Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mentors, Muses & Monsters Finalist: Peter Cooper

Who the Hell Is Willard Price?
by Peter Cooper

While working b'ind the counter of my local Borders store,
A customer of youthful age approached me to implore,
That I should share my wisdom on which new book he might buy,
Ideally, without vampires, ghosts, or broomsticks in the sky.

Delightedly, I gave a grin and bid him walk this way,
Towards the tiny scrap of paranormal-free YA,
And reaching for the titles, I drew out something nice,
A ripping-yarn adventure tale, by author, Willard Price.

He screwed his stud-pierced nose at me, and stared like I was mad,
Then uttered words that stung me, worse than any slap I'd had,
“Who the hell is Willard Price?” he gave a mocking cry,
And I fought hard, against the urge, to poke him in the eye.

“You’ve never heard of Willard Price?” I kept my tone polite,
“It’s gripping, thrilling, heads above this modern YA shite,
Willard takes you places so exotic, far away,
'Twas he who made me want to write, and so I do, this day”.

“Well good for you,” the youth looked bored, his heart no longer in it,
“I write too, I text at nearly 50 words per minute.
But maybe I should simply listen, to my friends' harangues,
And buy that new release about the fairy with the fangs.”

And as he left, I sadly slipped the book back in its place,
There to wait for someone new, to set their heart to race,
Who the hell is Willard Price? The modern youngsters say,
But they don’t write them, like they used to, back in Willard’s day.

15 comments:

_*Rachel*_ said...

I shamefacedly admit I'd never heard of him, either--but I looked it up and those adventure books look good! And oh, how I sympathize--so many people have missed out on wonderful books! Has nobody else ever heard of G.A. Henty? And I'm shocked at the number of people who haven't even read Narnia!

Well done. Well done indeed.

Chris Eldin said...

LOL! A fun and whimsical tribute! I have to look him up also, along with Rachel's GA Henty...
:-)

Stuart Neville said...

Willard Price was my favourite author when I was a "young adult". I cut my teeth on those Adenture books, my favourite being Gorilla Adventure. Damn, they were good books, proper yarns for boys.

Charles Gramlich said...

lol. Love this.

Ann Victor said...

Thanks for a year of *great* posts Moonrat!

As I'm signing out of blog-o-sphere until after Christmas here's wishing you uKhisimusi muhle, Geseende Kersfees and a very Merry Christmas! :)

Ann Victor said...

PS Rachel I've heard of G A Henty -Husband's name is Beric, and we have two copies of G A Henty's book "Beric the Briton", about a man of integrity and courage, who helped save his people from the invading Romans. A hard act to follow, but Husband lives up to it! :)

noni said...

“I write too, I text at nearly 50 words per minute.."

:::sigh:::

I enjoyed this!

David Alton Dodd said...

Very clever and, sadly, it tells the truth. Very well done, Mr. Cooper!

_*Rachel*_ said...

That's one of my two favorites, the other being For Freedom's Cause!

And Peter, while these few comments aren't directly on your piece, I hope you'll be flattered that it sparked such happy memories. You've written about something all rabid readers can identify with.

Merry Monteleone said...

“Who the hell is Willard Price?” he gave a mocking cry,
And I fought hard, against the urge, to poke him in the eye.


Love this! Great job, Peter, totally fun read for all of us bibliophiles.

Maree Anderson said...

I LOVED reading Willard Price books in primary school. I'm with Stuart: Damn, they were good books! In fact must check the library and see whether they have any for my son to check out...
Great poem, Peter! And thanks for the blast from the past done in such great style *VBG*

Peter Cooper said...

Thanks for the comments everyone, and thanks for the comp, Moonie!

The Adventure series was pretty big in the late 70's and early 80's, but I think it's recently been released in the form of two book volumes. They're really good fun, especially for boys (though my sister was a huge fan, too).

I'm glad people liked the post!

Bernita said...

Oh, brilliant!

Rebecca Knight said...

This cracked me up! :D Great rhyming, and thanks for the book recommendations ;).

Dave said...

That definitely counts towards my laugh quota for the day! Thanks, Peter.