One of the reasons I love my job as a ghostwriter is that I get to learn so many unexpected things. Although there are times I wish I hadn’t learned them, because some stories are painful. Yet those are the ones which make me feel grateful – and lucky. Other stories are hilarious and make me laugh out loud, and they too engender gratitude. All stories – yes all of them – will teach me something. Stories are like that.
Here are just seven of the many interesting tidbits I’ve learned from my clients. Since I only ghostwrite non-fiction, they must be true, right?
1. Did you know that it is important to teach your child to always close the lid before they flush the toilet, because billions of small water drops full of nasty bacteria are released into the air with each flush? These water drops are capable of aerolizing twenty feet from the center of the flush, if they are not stopped by the toilet lid. So close that lid. Or at least rinse your toothbrush in peroxide before you brush.
2. Did you know that if you catch a snake you can put him in your freezer and he will not die? Instead he goes into hibernation, and his venom loses its potency as well. In the summer you can take him out of the freezer and put him outside, and the heat will wake him up and you can watch him twitch into life.
3. Did you know that it’s called “breaking luck” when a prostitute takes her first trick of the night? Or that when she is “turned out” this means she finally realizes that her pimp owns her and she is no longer free?
4. Did you know that fish eyeballs have a terrible smell, especially when fresh and raw? So when you bite into them don’t spit the juice out because it will make the people around you angry.
5. Did you know that until the 1920s adopted children were considered by U.S. law to be indentured servants of their adoptive parents? Adoptions had been granted by the courts by issuing orders of indenture.
6. Did you know that redheaded people comprise only two percent of the world’s population? Yet they are found all over the world, from Jamaica to Vietnam, Australia to Scotland. In many cultures redheads have been considered to be servants of the devil. Although both Mark Twain (a redhead himself) and Shakespeare wrote kindly of them.
7. Did you know that in ancient China they had a special suitcase called a pillow box? If you were going on a trip, you packed your special things, the things that meant the most to you, in a wooden box with a curve in it. The curve was where you laid your head when you slept.
Toilets, frozen snakes, prostitute lingo, fish eyeballs, outdated adoption laws, redheads, and ancient Chinese pillow boxes. Those are just a tiny smattering of the interesting things I’ve learned in my fifteen years of ghostwriting. With my job, I never know what I’m going to learn next. But I do know it will be interesting.