Recently J.D. Salinger, the literary world’s version of Sasquatch, became even more reclusive… by dying.
Even though Salinger said “screw you guys, I’m going home” to the literary scene over 40 years before he died, rumor has it that he had kept writing and had at least 15 novels and other literary projects stored up in a safe deposit box to be published after his death.
No one knows what Salinger treasures we may see flooding the market in the coming years.
But I’m crass-hole enough to speculate! So here’s a few really surprising things I think we could (but won’t, since Salinger probably didn‘t go for fart jokes as often as I do) find when we get into Salinger’s vaults.
Retcher in the Sky - a sequel to Salinger’s most famous novel Catcher in the Rye, has Holden Caulfield dying and going to Heaven, which proves to be a huge disappointment to him. At first he finds the Pearly Gates, the streets of gold, and meeting Jesus to be “nice and all, I mean” but the more he thinks about this being the ultimate reward for everything, and the place you have to be good your whole life to get to and there never being anywhere else to go to after that, the more depressed he gets, and eventually dismisses the whole place as “a bunch of phony fancy-pants bullshit” and concludes “There’s no point to salvation, it’ll just make you sorry.”
Melvuh The Retardedest Angel - When you know nobody’s going to read your stuff ‘til after you’re dead, you can get as offensive and un-P.C. as you want, and Salinger never took more advantage of that fact than with this completely-unacceptable book for children. Notes for a sequel -- Aaa-Gah The Even More Retardeder Angel - were also found.
Malionpyg - a satirical version of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmailion, in which a man with the unlikely name of Eldorado Titwrench turns fine ladies into coarse, common trollops who use horrible slang and expose themselves in cafes. Another literary satire, Piddler on the Roof, was also planned, as well as The Sound Of Fucking Music And All Crap Like That. Best lines: “She became the worst Wal-Mart greeter ever: ‘Get a buggy and fill it up with cheap crap! Or, even better, cram it in yer ear, ya mug-putz! Ah, go fuck ya mudda!’”
Dis and Drunkorderly - a slice-of-life novel about an abrasive alcoholic hospital worker who’s addicted to Nicorette gum and has a back tattoo of a blacklight Jimi Hendrix poster. Contains more of Salinger’s sardonic observations about society, such as “it’s ironic that most convenience stores are far away and hard to get to,” “Isn’t it insulting that they call it the Internal Revenue Service, like they’re doing you a goddamn favor by taking your money?” “Durbation is all the rage with the masses,” and “Ever notice that you never meet anyone inscrutable anymore?” Most classic lines: “She showed me her dog, one of those snippy, pissy little dogs that never accomplished anything but to hop up and down, yapping like a lobbyist. She said something about a shit zoo, but I looked at her carpet and told her that a zoo was a collection of animals; what she had here was a shit museum.”
Gruesome Mary’s Church of Dough - a semi-autobiographical novel written from Salinger’s “feminine side” (since a few graduate students at my college actually thought “J.D.” was a woman) in which Salinger acerbically depicted himself at war with the society from which he withdrew. The opening line is “We’re playing Roadrunner/Coyote here, and so far my speed is overcoming their ACME products.” The character representing Salinger runs one restaurant, while society is represented as a rival restaurant, Big Ray’s House of Violence And Buckwheat Pancakes (“our motto: They’re DelishAAARRGGGH!”) Classic lines: “I don’t know why the people who ran that little carpet store were so mad at me. They had a sign up that said ‘throw rugs,’ and I was only following their orders.”
Schadenfreudian Slip - Expected to be the find of the whole trove, this is a collaborative novel Salinger wrote with John Kennedy Toole of Confederacy of Dunces fame. It's a saga about a misanthropic prostitute who charges extra because she has a partial Siamese twin (which actually does all the work). It’s reportedly really bitter and hilarious. Best line: “I got arrested for throwing my feces at people in the crowd. But that’s not entirely true. It wasn’t mine. Well, I guess technically it was mine since I paid for it, but...”
Amazingly, it will be revealed that under a carefully-guarded pseudonym, Salinger had been writing scripts for the 1973 Japanese TV series Super Robot Red Baron, including the lyrics to the show’s haunting theme song:
“This Earth of ours is beautiful So we can’t allow the Iron Alliance to seize it In hearts that love peace The Iron Alliance can’t be forgiven! Red Baron! Red Baron! A million-horsepower super robot Crush their ambitions and Destroy their fiendish Mecha-Robos! Feel the might of the Elec-Trigger! See the Baron Hammer strike!”
Here’s an example of one of the scenes Salinger may have written. Warning: viewing the following may cause unbearable levels of excitement! Be sure the seat in which you are sitting can handle large degrees of bouncing up and down!
Salinger’s involvement in Japan also (may have) led to his secretly becoming the psuedonymous author of the classic volume, How To Good-bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everyday. Malarkey? Or Effective Way? which is reputed to be the absolute funniest book you can leave on your coffee table for guests to see. (Given Salinger’s interest in yoga and other strange spiritual beliefs, this may not be as far-fetched as it seems).
Shockingly, it’ll be revealed that Salinger tried to sell a sitcom to several networks. It was to be called Below the Belt and In The Back, (or possibly Love And A Slice of Bacon) about workers in a factory where they make sausage patties. Rosie O’Donal would have a supporting role as a rude, obnoxious, backwards-cap-wearing loudmouth named “Piehole,” who - as a substitute for a Jimmy-Walker-“Dy-No-Mite” catch-phrase type of thing - would cock a hip and fart toward a co-worker once every episode.
And expect a stir in the news when it’s discovered that Salinger actually wrote Sarah Palin’s crib notes!
(Even in his last days, Salinger had a wicked sense of humor, crossing out the word "Budget" in "Budget Cuts" and replacing it with "tax" as a satire of Republican economic mishandling. Even in death, Salinger's still making the world's phonies look like fools!)