were turned in one of them as the other three mice waited, jaws slack. At last Mouse Four spoke. “This is the program,” it declared. “The rule book. The Bible. Up to now you have followed its precepts within the narrow parameters of its allowable free will. But since you’ve now discovered the Truth behind your programming, and witnessed another dimension of meaning behind your world, the controllers must reprogram you and place you in different mazes with other mice. You will remember nothing, not even your own first name. Have you anything to say about this?” Mouse Four waited. There was no response, only astonishment. “I didn’t think so. In fact, when it was my turn, I didn’t think at all.”
Suddenly three other lab coats dropped out of the third dimension above, and landed at their feet. Mouse Four gave each of them a copy of the Bible. “What’s happening?” Mouse Three asked.
”You are being promoted,” Mouse Four replied. “You are leaving this world and going to the next. There you will do God’s bidding by studying and enabling the actions of others.”
”For what purpose?” asked Mouse Two.
”You cannot ask such a question,” Mouse Four responded.
”But I just did.”
”Me too,” said Mouse Three. Mouse One only looked confused.
”Okay, then,” Mouse Four whispered. “I don’t know what it means, but there’s a word for it.”
”A word for what?” asked Mouse Two.
”For the meaning of all this!” Mouse Four whispered hotly, trying not to move his lips. “God’s word.”
”Which is?” asked Mouse Three.
”Shhhhh,” said Mouse Four. “He’s watching! Now put on your coats, and start reading your Bible.”
Mouse Three watched as the other two donned their white garments. He looked down at the cover of the book he held, which read TV Guide. “What’s your last name?” he asked Mouse Four.
”Same as yours,” Mouse Four replied, glancing up with a hopeful smile into heaven. “Nielsen.”
Billy Beane’s story almost took a fictional turn in the alternate ending that was batting around by producers before the scenes were cut and ended up on the locker room floor. Instead of just fading out as Brad Pitt’s character goes to see his daughter, the Oakland A’s manager accepts a position at Bear Stearns leading up to the collapse in 2008, while his sidekick played by Jonah Hill joins the Moody’s rating agency. The hiring scene went like this:
BEANE: Man, I don’t know. I’m not doing this for the money.
BEAN COUNTER: Well, didn’t you say that the game you’re in now means nothing if you don’t win? We all win here, my friend. Big time. The fix is in. And you get to cut employees too. Cut and run to Tahiti!
BEANE: Yeah, well, I want to change the game.
BEAN COUNTER: You can, you can. Ever heard of credit default swaps or CDOs? They’re the big show now. You’ll come up with more! Hell, companies are just like teams. Company men compete on a global field. You bet for or against them, pop some flies, see how the numbers run, then you calculate your odds of crushing the competition. Hey, our Coke machines serve Champagne! And with your friend at Moody’s, he can rig the ratings to spin out winners like an f%$#ing cotton candy machine!”
After crunching the numbers, he takes the job and ends up buying the Oakland A’s. He’s in a skybox drinking Cristal with Mark Cuban when Bear Stearns implodes. Luckily, he’s already bailed out, and now runs his own private hedge fund.