Scooter Nation, Unapologetic Lives Series Book 2
Writing is a marvelous thing because of the freedom it confers. The late Hunter Thompson proved that when he created his own genre—gonzo journalism—and pushed it well beyond anything anyone had ever seen before.
I wouldn’t presume to be on the same level as Thompson—that would jeopardize my health. But I did presume to reach the first time I took up the laptop, and I continue to do so with the newly released second edition of Scooter Nation under the Out of My Head Publishing imprint.
Scooter Nation is many things. Part humor, part social commentary, it even hints at a bit of magical realism. This is blended genre, I’m told. It is a thing that doesn’t fit squarely into a box. But it does offer a world peopled with living, breathing protagonist-antagonists searching for two things: meaning and affirmation.
Scooter has won humor prizes while its prequel won horror prizes. Go figure?
SO, WHAT KIND OF BOOK IS THIS ANYWAY?
The world of Scooter Nation is a very old and mysterious one. Steeped in tradition and couched in secrecy, funeral service, as we morticians like to call it, is carried out behind locked doors under gilded chandeliers.
There are several reasons for this, all of them necessary and good. But there is one single factor that trumps them all. Morticians the world over are governed by privacy laws, professional association by-laws, and codes of ethics that add up to the same thing: Protect the dignity of the deceased and the privacy of their survivors at all times.
Our duty to protect what my ethics professor called “the most vulnerable people on earth” can, at times, be misconstrued by the untested, fearful or conspiracy-loving among us. Obfuscation, fiscal malfeasance, a lack of integrity, and professional coverup are popular charges bolstered by often humorous and satirical literary offerings and television programming.
Fair enough. If we cannot talk about what we see and do, how can we defend ourselves against misinformation?
It was deep inside this question that Scooter Nation, a work of satirical fiction, was born.
Imagine a neighborhood establishment that has been part of the street for nearly seventy years. During that time, it has seen many coats of paint and many different faces as staff cycle through with the passing years. Those on the street who do not have business with this business never venture inside. The only living beings that do, have congress with the dead.
What are they like? The fictional funeral directors at Weibigand Brothers Funeral Home are inherently self-aware. Owing to the nature of their work and the long-evolved traditions that back them, they take pride in their old-fashioned livery and deep-seeded altruism that reinforces what they know well: They are doing lasting good, if only for the few short days they spend with each of the families they serve.
Embalming may have changed drastically since the days of ancient Egypt, but these morticians know that they belong to something old, perhaps even mystical. This is why they fight back as viciously as they do when a self-entitled “upstart” bullies her way in and tries to change things in the name of transparency and accessibility.
There are a lot of themes at play in Scooter Nation: tradition v. modernity; secrecy v. openness; beauty v. utility; kindness v. cruelty.
The old ways teeter on the brink as big and shiny moves in. Buildings will be bull-dozed and great tabernacles will be erected to honor brand and market share. But can our brave warriors survive the gloss of bolder and greater social policy, or are they destined to disappear along with rotary dial phones and face-to-face friendships?
Not for a second. Characters must change in Scooter Nation. Their survival depends upon it. But what passes for a makeover cannot alter what lurks deep inside.
Do you want to know what really goes on? Step into my parlor and find out.
“Unapologetic, beautiful and crazy.”
“Who knew that funeral homes could be so entertaining?”
A.B. Funkhauser is a dark humor, satire fiction author with three titles to her credit. Her fourth novel, Poor Undertaker, is a prequel prequel to Scooter Nation due this fall, 2019.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/A.B.-Funkhauser/e/B00WMRK4Q4