There's no end
to the things you might know, depending how far beyond Zebra you go! {Dr. Seuss}

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Ooooopsies! (10 Foolish Writers)

Writers are an intriguing bunch. Writers are clever and witty and critical and drunk and insightful and crazy and creative and compassionate and beautiful. Writers also might be a little more self-involved than non-creative people, and sometimes this self-involvement makes writers very foolish. Read on for some hilarious and embarrassing ooopsies:
While on a cruise in 1941, Sherwood Anderson relaxed with a martini, ate the olive, and proceeded to chew on the toothpick. Too bad the toothpick didn’t like that much–Anderson swallowed it, the toothpick punctured his colon, and he died of peritonitis.
In 1626, Francis Bacon thought of the brilliant idea to preserve meat with snow. He spent too much time studying this phenomenon and failed to realize how all that time in the freezing cold would affect a live human. He contracted pneumonia and died.
Roald Dahl served in the Royal Air Force and in 1940 he was told to fly from Egypt to Libya. The long trip required multiple stops to refuel and somehow he got confused. While trying to land at the supposed destination, he crashed into the desert and cracked his skull. When he was rescued, he found out he was looking for a landing strip that didn’t exist in that part of the desert at all!
Charles Dickens was involved in a horrific train wreck in 1865, but when he discovered the press was showing up to cover the crash, he fled the scene with only his manuscript. Why? He was secretly traveling with his mistress and didn’t want the press–or his wife!–to find out.
William Faulkner
William Faulkner won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1949. He showed up to accept the award with more than a speech–he was intoxicated. Faulkner’s slurred speech was so inarticulate, no one knew if the speech was any good until they read the printed version in the newspaper. 
In 2003, James Frey published an astounding memoir called A Million Little Pieces that captured world-wide attention and received heaps of praise. Those million little pieces became a million little lies when it was discovered he had fabricated a large portion of his memoir. Since so much of it was embellished, no one believed him when he pointed out the parts that truly happened. 
The education information on L. Ron Hubbard’s résumé claimed he graduated from George Washington University as a nuclear physicist and achieved a Ph.D from Sequoia University in California. Though humans may lie, school records don’t go along with it. Hubbard actually failed physics and dropped out of George Washington after two years in 1932. And that Ph.D? It was a mail-order diploma.
Carolyn Keene was the pseudonym for multiple authors who penned the Nancy Drew mystery books. But they must not have liked what each other wrote all the time because Nancy’s life details change a lot. She is described as blonde sometimes and other times as titian-haired. Her car changes from blue to maroon to green to black. And somehow her mother died when she was ten–and later dies when she was three. 
Henry David Thoreau should’ve been an 1837 Harvard University graduate. However, he pulled an Ebenezer Scrooge and refused to pay the $5 graduation payment. Too bad all things, including an MBA degree, must be payed in full in order to receive them. 
15-year-old Leo Tolstoy felt super guilty after experiencing the pleasures of his first brothel adventure in 1843. But those super-charged teenage hormones must’ve squashed the guilt because he went back again and again and again…and contracted gonorrhea.
I hope when you’re famous that I don’t some day read about you doing these foolish things. Instead, be different and do something newly foolish! ;) 
Happy writing, Zigzaggers!


Margot said...

That was a fun post - I enjoyed reading it.
Happy rest of the alphabet to you.
~Margot said...

There's some interesting facts there. The Nancy Drew fact is funny. I didn't realise she was such a chamelion.

Good luck with the rest of the Challenge.

Judy (also from Tipping the Axis)

Kyra Lennon said...

LOL what a great post! I am particularly amused by the Charles Dickens story lol!

Clare said...

Oh wow1 I didn't know so many famous authors had made such faux pas. It makes them seem so much more human.

Dot said...

Great post, Laura! I'm happy to have discovered your blog.

Julie Dao said...

So interesting!! Imagine accidentally eating the toothpick holding your delicious cheeseburger together... and then dying of an infection! Tragic. And I want a mail-order PhD ;)

Juliana L. Brandt said...

Ohhhhh boy! Who would have known. Funny and yet, oh so terrible! Haha!

Journaling Woman said...

Ahh, this is great.


Clarissa Draper said...

Well, this is great for you! You already know the answer for my Death By Toothpick story. And I guess all your readers do as well. You're doing wonderful on the challenge BTW. I should just give you your gift card now. ;)

Shelley Sly said...

Loved these! The Nancy Drew one is hilarious. Some of the others made me cringe, though. The toothpick? The cracked skull? Ouch.

Monti said...

Really interesting writer stories! I loved the Nancy Drew books. Wonder if I noticed those details. I don't remember!

Visiting from A to Z.


Dana said...

Really fun post! :)

Paula Martin said...

Great post, I really enjoyed reading all these stories.

Jaycee DeLorenzo said...

These are awesome - like Celebrities Behaving Badly and The Darwin Awards mated and had a fascinating little baby to amuse authors and bloggers.

Jaycee DeLorenzo said...

These are awesome - like Celebrities Behaving Badly and The Darwin Awards mated and had a fascinating little baby to amuse authors and bloggers.

Mel said...

Ahahaha...such an awesome post! See, even smart people are incredibly stupid at times.

martine said...

Lovely little stories of the dangers of being a writer:-)
thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog
much love

J.L. Campbell said...

This was a very interesting read. I didn't know any of this stuff.

Lisa Campbell said...

Great post! I agree with you. Writers are an interesting lot--at least good writers are. I learned some new things here. Thanks for commenting on my blog today. Glad I found yours!

M Pax said...

What interesting facts you compiled. I thought Nancy was a strawberry blonde. Oh well.

Escape Artist said...

Wow! You put some effort into this one! Putting us to shame here! Terrific post. A lot of fun to go through!
Thanks for putting it together!
New follower! : )

Laura Marcella said...

Hello, everyone!!! Welcome to Wavy Lines to the new Zigzaggers! Aren't these foolish writers something else? It makes me wonder what will be written about us in the future when we're all famous. :) Hopefully none of our own foolish antics, heehee. ;)

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, everyone!! (Jaycee, yours made me laugh out loud! You're so right!)


Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Laura! What an interesting post.

I read Nancy Drew books when I was younger. Don't remember details of things like the color of her car or hair changing from one book to the next.

The one about the toothpick is a bit bizarre.


originaloflaura said...

Oops indeed! I think there are several "oopsies" in the lives of philosophers Nietzsche and Wittgenstein. The latter, for instance, wrote a book in which he declared he had "killed" philosophy--and then he went on to teach it for decades!

iwasawriter said...

What a great list! Thanks for the giggle.

Janice said...

This was SO interesting! I didn't know most of these fascinating tidbits. Thanks for doing the research and sharing. I'm liking your A-Z entries. Sorry to say...I pooped out at "D". Carry on!

KjM said...

Like others, I read a lot of the Nancy Drew stories - and completely missed those details.

I should check out the Hardy Boys, of which I read a number, and see if there were similar oopsies.

Great post.

Laura Marcella said...

Hello, everyone!! Thank you so much for your comments and for stopping by and following! I'm glad you liked this post. It was fun finding all of these foolish little tidbits! I hope you're having a wonderful week!


Haddock said...

Love that B&W picture.... hammering away on the typewriter.
Reminds me of the one we had at home many decades ago :-)

jennyhansenauthor said...

Love this post, Laura! I'm gonna Facebook it now. :-)

Laura Marcella said...

Haddock- Hello and welcome to Wavy Lines! I used to have a typewriter, too. It was baby blue! I can't remember the brand though, or who it even belonged to. It got passed down from someone to my parents to me! Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

Jenny- Hello and welcome to Wavy Lines! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing the post!! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting!!

Eric W. Trant said...

Love these. Lord, the list goes on and on, doesn't it.

I'm not sure if writers (and artists and actors etc.) are more foolish, so much as more obvious.

- Eric

Laura Marcella said...

Eric- It sure does! You're right. Humans in general are foolish, LoL. It doesn't matter what our profession may be!