51 Shades of Grey

File this one under “Evil Genius is Evil…and so, so Funny.” I’m absolutely convinced if, given enough Red Bull or coffee, @EvilWylie (aka Andrew Shaffer) could rule the world. And God help us all if that were to happen. I’m joking, of course, still, Shaffer’s talent and propensity for all things funny, aren’t exhibited just in his random, always humorous twitter statues or in his blog posts. Shaffer is the author of Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love (Harper Perennial) and a contributor to The Hunger Games and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell). His writing has appeared in Mental Floss, Maxim, and RT Book Reviews, the romance novel industry’s leading publication.They guy is funny and has taken the humor to another level with his parody 51 Shades of Grey.

Shaffer has re-imagined the popular “Mommy Porn” series, 50 Shades of Grey. Written by E.L. James, the series began as Twilight fanfiction and has been picked up by Vintage books. It has also, unbelievably, landed on the New York Times Bestseller list. There has been much hoopla surrounding the series: Dr. Drew had a heated discussion on his show with three women (his wife included) about the “rape fiction” aspect of the books and journalists are now  questioning what the popularity of the series could mean for the feminist movement. (No worries, we aren’t turning in our pink cards anytime soon, folks).

The series is poorly written and ridiculously unrealistic tale about a young virgin and the destructive-submissive relationship she takes on with a wealthy businessman. There is an actual contract written into the plot (with the verbiage “slave” and “master” used frequently) and lots and lots of graphic, clinical erotic description.

Then there is Shaffer’s hilarious parody that not only exaggerates the already inane context of the series, but also highlights the plot, exhibiting the purple-prose, overwrought narration and points to what the series truly is: word porn and little else.

Check out some of Shaffer’s text from the parody:

 

The receptionist looks up from her computer. “Please sign in, Miss Steal,” she says, pushing a clipboard with an attached pen across the desk to me. “You’ll want to take the elevator and go to the ninetieth floor.”

I look at her blankly. Being from the small town of Portland, I’ve never seen an elevator before. “What button do I press to get there?”

She smiles. “The one that says nine-zero,” she says as I sign in.

She hands me a security badge that says VIRGIN. How could she know that I’m a virgin? Is it that obvious? “How did you –”

The receptionist laughs. “Relax. It just means you’re a first-time visitor here at Gray Holdings.”

I love it when writers don’t limit themselves or hold back their opinions simply to make nice. Shaffer certainly doesn’t adhere to that adage. He is clever, he is opinionated and understands that the best writing comes from those unafraid to laugh at what is “acceptable” and “popular.”

 

“Luck is for gamblers, Miss Steal. I don’t gamble.”

“Never? You’ve never, say, played the lottery?”

“Never,” he says. “I don’t take chances.”

“Not even, like, a one dollar scratch-off ticket?”

“Never. I just can’t take a chance. If the ticket’s not a winner, I’m left with a little scrap of paper with silver dust all over my quarter. And sometimes that silvery stuff gets on your fingers and it’s a bitch to clean off.”

“So you have bought scratch-off lottery tickets!

Shaffer’s installments of the parodies are updated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until, as he says, “a publisher hands me a fat stack of Benjamins and offers to publish it. Then I’ll take it down, change the characters’ names to ‘Edward’ and ‘Bella,’ and hide from my fans in my new McMansion in a gated community in Beverly Hills.”

Gotta love this guy.

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