Modicum Scroticum-Getting an Angle on your Writing

The ability to write something is not that difficult for most of us.  If you read this blog at all, you know that the distinguishing factor is whether what you write is any good.  For those of us who attempt to write something with a modicum of quality (it helps to avoid words like modicum), we’re all about the angle.  When I first started writing at a very early age, I was aware that the subject matter had to be presented in a way that wasn’t boring.

By writing about something boring–like say staplers for instance– I realized early on that if the stapler was explained as an office device that connected two pieces of paper together, even at the most detailed level of engineering, it would never be as entertaining as if I put the word “scrotum” near the word stapler.

The difference between stapling two pieces of paper together and stapling someone’s scrotum to a wall is an example of angle.  One is technical, and the other one hurts your scrotum a lot.  Introducing scrotum humanizes the stapler experience and produces a wincing pain reaction, thus imprinting the stapler in one’s mind while perforating the scrotum in one’s pants.

This brings me to the point of this post.  A better writer would have gotten here sooner.

Joe and I are now working on our second book.  We’re very excited about it.  We’re excited we won’t be talking about poop so much.  We’re so excited, in fact, that we almost stapled our scrotum to a wall.

Here’s the title:

Phobias from A to Z

We are still working on the tag line, something like “Know the Fears that bring you to Tears”.  This will be our second book to compliment “Toiletry from A to Z, Something to Do While You’re Taking a Poo”.  As you can see, we are still shooting for a Pulitzer, or Poolitzer if you like bad puns.

I don’t. 

The book will be in the style of our first book–die-cut and gifty and a little bit snide.

So here’s the question.  What’s the angle?  How do we approach the visceral subject of phobias so that the book is the most entertaining, readable and marketable?  The book will be funny (we hope) because the books presently in the marketplace are all relatively serious or self-helpy.

Here are two videos to give you a feel for the range of angle on the project.

The first is of a man—a scary looking gang member type—who is terrified of dogs (cynophobia), or in this case, an adorable pit bull puppy.  This guy is really afraid of dogs.

The second is a comedy group nailing it with a skit about phobias.  Amazing timing, clever and funny.

Two different angles on the same subject.

Is writing all about the angle for you?

What angle would you take with phobias?

And now, an Original Music Video by the Author!

About bestbathroombooks

I run a small publishing company and am presently seeking the funniest, coolest and most marketable ideas to sell in places like Urban Outfitters, Papyrus, college bookstores and independent bookstores in the Humor Sections. Contact me through this blog or better at There are some talented people out there writing good, funny, conceptual books and blogging some funny stuff. I wish I had time to read more and write more. I have a day gig and do a lot of other things, but blogging helps me stay connected to my laptop and ensures sterility (due to EMF on my testicles) which is great because I've had enough kids. Les
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6 Responses to Modicum Scroticum-Getting an Angle on your Writing

  1. aFrankAngle says:

    Of course I have an angle … A Frank Angle …. …. Alright, legit advice … get with someone who is strong in medical terminology so they can make up some good phobias … OR … make up the condition and they create the appropriate terminology for the condition. Meanwhile, I’ll pass on the scrotum staples.

  2. Nice, Frank. I thought of you when I wrote the angle part. Good suggestions on the book. There are a couple of letters that don’t have the phobias, so creative writing will be involved.

  3. speaker7 says:

    I now have a phobia of scrotums being stapled and I don’t even have a scrotum. I’m excited to read this book. I think you do a fantastic job of making sh*t up so I would go with the making up phobias angle.

  4. So true, S7. I make sh*t up all the time for lack of research. Fortunately, I think I’m the only blogger who doesn’t do his research. Oh well, I have five more posts to perfect it!

  5. joe mielke says:

    I have a scrotal barbell that connects both nuts. I used a really big stapler but not a modicum of pain.

  6. Is that your phobia? You must be afraid of scrotal pain.

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