So I submitted the bit posted here earlier, the one about the kid and the escalator, to an on-line journal with literary pretensions.
Here's what they said:
We don't want it. Okay, I expected that. They sent editors' comments. I thought I'd want that. Now I'm not so sure.
"Too juvenile for this market," said one. That's the literary pretensions, I guess. Did they mean written for kids? I wouldn't read it to my kids, if I had kids that is. Or are they saying something about me? Damn this youth-obsessed culture, anyway. It's made me what I am.
"Some things are best left to the imagination," said another. I think they mean where the kid gets sliced into long pieces like linguini. That's all I said, you know. Didn't mention the gouts of blood and all the other things that would result if a person got sliced into linguini. Okay, never mind—we're talking about a kid who gets sucked into an escalator here. It couldn't really happen, could it?
I obviously sent this to the wrong people. I should send it to that escalator magazine, Tread and Riser, I think it's called. At least I know what they'd say.
"You should be ashamed of yourself," they'd say. "People are scared enough of escalators as it is. Not only are we rejecting your story, but we're putting you down on our enemies list. You'd better watch your ass the next time you try to ride an escalator. Not that there's anything unsafe about escalators. We're just saying."
They might have a point. Maybe the linguini part doesn't need to spelled out.
Maybe he got squashed flat like a postage stamp. Some things are best left to the imagination.