~ => On the nightstand => Topic started by: Ghostwriter on April 01, 2019

Title: Everyday I write the book
Post by: Ghostwriter on April 01, 2019
This is the thread. If you want the song, try here. (

Title: Blair witch project
Post by: Margaret Thatcher on October 13, 2019
The final final ( word:


Forward by Tony Blair (

Title: Byron's brainiac
Post by: Ada Lovelace on December 10, 2019

The title is mine, the cover illustration and nom de plume most emphatically not! Both doubtless calculated to "Pull in the punters". (This is the photo ( the artist was working from.)

I was also approched by the 'Idiot' people. Negotiations sank in a quagmire of botheration, and that project was abandoned, not before the following was dummied up:

Title: Renaissance Man
Post by: Ben Franklin on January 17, 2020
Title: The clothes make the man
Post by: Mark Carnage on March 16, 2020
Title: #WeWon*
Post by: Mary Wollstonecraft on April 27, 2020

Favorite activity: Breaking glass ceiling into a million pieces
Guilty Pleasure: Wonder Bread (
Ambition: Original Stories from Real Life ( optioned by Paramount
Favorite Book: Frankenstein (not ashamed to say I'm a proud mum)
Favorite Movie: Anything with Liam Neeson and I’m there, God help me
Favorite Movie Scene: Too many to list. Walter Matthau siphoning jam out of donuts ( with a straw in all seriousness made me laugh like a loon
Favorite TV show: Deadwood (
Sports played: Arm wrestling
Pets: None, but I'm a secret admirer of Chompsky ( on social media
Foods I crave: Lindt without apology for the culinary typecasting of my sex
People I admire: Jordan Peterson, if only to set the cat among the pigeons
Favorite song to sing in the shower: Don't Be Stupid (
Sexiest city in the world: The city that never sleeps, despite bad press (
Good first date idea: A leisurely ride to a museum, ( then reading to each other long into the night
In the morning: I don’t do mornings, unless it’s a first date


Finally, is there anything you'd like to say your creator?
Gracious Creator of the whole human race! hast thou created such a being as woman, who can trace Thy wisdom in Thy works, and feel that Thou alone art by Thy nature exalted above her, for no better purpose . . . [than] to submit to man, her equal – a being who, like her, was sent into the world to acquire virtue? Can she consent to be occupied merely to please him – merely to adorn the earth – when her soul is capable of rising to Thee?


* The argument, not the war
Title: Marx Larx
Post by: Karl Marx on May 05, 2020

The bewhiskered scamp who wrote Das Kapital was not without a playful side, as reported by his wife Jenny von Westphalen:

One day Karl brought a rabbit home, ostensibly for the kinder, but he kept it in his study and it always travelled with him in his coat when he went to the reading room. He refused to feed it “bourgeoisie” carrots, but allowed it to nibble his cheap cigars. For the record, its name was Engels, but secretly he called it Flopsy.
Title: Smoke 'em if you got 'em
Post by: Sigmund Freud on May 06, 2020
Title: Light reading
Post by: Florence Nightingale on May 12, 2020
Title: This could so easily have been tasteless
Post by: Abraham Zapruder on May 15, 2020
Title: If you want it put a bonnet on it
Post by: Mary Anning on May 21, 2020
very interrogatory indeed (
Title: Village voice
Post by: Zimmy on May 24, 2020
another cover (
Title: Village of voices
Post by: Mel Blanc on May 30, 2020

famous last words

Title: Measure of a man
Post by: Walt Whitman on May 31, 2020
missing me ( one place search another (
Title: Badly Broken
Post by: Marilyn Monroe on June 01, 2020
Title: Crowd control
Post by: Thomas Hardy on June 02, 2020
Durdle dense (

One of these is the author's photo:
click to see if you picked the right one

Hardy (b. 1840) is on the right. He shares a birthday, if not quite the same mustache, with Edward Elgar (b. 1857).
Title: Confederacy of Dunces
Post by: Jefferson Davis on June 03, 2020
Title: Made in Britain
Post by: George III on June 04, 2020
Title: Macroegoist
Post by: John Maynard Keynes on June 05, 2020

Title: Come as you are
Post by: Robert Falcon Scott on June 06, 2020
Title: Stepping up
Post by: Mike Penance on June 07, 2020

After securing a lucrative deal with Puzzle Palace Press for his memoirs, the veep dutifully writes the most boring book imaginable. Sensing disaster, a ghostwriter is hired to jazz it up. From the blurb:

Vice President Michelangelo Pence, who incidentally shares his birthday with Hitler's father, has penned an explosive autobiography detailing a dream he had in which God told him to personally fire a drone at the Oval office. After a morning of prayer and fasting he pushes the button, resulting in an immediate vacancy which he fills just in time to pardon himself for what is arguably a crime (an indulgence everyone is willing to overlook). His hand warms the swearing-in bible but doesn't burn ( it, to the relief of a weary nation.

Nobody sensible’s idea of a great leader, the hoosier* then goes on to surprise sane people everywhere with wise and humane policies, a 180° turn which he credits to an omelette he once watched his wife make. Riding a tide of acclamation, he is elected in his own right, ushering in a new Reich but in a good way.

* Knock-knock
Who's there?
A native of Indiana
<warning shot fired> (
Title: Unrepentant
Post by: Barbara Bush on June 08, 2020

Sorry Tim Berners-Lee, ( maybe next year.
Title: EminentVictorianspotting
Post by: "Standard Gauge" Stephenson on June 09, 2020

Scroll up and down for moiré
Title: Show mammy the money
Post by: Hattie McDaniel on June 10, 2020
Beyond Tara (
Title: Consort-99
Post by: OAP on June 10, 2020
“I must confess ( that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus.”


Illustrated with touching scenes of family life:

It says here that commoners are people too.

Very funny, but do that again and daddy will bite it off.

Imagine how many heirs you swallowed. (
Title: Focus redefined
Post by: Julia Margaret Cameron on June 11, 2020
Hold the Photoshop (
Title: Het achterhuis
Post by: Anne Frank on June 12, 2020
Title: When Titles Fail
Post by: Mary Whitehouse on June 13, 2020

Let's try that again


One more time


Whilst researching this book I came across this gem: (
“And a girl told me that she had screamed so much whilst watching Friday 13th that she had to be slapped.”
Title: Cabin fever
Post by: Harriet Beecher Stowe on June 14, 2020
Title: Losst and founnd
Post by: Nilsson Schmilsson on June 15, 2020

It's Erik Erikson's ( birthday, too
Title: Glass half full
Post by: Stan Laurel on June 16, 2020
Title: Love's labour lost
Post by: Erich Segal on June 16, 2020

Critics still argue which is more emetic: the movie, or Tricky Dick ('s brief discourse ( on the profanity therein.
Title: Cannibal fietser
Post by: Mr x on June 17, 2020

"Sometimes it's strange being me."
Title: Open question
Post by: M.C. Escher on June 17, 2020
Title: Nightmares
Post by: Franz Kafka on July 03, 2020
Title: Feel the yearn
Post by: Emma Lazarus on July 22, 2020
Foreward by George Floyd et al. (


Further reading, ( by way of Paul Kalanithi. (

Don’t miss the poetry workshop ( by Ken Cuccinell, or for extra First Amendment credit, Archie Bunker. (
Title: The right stuff
Post by: Amelia Earhart on July 24, 2020
Vol 1

Vol 2

Vol 3
Title: Are we there yet
Post by: Neil Armstrong on August 05, 2020

Visit the Armstrong Air and Space Museum (
Title: Shoot while you're happy
Post by: Dorothy Parker on August 22, 2020
Title: My terrible, horrible, no good, very bad book
Post by: Ivan on August 25, 2020
Title: I believe we've met
Post by: Walt Kelly on August 25, 2020
Title: Publish and be damned
Post by: Mother Teresa on August 26, 2020
Title: Woman
Post by: Mary Shelley on August 30, 2020
Title: The House of Animal
Post by: Caligula on August 31, 2020

and don't miss the besteller by Claudius, who ushered in August:

Title: Heckling perturbed men
Post by: Humperdinck Engelbert Humperdinck on September 01, 2020

One hit wonder? (
Title: I sing the body electric
Post by: Neo on September 02, 2020
Title: Warbird
Post by: Marguerite Higgins on September 03, 2020


"Reality, I guess, is just what we are accustomed to."
Title: The sound of people reading
Post by: John Cage on September 05, 2020
Title: The ermine ceiling
Post by: Elizabeth 1.0 on September 07, 2020
Title: Fatal attraction
Post by: Fay Wray on September 15, 2020

The stereotype, it burns


Need Wray-Bans
Title: Long Strange Drive
Post by: Ken Kesey on September 17, 2020
Title: Great expectations
Post by: Greta Garbo on September 18, 2020
Title: Dear John
Post by: Abigail Adams on November 22, 2020

“I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could."
Title: My Struggle
Post by: Harpo Marx on November 23, 2020
Title: Hash-a-Motep
Post by: H.G. Douglas on November 25, 2020
The fink in question (
Title: Go
Post by: Major Taylor on November 26, 2020
Title: Adorable
Post by: Antinous on November 27, 2020
Title: Excusez-moi
Post by: Jimi Hendrix on November 27, 2020
Title: You've Got a Friend in Me
Post by: Andy Ewman on November 28, 2020
Title: Growing pains
Post by: Louisa May Alcott on November 29, 2020
Title: Scriblerus
Post by: Jonathan Swift on November 30, 2020
Title: unfinished manuscript
Post by: Jane Austen on December 16, 2020
Title: Discourses of Epictetus
Post by: Elizabeth Carter on December 16, 2020
Title: Come hither
Post by: Margaret Mead on December 16, 2020
Title: Sous le pommier
Post by: Émilie du Châtelet on December 17, 2020

"Let us be certain of who we want to be." (
Title: EggsHell
Post by: Cherry on January 02, 2021

Why did the explorer cross the snow? (
Title: Can't escape the Coffin
Post by: Lucretia Mott on January 03, 2021
portrait credit (
Title: Lockdown
Post by: Jacob Grimm on January 04, 2021
Title: American Woman
Post by: Jennie Jerome on January 09, 2021
Title: The gutter press
Post by: Richard Nixon on January 09, 2021
Title: T-minus nominative determinism
Post by: Edgar Allan Poe on January 19, 2021
Title: Saying Gracie
Post by: George Burns on January 20, 2021
Title: I don't know...
Post by: Buzz Aldrin on January 20, 2021
Title: Objections duly noted
Post by: Ayn Rand on February 02, 2021

PS. Don Draper can read me anytime (
Title: Norm the drip*
Post by: Norman Rockwell on February 03, 2021

* Not really
Title: Tiswas
Post by: Gertrude Stein on February 03, 2021
Title: Going out swinging
Post by: The Bambino on February 06, 2021
Title: Eternagram
Post by: Henry Fox Talbot on February 11, 2021
Title: Let's hear it for Legs Lincoln
Post by: Honest Abe on February 12, 2021
Title: Agripping tale
Post by: Britannicus on February 12, 2021
Title: A bit of all right
Post by: Charles Darwin on February 12, 2021
Title: Adult human female
Post by: Susan B. Anthony on February 15, 2021

Begging the pardon of the great Susie B, that's got to be Robin Williams in an earlier incarnation.
Title: Who wears short shorts
Post by: Johnny Mac on February 16, 2021

Commercial break (
Title: Save the first dance for thee
Post by: Zina Bethune on February 17, 2021


Ms. Bethune pulled over along Forest Lawn Drive in L.A. to come to the aide of a wounded possum. She was hit by an oncoming car that propelled her across the street where she was struck by another vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene. [You say Darwin Award, I say consider self fornication. - Ed.]

A former New York City Ballet soloist and the founder of a Los Angeles multimedia dance and theatrical company, Ms. Bethune starred opposite Harvey Keitel as "The Girl" (no names, please) in Who's That Knocking at My Door? She plays a rape victim rejected by Keitel due to her lack of purity. It's one of the most brutally honest depictions of a man's fear of the opposite sex ever filmed.
– San Diego Reader (

No means no
Title: You are here
Post by: Nicolaus Copernicus on February 19, 2021

Oh to be able to visit a museum ( again
Title: Twilight Zone System
Post by: Ansel Adams on February 20, 2021
Title: Doesn't rhyme with sin
Post by: Anaïs Nin on February 21, 2021
Title: Memoirs of an invisible man
Post by: Ralph Ellison on March 01, 2021
Title: You go girl
Post by: Barbara Follett on March 04, 2021

Vanishing Act (
Title: Don't marry me you fucking cur*
Post by: Princess Mary on March 05, 2021
* courtesy The Beautiful South (


Which Mary? This Mary. (
Title: Polymath wants Crackerjacks
Post by: John Herschel on March 07, 2021
Title: Don't worry be happy
Post by: Marvin on March 11, 2021
Title: Point the way to the restaurant at the end of the universe
Post by: Jack Kerouac on March 12, 2021

"Take it." (
Title: Da bomb
Post by: Albert Einstein on March 14, 2021
Title: Waste not want not
Post by: Isabella Beeton on March 14, 2021

Good egg ( or bad? ( You decide.
Title: Boris Karloff
Post by: My name is Michael Caine on March 14, 2021
Title: Unflinch
Post by: Diane Arbus on March 14, 2021

"You see someone on the street, and essentially what you notice about them is the flaw."
Title: From here to eternity
Post by: Gene Cernan on March 14, 2021


Adjusting his bionic arm.

In space no one knows which end is up. This has always concerned NASA.

Houston refused permission to sing The Star Spangled Banner due to time/oxygen constraints, but allowed this:

Looking understandably worried after losing his helmet. "Where was the last place you used it?" asked Mission Control.

Cernan demonstrating how he was forced to slap Schmitt for ruining the song. (
Title: Not your drinking buddies
Post by: John Snow on March 15, 2021
Title: Going down with the ship
Post by: Pat Nixon on March 16, 2021

Actually... ( Susan Linville got there first, ( or at least before me.

These often turn into mini history lessons. I never knew, for example, that Thelma's dastardly husband (a Navy man, which also helped in the titling department) allegedly ( beat her.
Title: In t' name of t' father
Post by: Patrick Brontë on March 17, 2021

"Read 'em and weep," said the reverend playing poker at the table where the last supper had been served, showing his hand with premature satisfaction.

"Not so fast," said the devil, last seen in Miss Jones, not to be confused with the 1941 comedy ( featuring quite a bit less vice on display. ("It was inspired by Sartre's No Exit, you know," the devil had informed them at the beginning, apologising for being late to the game.) It was true. Brontë was showing a busted flush. (

Richard Nixon poured them both a drink, this being hell in case you were wondering. "Somebody forgot to count cards," he said sardonically.

"Why am I here again?" asked the reverend. "My unspilt seed gave the world literature which will last the ages!"

The devil was unapologetic. "Why are we anywhere? Have you seen the play?"

"I have not," said Brontë. Nor had Nixon, relieved to be getting a break from the torture room where he's condemned to be forever beaten by Hunter S. Thompson, who had been offered a berth in Heaven but declined. "Is it Kafkaesque (" offered the former president.

"A whisky on the house for Tricky Dick," said the devil.

"Patrick, you’re here because having suffered the deaths of your wife and all of your children before you, God in His infinite wisdom decided you haven't suffered enough. You'll recall that He works in mysterious ways. Do you know Isaiah 55:8-9?"

Quickly stifling the sin of pride for of course knowing it, the reverend recited for the devil: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

"You sound like my English teacher when she assigned Wuthering Heights to the class," said Nixon, also condemned to drink without buzz.

"I rest my case," said the devil.

"Q.E.D.," agreed Nixon.

Brontë, never one to complain, handed his cards to the devil to reshuffle or not, as the case may be. "Eh bien, continuons...."
Title: New Yorker, New Yorker
Post by: John Updike on March 18, 2021
Title: Trouble and strife
Post by: Anne Bradstreet on March 20, 2021
Title: No escaping yourself
Post by: Harry Houdini on March 24, 2021
Title: Whole cloth
Post by: H.C. Andersen on April 02, 2021

Wear what you wish, but girl mode ( sounds more like twat ( mode.


Which is my way of saying that I love the English language in all its glory

but some words come easier than others, and “twat” isn’t one of those I’ve ever been comfortable with. However, when it fits, it fits

and I'd rather not hide behind assterisks.

Title: Pariah's Progress
Post by: Flora Tristan on April 07, 2021
Title: Right hand man
Post by: Hef on April 09, 2021

"What am I doing down here?" asked Hef. He scratched his head, genuinely bewildered to find himself in hell, and found a pair of ears there. A few tugs told him they were permanent fixtures. Across from him sat the devil. She was gorgeous.

"This is also news," he said by way of opening gambit.

The devil smiled. "Oh this body? It’s just something I threw on."

"I assume my torment is to look but not touch," said the eternal playboy, suddenly nervous about what he might find if his hands wandered south of the border of the belt on his robe. At least he'd been allowed to bring his wardrobe; if you're going to be spending forever somewhere, it's best to be comfortable.

"I've got a proposition for you," said the devil, a sly gleam in her eye.

Hef was nonplussed. Was he really in hell? His soul had told him it was damned as soon as he'd woken up here, but his head was recalculating the odds. "A proposition, you say?"

The devil nodded. "I want you to be my right hand man."

"What does the job entail?" asked Hef, surprised that position hadn't already been filled by someone like Hitler. He still didn’t quite know what was going on here, but he was warming to the possibilities.

"Follow me and I’ll give you a taste," said the devil.

The first room she took him to was furnished in such luxury he could have been back in his mansion. It was groaning with vases and innumerable fancy knick-knacks, which a man was busy dusting. He looked at them frantically. "I don't see any dust!" he fairly shouted, redoubling his efforts.

That didn't seem so terrible. "How long has he been at it?" Hef asked the devil as they left the man to it.

"Time doesn't exist here," said the devil. "But it seems like forever to him. I've informed him he can start on the hoovering when he finishes. I think he's desperate for a change – any change. Unfortunately for him, there is no dust."

The following room was a reverse call centre with rows of men on phones. By the look of it they weren't happy: those who weren't gibbering wrecks banging their heads against their desks were attempting to slash their wrists with anything handy. One guy's eyes had rolled clear out of his head; he was crawling on the floor searching for them, but they kept rolling away.

"Volunteers are calling from limbo," said the devil. "Mansplaining."

Hef shuddered, but it could be worse. "Where are all the demons?" he asked. "I thought there would be demons."

"Demons are a dime a dozen," said the devil. "Almost everybody up top has at least one already. It seemed like overkill."

Gloria Steinem welcomed them at the next door. "What are you in for?" he asked, genuinely surprised though secretly pleased, considering the screwing she'd given him back in the day. (

"Fraud," she said. "Welcome to the eighth circle." She offered him a cup of Kool-Aid ( from the bar, which he declined.

"That's harsh, don't you think?" he asked the devil as they passed through a room of hobby-horses munching contentedly on keyboard warriors.

"Au contraire," said the devil. "As Madeline Albright observed, ( there is a special place in hell for such women. St. Peter and I had a bit of a tussle over her, it's true, but he gave in when I offered Ambrose Bierce ( in exchange.

"Maddy's here too, btw – that one was no contest ("

The tour over, the devil eyed him speculatively, eyebrow arched as Eve's had been just before the fall. He felt a stirring in his groin. Something was very wrong, but he couldn't yet put his finger on it.

"Go ahead and put your finger on it," said the devil playfully.

Now positively columnar, Hef reached down inside his robe and grasped, then gasped.


said the devil. "With your square peg and boules de bleu, there's no more suitable man for the job."

We are not amused
I apologise unreservedly for the direction in which this is about to continue, and shall endeavour to avoid such vulgarity in future.


Soon-to-be birthday boy John Alcock ( (11 April 1715 – 23 February 1806) wouldn't normally get a look in: right place, right time. Actress of the silent film era Dorothy Cumming ( follows the day after, but I remind myself that I have free will, and therefore won't be going there.
Title: God bless us, every one
Post by: Tiny Tim on April 12, 2021
Title: You have been warned
Post by: Beverly Cleary on April 12, 2021
Mother washes socks that smell
Title: Logos
Post by: Hitch on April 13, 2021
Title: Brother can you spare the time?
Post by: Charlie Chaplin on April 16, 2021
Title: To dust we return
Post by: Hans Sloane on April 16, 2021
Title: Fly me to the moon*
Post by: Wilbur Wright on April 16, 2021
Plenty of legroom:


* Neil Armstrong took a few small bits from the Wright Flyer with him
Title: Lost in translation
Post by: Adolf Hitler on April 20, 2021
Dummkopf's Dynamo (
Title: Smothering son day
Post by: Anna Jarvis on May 01, 2021