The real tragedy of the Herman Rosenblat affair isn’t the way it trivialized one of history’s darkest hours in an attempt to manipulate the credulous sentiment of an Oprahfied culture; no, the real tragedy is the negative effect it’s going to have on those with genuinely heartwarming tales of love and redemption in the face of unspeakable evil. I’m referring, of course, to my now-cancelled memoir The Hottie With The Zloty, the true story of how I, Alex Balk, survived the Holocaust through the tender ministrations of a racktastic Polish girl who would slip me strawberry strudel wrapped up in worthless currency through the gates of the tennis court at Treblinka. Everyone loved it, but the feeling is it might have a tough time facing down the professional debunkers who want nothing more to tear down someone else’s life story simply to buttress their own byline.
It’s been a tough time for me in that regard. A couple months ago four different publishers in New York turned down Burning Rubber With The Tubber, the deeply moving memoir of how Harriet Tubman and I, Alex Balk—equipped only with a souped-up Pontiac Trans Am and a healthy disrespect for authority—ferried a group of frightened but beatific slaves past the brutal Southern lawman Buford T. Justice. “It’s a terrific story, and maybe if we could get it to one of the broads on ‘The View’ we’d have a shot with it,” one publisher told me, “but slavery is kind of a bummer, sales-wise. Maybe you could remember some kind of terrible abuse you underwent at the hands of a parent when you were a small child? We really need something uplifting for fall.”
Well, not exactly, but I am happy to say that I just turned in I Know, I Can Hardly Believe It Myself, the strictly factual account of how I, Alex Balk, overcame my mother’s insistence that I work as a transvestite truck stop whore to become the leader of both the Crips and the Bloods, which, let’s be honest, has redemption coming out of its ASS. Three separate imprints at Penguin are currently bidding against each other for the rights, which is great, because the only other manuscript I’ve got up my sleeve—an autobiography in which I recount how I, Alex Balk, the mixed-race child of a Kenyan father and a Kansan mother, somehow rose to become the president of the United States—was rejected by every major publishing house in the country, including a number of vanity presses. To be fair, though, it’s a pretty unlikely story. I guess you can’t blame the book industry for being skeptical.