Recently a friend of mine told me that I should really try to get an agent and get the VENTS published. He felt that since the Unibomber has gone, there is a clear need for the type of writing I do. I told him that I had no idea how to get an agent. I had heard something about a “casting couch” as a way of getting agents, but I just thought that going to random office buildings, dropping my trousers and offering to “put out” probably wouldn’t work. It certainly didn’t when I tried to get auto insurance.

My friend then suggested that I get online, tear myself away from Footfetish.com for a few minutes, and send a query to some agents who have websites. A query is a brief note telling agents about what you write. But I didn’t quite know how to describe the VENT. The suggestions I’ve received from readers (“annoying,” “Gnat-like,” “a daily dose of dread”) didn’t seem to fully capture it. Finally, I settled on the following.

Dear Agent:

I write a twice-weekly comic newsletter. I can write
about anything you want. You want knock-knock jokes,
you got knock-knock jokes. If you want holocaust
revisionism, but funny, no problem. If you are offended
by obscenity, I can remove it. If you like obscenity, I can
remove everything but. I don’t even need to write.
If you want to pay me just to sit in your office
and compliment you all day (“hey, grrreeeaaaat slacks!”)
I’m your boy.

I then E-mailed this to 200 or so agents. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that some agents specialized in small niche areas. For example, one agent wrote me back that his agency only handles “Amish Works.” He asked me if my work dealt largely with the Amish community. I was about to delete his message when I thought, “what the heck, give it a shot!” So I wrote back, “Write about the Amish?? YOU BET I DO!!!”

I knew, however, that I was going to have to change some things in the VENT. Luckily, my computer has a “REPLACE” feature, which allows me to replace all of one word with another. So I just Amishified my Vents:

Old Word New Word

You Ye

Car Buggy

Daylin Hezidiah

Boink, Schtup, or Screw Beget

Car Keys Buggy Whip

Aphrodisiac Buggy Whip

Another agent wrote that he only represented religious authors. He wanted to know if I wrote about The Lord. I wrote back that of course I write about the Lord, but in highly symbolic terms. For example, Celine Dion is always symbolic of Satan. Another only handled Latino authors. I tried to send him a Vent in Spanish, but never having actually studied the language, all I could come up with was:

VENT Cinco

Hola, me yamo es Daylin. Jorge W Busho es mucho stupido. Hasta Luego!!

I’m still waiting to hear back from that guy. I know that any unsolicited submission is a long shot. I learned that back when I submitted some of my previous manuscripts, including “100 Myths of Personal Hygiene” and “The Complete Plagiarized Works of Maya Angelou.” I know you may send your work to 1,000 agents, and all 1,000 may reject it utterly. But you’ve just got to target that other 5% who don’t (my math was never very good, which explains the failure of “WRONG!!,” my book on math, to sell).

So I’ll keep you posted. If I make it big, you can say you knew me when…I’ll deny that, vigorously. My lawyers will threaten litigation, but you can still say it.

Tomorrow: How the Amish tell you to get lost.

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