There was a time when I used to gallivant here, gallivant there, why hell, I’d gallivant most anywhere but now that my britches are plumb worn out and I’ve become a real old codger, I’ve given up all that rigmarole. There was a time I could hoodwink almost anybody and sometimes even the slightest skullduggery did wonders for my ego. However, when things took a really bad turn, I jumped into my jalopy and put the pedal to the metal and just drove off into the sunset. Quite often, it’s best to put a kibosh on the whole thing, I mean bejeebers and flibberty-jibbet, jumpin’ out of the frying pan into another hullabaloo could wind up being threatening to one’s health. I’ve seldom been bamboozled but I have been flabbergasted with some of the outcomes of my risky actions and we aren’t talkin’ a slight brouhaha either. Sometimes I’ve been mired down, a little discombobulated but that was when I had a mind to lollygag and not take things too seriously. There have been times during my younger years when my life took a catawampus direction, but I may have been a nincompoop at the time. The smart thing to do was to probably skedaddle before all the shenanigans broke loose but being flummoxed and stuck in my craw like a hunk of pumpernickel, I occasionally went berserk. Other instances, like a garden full of carrots and one periwinkle I was securely rooted and could not escape my unscrupulous decisions. When all seemed lost, feeling sorry for myself, I’d just grab a hold of my thingamajig. What’s that you ask? Well…when you’re confuzzled, in one kerfuffle after another, the world appearing to be full of perpetual poppycock, it’s good to get a hand on things, don’t you think?
Whew! Now some of what I’ve written so far has been completely bogus, utter balderdash and up to my neck pure baloney, and yet if you’re an old fuddy-duddy like myself - I mean thunderation – there is a mote of truth in my words. There have been times when my life took a major skewwiff and if there hadn’t been a railing, I would have been dastardly derailed and lambasted for my decisions. I wouldn’t call myself a flim-flam man, con man or any whatchamacallit but when one is caught up in a concoction of tiny fibs, I’ve sometimes grabbed onto any doohickey within reach until I was gobsmacked and brought back to my senses. Puzzled and slightly disoriented, needing an immediate sense of fulfillment I’ve often had to grab a hold of my thingamabob. What’s that you ask? If you have to ask, then you’re most likely a woman.
Over the years I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie of many a knucklehead and wishy-washy individual. Fiddlesticks, let’s face it, anybody with a bottle in a brown-bag caught my attention and some of those destitute, down-behind-a-dumpster souls were a lot more interesting than the bleeding-hearts that were constantly caterwauling over their tiniest misfortunes – I mean a chipped fingernail or an overdone T-bone steak - is hardly anything to get upset about. But let’s get back to some tomfoolery, bodacious, fiddle-dee-dee, willy-nilly, off the wall misinformation. Why hell, I may be a decrepit, persnickety, fill my “Depends” at any given time, wrinkly, saggy-assed old bastard but egad – I have a twinkle in my eye that won’t go out until the day I die. Now I may have had the audacity to write this load of tripe but you my friend are a numb-skull for reading this far…cheers, eh!
1.5 PER CENT
I started writing 1.5 Percent about the same time I was diagnosed with rectal cancer, which was a real bummer (chuckle, chuckle). Needless to say, between the operations, medications, chemo and radiation treatments, my mind at times was not only blurry but a little fucked up to say the least. I think revising the finished manuscript was harder than writing the actual novel. I almost gave it up when my computer completely crashed and the revised manuscript was lost. However, after months of rewriting, it's finally finished.
I enjoy writing and paint as well - the cover of the book is one of my paintings, which I did when I was a very young man. Even then, I could see that our world was sliding towards a catastrophic situation. Like the painting, this novel was inspired by events, which have been steadily unfolding since the Second World War. All through history, we have been threatened before by cataclysmic wars and deadly diseases but never was the entire planet put at risk until now. Between Covid-19 and dim-witted leaders with too much money like Trump and many other politicians, like many, I fear for the future of our children. This novel depicts the horrible aftermath should deadly viruses, anarchy, germ and nuclear wars break out on a global scale.
The meaning of the title is only 1.5% of all living things survive the holocaust and my story begins after the worst thing a person could imagine happens. It's about an aging farmer living in New Brunswick who loses almost his whole family to some unknown disease. He sets forth by foot on a 100 mile journey with a goat, the only survivor of all the livestock on the farm. He doesn't have much hope of finding his last son and his young wife alive but he has to know. If per chance they have survived, his intention is to bring them back to a hidden refuge he built in a forest , which is stocked with supplies to last for about a year. Certifiably distressed, almost committing suicide, he is surrounded by death and devastation on his journey.
Upon reaching the town his son was living in, he kills a man, is attacked by a wild hag wielding a butcher knife and bonds with a much younger woman, who acts like a small child and doesn't speak. During their walk back to his hideaway, they are attacked by a group of marauders, possibly cannibals and then by a neighbour of all people. The old man has been shot twice and stabbed once and while only about a day away from their destination, winter sets in with a vengeance even though it is only August. Out of food, slogging through deep snow under almost blizzard conditions they continue to struggle, his injuries taking a heavy toll. When all seems lost, a hope for the future remains.
1.5 Percent, MY LATEST BOOK PRELAUNCH is a 306 page, 6"x9" soft cover novel, which will be ready to release on April 15th. The cost is $25.CAD plus shipping and each book will be autographed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to prepay and reserve your copy...cheers, eh!
Len Sherman is an artist and author in Fosterville, NB, Canada. He spent his first 70 years on the west coast of Canada and now resides with his wife and little dog on 50 rural acres in western NB. Life is good, but even better when you read his work or view his art!