Jan/Feb 2016 Humor/Satire

A Letter Off, a World of Difference

by Garrett Socol

Artwork by Karen Fox Tarlton

Artwork by Karen Fox Tarlton

Unfortunately, it's become commonplace for national newspapers and magazines to misspell words (present journal excepted). When that happens, when just one letter is left out, added or replaced, the meaning of the word can change immeasurably.

The following is a list of book titles that have fallen victim to a print editor's sheer laziness or blatant stupidity:

Of Mace and Men —— John Steinbeck's unforgettable story of two migrant field workers becomes a manual for women who want to protect themselves from sexual predators.

Rabbi, Run —— John Updike's study of a man's attempt to escape the constraints of his seemingly happy life becomes the story of a Jewish clergyman's attempt to win a 10k race across Tel Aviv.

Tan Little Indians —— Agatha Christie's classic thriller becomes an exploration of melanoma within the Native American community.

Fakes and Furies —— Lauren Groff's dazzling dissection of a marriage now delves into the world of art forgery. How do cunning, conniving criminals convince art lovers to shell out big bucks for fake Rembrandts and Botticellis? Discover their deceitful strokes.

Gone With the Rind —— Margaret Mitchell's epic, enduring Civil War saga becomes a reference book about fruit.

A Male of Two Cities —— Charles Dickens' classic story of struggle before and during the French Revolution is now the study of a big-time bigamist with two identities and two residences hundreds of miles apart.

Go Sext A Watchman —— Harper Lee's much anticipated follow-up to To Kill A Mockingbird becomes the sordid tale of a watchman caught sexting with his girlfriend while he's supposed to be on the job, watching.

The Bun Also Rises —— Ernest Hemingway's novel about a group of American and British expatriates becomes a manual for the successful baking of dozens of different breads.

Lowe Story —— This weepy tale of tragedy and true love between two pretty, preppy college students becomes the scandalous story of pretty Rob Lowe and his endeavor with two young girls (one of whom was only sixteen) in an Atlanta hotel room circa1988.

Sail-safe —— This story of a Cold War nuclear crisis becomes a manual for navigating the choppy waters of the world's five oceans.

Dame Change —— The riveting saga of the 2008 Presidential election (co-starring a clueless Alaska governor) becomes the equally riveting saga of Bruce Jenner's transformation into Caitlyn.

The Dunaway Jury —— This suspenseful legal thriller now documents the debacle of Faye Dunaway's decision to star in the musical Sunset Boulevard. Until recently, the jury was still out on the burning question: Did she know she sang as well as Roseanne Barr at the beginning of a ball game?

The Scarlet Litter —— This tale of scandal in the Puritan city of Boston circa 1642 becomes a mystery that baffles animal researchers worldwide. A yellow Labrador Retriever gives birth to a healthy litter of eleven with coats of bright, sparkling red. Who fathered these pups?

Rooms —— Alex Haley's sprawling saga about his ancestry becomes a guide to Manhattan hotels written by the dude in the ubiquitous Trivago commercials. From the elegant suites of the Plaza to the toilet seats of the Times Square Hyatt, every room in every New York City hotel gets a rating from this guy.

Charlotte's Wet —— This children's classic is now the story of a young working woman who becomes drenched in a downpour when she neglects to take an umbrella with her even though the forecast called for rain.

Revolutionary Toad —— Richard Yates' blistering indictment of American life in the 1950s has turned into the story of an intrepid amphibian dedicated to changing the way humans view frogs.

The Lord of the Mings —— This epic fantasy novel becomes the epic real-life story of the Ming dynasty, the ruling family of China for almost three hundred years.

A Mime to Kill —— John Grisham's tale of justice and race relations becomes the story of a beguiling French girl forced to study mime. Now a beguiling French adult, she's determined to maim every mime who dares to lift a hand on a Paris street.

Bone Girl —— This wildly popular story of a scorned, psychotic wife has now become the story of a single woman's search for the perfect phallus.

The Liver —— This popular young adult novel set in a dystopian society becomes a scientific reference book about the large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly.

Steve Jabs —— Young Steve's penchant for poking people in the ribs is considered endearing until he starts using a steak knife and is considered wanted in 12 states.


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