I Drink for a Reason - By David Cross


HELLO. THIS PREFACE WAS ORIGINALLY ONE HUNDRED AND NINE pages long and one hundred percent unnecessary. But a contract is a contract. Especially if it’s legally binding and written in lamb’s blood on parchment from olden times. I love to write. And, at the very same time, I hate to write. It’s kind of a pain in the ass and really impedes my video-game playing and completion. I’ve written in several forms—e-mails, award-winning sketches, movies, Post-it note reminders to let the baby out, award-winning gravy-soaked possum biscuit recipes, instructions on how to use the cable remote for guests, French lessons, “The Who’s #1” in drying cement—but never a book… until now. I like very much the idea that I’m writing a book and by extension am now a “writer,” because let’s be honest, no one considers sketch or stand-up “writing,” even though of course it is. But writing a book, well, that puts me in the same rarified air as Voltaire or Sue Grafton or Tim LaHaye. The bitch of it all is that writing is at complete loggerheads with my desire to not be writing right now. There’s a good reason I’m known for having the “softest hands in showbiz,” and I am loathe to jeopardize that title. It’s amazing what I will let myself be distracted by or pretend is suddenly important and urgently needs attending to, merely so that I can put off, for however brief a time, the writing that needs to be done. For example, here’s a partial list of things I’ve thought and ways in which I have dillydallied while trying to get this goddamn fucking pain in the ass thing written:

I need to get ready for Thanksgiving.

My eyes feel funny.

I should check out some porn for inspiration.

My dog wants to play probably, I think.

Wait… do you hear horses?

I should really see if that wine’s still good. That shit’s not gonna drink itself.

Really? St. Louis is playing Pittsburgh? Huh, I should check that out. (I don’t care about either team in whatever sport you first thought of.)

Maybe if I jerk off I’ll be able to concentrate better. (This is then followed by an hour and a half of surfing for just the right 42-second porn clip to jerk off to.)

I swear to God I hear horses.

I should really think about doing twenty push-ups and then eventually not doing them.

Is that painting crooked?

This place is fucking dusty!

They’ll be calling any second now, and rather than get started just to have to stop, I’ll start writing after the call.

That call took a lot out of me. I’m wiped. Naptime!

That’s not to say I don’t want the riches and rewards that come with being a fancy-panted writer (“author,” on the East Coast), although how this book will get written is still a mystery at this point. Perhaps an as-of-yet invented computer program called “AutoWriter” or something like that will come about. Then I can just punch in a few lines and run it through the “Pithy” program and that will be that.

I imagine that I will be asked to attend marvelous parties where witty bon mots and cutting retorts meet each other in midair where they joust in a gentlemen’s game to the death. In fact I am quite sure that I will be feted at the rather large Upper West Side co-op of someone I’ve never met but who will host my literary “coming out” party. Her name will be something like Deidra Harwick, granddaughter of Knute Harwick and heir to the Harwick fortune. (Knute Harwick invented the non-disposable condom, look it up.) She is very generous with her time and money. Just some of the numerous charities that she works for include Operation Hang Upside-Down for Africa, Friends United to Eradicate Blind Indians, Society for the Improvement of Performance Enhanced Athletes, and Diamondcology, to name a few. I can only imagine (’cause it hasn’t happened yet, silly!) what one of these soirées would be like. First there’s the invitation. I suppose it’s creative and artsy. Perhaps a gilded canary’s head with the script written in rubies and AOL stock certificates. It is most likely hand delivered by an old Punjabi man with a sophisticated British accent. It comes at the bottom of a refreshing glass of Bombay gin over ice. “I thought that was a canary’s head!” I will say with delight as I drain the glass and break it just inches away from the Punjabi man’s head. “Of course I accept this fine, fine honor.