While I am loath to disappoint my beloved fans, I must be forthright regarding the plan for my upcoming autobiography. In light of the reported sales figures from last year’s Autobiography of Mark Twain, it has become apparent that the clear and obvious choice is to go ahead and hold off for at least a century before Charlie’s Autobiography goes to print.
To my potential publisher: There’s little doubt that adhering to this tested and proven marketing strategy will yield staggering results, financially speaking. That said, there are just a few matters that should probably be discussed before we move forward.
Firstly, I have not written an autobiography.
This, I’m sure, is but a small obstacle in the process of publishing my autobiography. Consider: Will future people still be reading long, tedious books that go on for hundreds and hundreds of pages? I contend that the answer is “probably not.” Given the ever-rising popularity of Twitter, perhaps it would be best if my autobiography contained no more than 140 characters? (To be clear: on this point, I do not bend — 140 is my max.)
Now, as I was interviewing my mother for information on my childhood, she made an interesting point: Mark Twain is considered by many to be one of the greatest writers in American history, and I have achieved virtually nothing with my life. Why do I not see this as a problem? Because we have one hundred years — plenty of time! — for me to achieve Mark Twain-level celebrity. Any and all ideas regarding this undertaking are welcome. (Just thought of an idea as I was writing this: what if I started a blog?)
Beyond Mark Twain’s status as a literary and cultural icon, it’s worth noting that he had the incredible foresight to change his name to one that would sound contemporary by the time of his memoir’s printing. Can you imagine, in 2011, Amazon selling out of a book written by someone named “Samuel Clemens”? Ain’t gonna happen. Similarly, the thought of reading the autobiography of someone named “Charlie Nadler” may sound just as absurd and offensive to someone living in 2111. But what if “Charlie Nadler” had changed his name to “Halatrix Omegacron”? Bam! Problem solved.
Just as Twain surely did 100 years ago before sitting down to write his book, we need to ask ourselves: what will people in 100 years be like? Will there still be people, or is it more likely that, following the inevitable onset of technological singularity, endlessly multiplying armies of cybernetic organisms will have seized control of the planet and eradicated all traces of organic life by this time? In order to tap into our future demographic, the story of my life needs to speak to the passions, interests and dreams of those still alive in 2111 — otherwise this puppy’s not gonna sell. To this end, I’m thinking that there should be at least some mention of my struggles as a cyborg assassin who’s repeatedly sent back in time to murder and/or protect future resistance leaders. Indeed, I would not be opposed to changing the title of the book from Charlie’s Autobiography to Halatrix Omegacron: The Life and Times of a Cyborg Assassin in the Post-Apocalyptic Future, or maybe Terminator 4. Should it become apparent that the fate of our planet will fall not into the hands of cyborgs but of conniving molemen, zombies, or genetically engineered alien-dinosaur hybrids, I’m sure that a quick “find-and-replace” can correct this miscalculation.
Speaking of editing, we all saw what happened with Huckleberry Finn (awkward!). You may want to consider preemptively removing any instances of the words “human” and “people” and substituting a likely derogatory slur for us that may be used in the future — something like “goonbags” or “cramblers.” Just trying to think ahead.
Finally, a note to my marketing department. While I can be somewhat flexible on the exact year of publication, I will insist that we aim to publish the book just before Father’s Day. Every dad loves a good autobiography.