First, I'd like to thank all the kind people at Harper Collins who believed in me when I thought I'd never finish the crazy journey you now hold in your hands. I especially wish to thank my agent, Cynndi Avrande, for holding my hand and showing me the way when the road was darkest. Cynndi, bless you for putting up with all my prima donna behavior, but this IS my first (and probably only!) book, you know! I know no one ever expected me to live this long, and I'm touched by the notion that an old, old man like myself hasn't been completely forgotten.
Next, I'd like to sheepishly thank all the fans who have requested this book over the decades. You warm this old former mass murderer's heart.
Thanks, too, to my impertinent henchmen (the ones I didn't kill, ha!) for their kind cards and flowers each year.
My gratitude also goes out to Harley Quinn, who provided vital proofreading assistance at all hours in this uncomfortable institutional setting, often sitting beside my bed for hours as my mind wandered every which way. She's every bit the firecracker her mother was.
I also find that I can't in good conscience write this forward without admitting that I wouldn't be very famous if I hadn't killed hundreds of people. So Big Ups to my victims. Without you, I'd be etc. etc. etc.
Finally (this forward is in danger of becoming longer than the book!), my sincere appreciation to the memory of the Dark Knight. Without his 'moral code,' I'd have been dead ages ago, instead of enjoying this applesauce in the finest darn mental ward in the state. I mean it, Bats, ya big galoot--you were the best. If I had to have a mortal enemy, I'm glad it was you. Rest in feces, I mean pieces, I mean peace. Rest in peace.
Sorry about Robin!
Frankly, my memories of my childhood are pretty mixed up, so I was having a hard time figuring out how to start this book. I mean, dear readers, that I didn't want you to get bored. If there's one thing I hate, it's boredom! So I asked my trusty agent, Cynndi, and she said that people love books that start with a joke.
I can do that!
QUESTION: Why did the chicken cross the road?
ANSWER: Because I squirted it with acid!
Ha! A classic. Hey, writing a book is EASY!
THINGS I MISS
- People with heart conditions
- Impertinent henchmen.
- Solid food (see #2! ha ha!)
THE SCHOOL YEARS
Contrary to popular myth, it's not people I despise. It's what they want. They're unhappy, so you'd damn well better be unhappy, too!
At school, I was small and sickly (though not as beautifully pale as I am now, ha ha!), and my parents considered me more of an inconvenience than a person. So, I was sent away. I can't remember if I'd done something 'bad,' or if I was just in the way, but I was sent somewhere. A school, or a detention facility...I don't remember.
I only had one subject I really liked: Chemistry. My teacher was a pompous tub of dullness, but even he could see how keen I was in all such matters. We had an assignment...we were each to make a chemical compound as described in our lesson plan, and do a report. I was so excited! I'm afraid I was a bit overzealous, and I went a teensy weensy bit adrift of the tepid little recipes recommended. But I thought, "This is it...this is what I'm meant to do!"
I stood up to give my report, and gentle readers, I was brilliant. I explained my compound, what it was, what it could do... I knew what I was saying would be remembered forever. I was beaming. Even though I was greeted with silence, I chose to interpret that as stunned amazement from my classmates. And as I returned, in imagined triumph, to my lab station, I heard my teacher say, "You must always approach your station from the left. Come back up here at once and return to your seat properly."
I wasn't sure I'd heard him right. But he repeated it. And he made it plain that there would be repercussions if I didn't sit down from the left side.
And I tried. I got up, I began to approach from the left, and I found I couldn't do it. I couldn't force myself to sit in my chair from the left after being ordered to do it, darlings. Not if it had been at gunpoint. I knew what he was telling me to do...sit, speak, be normal, don't be brilliant, don't jump, don't laugh, don't run, don't be smarter than the instructor..."
I can't remember if I killed him. One moment, I had my compound, the next, I was sent somewhere else. But I discovered something: I like to do things backwards.
Hey, Dukes of Hazzard is on!
I FORGOT TO TAKE MY MEDICATION
ssTUpid bokk hate writiNg hate nuRSes hate DOCTORs hate kasssssssssnaitahdhjk eat laugh Luagh LAUGH kidney haTe kilL nurSe with SPOOn so swEEt steal SPoon laugh laUGh laugh tV Tv DuKes of Hazzard Dukes Ducks DukEs calM be Calm Boss HoGG is HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Won'T he EveR LeARN? TheM CrazY DUKES! HAHAHAHAHAHHA!
NOW, WHERE WERE WE?
Oh, yes. Well, I've been told that sex sells. So, here's a list of people I've slept with:
Shelley Winters, Harley Quinn (many, many times), Charro, Joan & Melissa Rivers, Jill St. John, Anson Williams, three of the 'Time Bandits' dwarves, Joan Embry of the San Diego Zoo, Grace Slick, Oprah , Mason Reese, Sharon Stone before she became a man, Florence Henderson, Chuck Conners, Sissy Spacek, Starfire (not as fun as you'd think), Mary Hart, Linda Tripp (I asked her to wear a cowl), Tammy Fae Bakker, Madonna (her idea), Bizarro, the Bangles, the Commadores, Poison Ivy, Lara Flynn Boyle, Drew Barrymore, Diana Ross, Janet Reno, Joan Baez and Koko the sign language gorilla.
Then, later that same weekend, Shelley Duvall.
THE BAT (YOU KNEW IT WAS COMING, RIGHT? HA HA!)
Proof of my theory, right there. The unhappiest guy is the one trying to make everyone else follow the rules. Poor, dull, lonely bastard. I tried to cheer him up the best I could, but he had no sense of humor at all.
Look! If I press this button, my bed goes up.
Bed goes up, bed goes down.
Bed goes up, bed goes down.
Tonight is meat loaf night!
WRITING IS FUN
It's invigorating, really. I mean it. It makes me feel young. I don't need the money. I still own several companies and hold many patents. But it's nice to be doing something creative again.
Thanks for reading. I'm sorry if my mind wanders sometimes. I'm an old man! But why follow rules, anyway? Why do what's expected? In fact, let's skip the next three chapters.
Sometimes I can't sleep. I was watching tv, and the late-night talk show guy made a joke about me. About ME. He said I should use my famous smile to try to wrangle an endorsement from the Poly-Grip people.
Now, that's not funny.
YOU LUCKY, LUCKY THINGS!
I'm not going to bore you with the details, but this chapter is printed in more than just time-delayed 'appearing' ink, as you may have guessed already. The logistics of this whole thing you would not believe... Guess no comedians are gonna be using me for a punchline for a few years, eh? Hee.
Hey, where you going? No, don't bother. No point in putting the book down. You're already infected. Nope, no point in calling an ambulance, either. You can call your family, if you like, but I don't think they're going to enjoy seeing what's coming...
There. That's right. Why not keep reading? Let's spend these last few minutes together. Good. That's good.
You know, Cynndi said I should START the book with a big laugh.
But I've always enjoyed doing things backwards.
Heh. Boss Hogg. Will he never learn?