Boomer Lit Friday

Perigee Moon Cover jpgI’m participating in a Boomer Blogging Extravaganza which will take place every Friday. It’s a way to bring attention to the new genre of books called Boomer Lit. Click here, Boomer Lit Friday  to go to your one-stop shopping boomer lit blog which will feature snippets from a variety of “baby boomer” novels. It’a a good place to get a taste of what boomer authors are writing about.

This is a section from Perigee Moon where I was trying out my satire and sarcasm, describing the work environment of Luke’s first job. He is newly married, and has taken the first job he is offered, and has doubts concerning his ability to fit into a rather provincial assemblage of coworkers. Here he describes what he sees and hears in the small company’s break room, which is where the women clerks, receptionists, typists and secretaries congregate to smoke, eat lunch and gossip. It is the early 70’s, when it was still okay to smoke at work and since it was early in the computer age, many business functions were performed manually, mostly by women.

And the thirty women went “on break”, and collected in the lunch room in groups of six or eight and smoked until you couldn’t walk through the room without inhaling the equivalent of an entire cigarette, and they talked about their kids and one-upped each other about which of their sons ate the most. He once walked in on a discussion of all-day venison, how easy it was to prepare (even though it took all day) – so tender you won’t believe you’re eating venison! – probably shot by their husbands, and fiancés, and boyfriends wearing red plaid jackets and caps that said Union WS 754 during some week in November when it became legal to gang up on a bunch of unsuspecting deer and shoot them between the eyes, and boy wasn’t killing helpless animals great, and handshakes and slaps on the back. Good job!

Once the deer was butchered it was up to the womenfolk to do something with it, so they seasoned it and cooked it for days in order to try to soften it up so that it could be somewhat chewed. And if it was so tender you’d “never know it was venison”, that seemed to indicate that perhaps venison, in itself, was probably not a delicacy, or even remotely edible, so why eat it at all? And further, once determined that venison is not fit to eat, the question can be asked, why shoot the poor deer in the first place except that he looked so good, so regal, all tied up there on the bumper of the pickup truck and driven through town for all to see, the catch of the day, and it had been so much fun to kill him.

After deer-hunting season, the women talked about all the things they could do with tomato soup, another topic he assumed they found interesting, and on any given day they could be heard competing with each other about babies and labor pains, one-upping each other there too. You’d think they would all be dead or hopelessly torn asunder from the sound of what they went through to birth those little things, now grown into lumps of flesh kept alive by McDonalds and Hostess Cupcakes.

21 thoughts on “Boomer Lit Friday

  1. A little off topic, but your excerpt reminded me of it–with all the smoking bans now, I’m not sure I how made it in the past. I used to be a waitress in a restaurant with a smoking section for years, and then I was a barmaid. Nothing but cigarette fumes. It’s a wonder I don’t have asthma. I remember how stinky my uniforms would get. Gross.

    • Yeah. I can remember sitting in a squad bay of programmers with not even walls between us and more than half smoked. Not fair to the non-smokers at all, yet we had no recourse.

    • I really heard someone say that the venison had been cooked all day and “you’d never know it was venison”. I thought well, that’s pretty dumb, if you wouldn’t know it was venison, why eat it? Does it taste just like chicken?

  2. Back in the 70s when I graduated cum laude with a degree in English Language and Literature, I was forced to learn to type to get a job in New York. I started at CBS, in the television division and quickly moved to publishing…partly because I had ambitions beyond the secretarial pool and partly because I couldn’t stand these conversations! Great job of capturing the irony of banality. I like your character quite a bit 😉

  3. Ha! You made me laugh, Lynn! Having grown up in the south, I got this scene big time! Never did understand the whole shooting the deer thing. The last sentence – fantastic! Can’t wait to read your book!

    • I don’t understand it either. You couldn’t pay me to do it, of course, for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which, what do you do with a deer once you’ve killed it? Uh. No thanks on the all-day venison.

  4. Terrific excerpt from a book I thoroughly enjoyed. I remember laughing at this passage when I read it originally, and I laughed again today. I worked with those people!
    To anyone following comments here: PERIGEE MOON is a 5-star novel. Read my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

  5. Well done! I’m anti-hunting too so your sarcasm really was spot on, as far as I’m concerned! But am I right in assuming that this is Boomer lit and not a nostalgia novel evoking the 1970s? I imagine that your MC then faces some kind of transition issues as he – hum, let’s say “matures” and starts on his Third Act in life?

    • Yes, most of the book takes place in the present day, when he is 60-something. This novel explores the decisions we make when we’re younger, and how aging alters what we feel is important. The character here (Luke) goes through a series of life changes to get to a better place.

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