The ‘Kook Tax’ Is Real

by Shelt Garner

I have been “different” all my life. I’m different now and I was different — and pretty drunk all the time — in college. But I did manage to make my mark at James Madison University. I was the first Webmaster of The Breeze, the great student-run newspaper.

Given how potent the Internet has become in our daily lives over the last 25 years, you’d think I could at least get the current people involved with the paper to have dinner with me or something.

No such luck. They totally played with my mind as if they wanted to meet up when I suggested it a few months ago, only to ghost me when I tried to follow up. I think, if anything, it’s small slights like that that “normal” people don’t have to put up with. I call such problems the “kook tax.”

If I was “normal” they would have been impressed with my place in the newspaper’s history and be glad to hang out with me for an evening. I’m actually a great conversationalist and, given the opportunity, I can be quite thought provoking in person.

But, alas, I’m a freaky weirdo to the normies of JMU. I love JMU a lot, but it’s kind of sad that not even in college can you be weird and expect people to take you seriously.

It’s because of shit like that that I worry about what will happen once I start to query this first novel. Am I just too weird, by definition, for a literary agent to be willing to sign me? Only time will tell, I suppose.

Author: Shelton Bumgarner

I am the Editor & Publisher of The Trumplandia Report

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