by Beth Wareham
Spanx, actually. I was standing beside a conference table, hand up my dress, (my own hand) pulling an anaconda-like roll of latex down my leg when he struck. With a touch more appropriate for inside the covers of 50 Shades of Grey, Stephen King pinched the roll of latex and gave it a yank, taming — and at once setting free – both it and me.
I heard a voice say, “We’re late for the meeting” and with a soft kiss on my neck, I heard him moving away. I whirled around, just as a pair of holey blue Converse, low-tops, turned the corner. I yelled “Congrats on the Red Sox!” and he yelled back, “I’m farting through silk!” A publicist ran by, smiling like a baby with gas. I was left alone to deal with the current of electricity running up and down my spine. I knew I would never see him again.
I’ve been told about Stephen King getting pulled over for speeding with just his giant turtle in the car. Another editor remembers looking down at the treadmill next to her in the hotel at a book convention and wondering who set it on .5 to work out. The Converse, low-tops, were her first clue.
When Salman Rushdie’s fatwah went down, make no mistake, it was Stephen King and Stephen King’s call to booksellers that kept Rushdie’s books on sale. To paraphrase, Mr. King said, you don’t sell him, you don’t sell me.
When I read Stephen King, it’s like being locked in a trunk with my brothers, shit-weasels both. When I read Stephen King, I am deliriously happy. I remember the stupid jokes and haven’t boarded a plane since Dream Catcher without saying “sit up front, first to the crash site.” As a teenager, I was reading Salem’s Lot when a boy knocked on my window, causing me to urinate in fright. My Mom called me “Window Pee” for a week.
Yeah, these books are scary. But they are are also hilarious and few humans have a greater mind when it comes to American pop culture than Mr. King. You are so immersed in your country’s own inside jokes, it is also feels like hanging out with your siblings. It’s all familiar.
I cannot presume to review the body of Mr. King’s work – my 401K won’t hold that long. However, here are some of my favorites.
CLICK ON COVER TO BUY. PROCEEDS GO TO E-BOOK ARFICA
For baby boomers, 11/22/63 resonates as the day a certain idea of America died. John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas and no one has ever stopped guessing about his end, including Mr. King.
In Doctor Sleep, little Danny Torrance from The Shining grows up and works in a hospice. This is classic scary King.
Visit us on twitter @shadowteams