Well, here’s a turn-up for the hows-your-father. Despite The Law of the Playground not being available in any bookshops, and despite the website being dead to new entries for a good while*, people have still been buying the Law of the Playground book. Over 4,000 copies in Britain, which has rendered three independant observers clinically aghast.
That’s more than twenty times my combined friends on Myspace, Friendster, and Facebook, so it’s conceivable that one day I’ll meet someone, do my usual introduction of “YES I WRITE ABOUT VIDEO GAMES BUT I DID HAVE A BOOK OUT SO… SHUT UP” they might actually say “oh yes, that book about british bulldog”.
This will force me to scream “no, it didn’t have the rules to british bulldog in it actually, that was a strident policy decision from the word go, now piss off I’ve got six pages to write about Tomb Raider,” and they’ll put their face one inch away from mine and hiss “fucking hell man, you’re 33 years old, is this some kind of alarming pisstake”.
Then we’ll make out, and rub boners in the sand.
Look at the figures for Europe. Eight books wouldn’t be bad. I can name eight Europeans (if MarÃ©chal PÃ©tain still counts), so that seems about fair. But minus eight? Who the fuck in Europe has been doing the opposite of buying my book, and more importantly, how?
- Did they buy the book in Britain, become so appalled by the standard of writing that they no longer felt they could live in an English-speaking nation, then return it to a Belgian branch of Waterstones?
- Did eight Parisian sans-culottes steal it as a revolutionary gesture?
- Did the Italian from ‘Allo ‘Allo make such an ostentatious display of looking intrigued, leafing through the book, then putting it back on the shelf with such theatrical disgust, that it actually counted as eight negative sales?
The effort involved in unbuying a book is so extreme that I can only interpret this as a personal attack. Now I know how Scooch felt at the Eurovision. EUROPE: GIVE ME MY THREE POUNDS THIRTY SIX PENCE BACK OR SERIOUSLY, I’M GOING TO PUT YOUR FUCKING WINDOWS THROUGH
*This is something I’m attempting to work on, sorry about that.