So let's say my book ends up on the auction block and makes me rich (hahaha--will never happen, as even those of you who like it will attest). Let's say it gets made into a movie that Changes the World. Let's say I'm on Letterman and for totally unclear reasons (last-minute compromise?) I am made Poet Laureate of the United States.
Actually no. Let's be honest. None of this will ever happen because I have already burned up my fifteen minutes and I have no reason to suspect I will get a second set.
My big mistake was using them up when I was stranded in a small town on the banks of the Mississippi.
I was part of one of BYU's study "abroad" groups (if Illinois can be considered abroad) and as those of you who have been to London or Madrid or Jerusalem know, a bizarre sort of bonding occurs at these cloisters. And since my time in Nauvoo was at the opening of the Joseph Smith Academy, there were only forty students there to cloister with, and we all knew each other well.
So to sum up (and add a few more details):
Little tiny town
Small intimate group of friends
Miles and miles to decent commercial opportunities
No ready transportation to or from
(Sounds like a good horror-movie setup....)
It was at this time that I wrote a puppet musical called, cleverly, "A Musical Extravaganza."
Starring two black gloves with yarn wigs named Marcus and LeAnn, it was the story of two Nauvoo-based BYU students and, ah, their, ah, relationship.
"A Musical Extravaganza" premiered at a talent show we students put on and went into regular rotation ala "Cats" or "The Fantasticks." I was performing it most nights, often with multiple encores. I would set up stage behind a couch in the lobby and Marcus and LeAnn would sing their way to true love.
The show was not just beloved by the masses, but it was also controversial. If it had not been so powerfully popular, I think the Powers That Be would have shut it down. I was talked to a few times about the appropriateness of its content but c'mon! Did that stop "Titanic"?!
The night before we left on airplanes for home, I performed "A Musical Extravaganza" for the final time--a double-feature with its equally popular (but doubly controversial) sequel which had been debuted less that a week earlier during a long bus ride.
Then I came home to a world that had never known "A Musical Extravaganza," that could never understand the impact it had on all those who loved it and quoted it and sang its songs. And I realized that I had created a cultural touchstone that had changed the world it inhabited.
And that world consisted of only forty people.
I don't imagine I can ever build enough karma to create a life-changing, culture-altering artwork ever again.
And so I've blown my chance at fame and fortune on a smalltown puppet show, performed gratis for a bunch of expatriate byuckers.
It was fun while it lasted.
I just hope it was worth it.