Spreading the Word of Willie By Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie

Copyright 1985, 1986 by Gregory S. Swann. All Rights Reserved.
Direct inquiries to CIS I.D. 75115,1341.

Spreading the Word of Willie

By Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie

=Note: The character named 'Willie' in this story is not the author.
Any similarities between 'Willie For Sale' and Ramblin' Gamblin'
Willie are fictional, coincidental, unintended, and are not subject to
litigation. Signed: /s/ Ludlow, Sudler, Moore, Attys.=

        With a lumbering precision, Willie For Sale mounted the
Rostrum of Origination, his least favorite of the three pulpits. He
gazed at the expectant crowd seated in the pews. At the breathtaking
walls of the Crystal Catharsis. At the 'icon of the italicized
double-you' (=W=) dominating the massive hall.
        He called out: "Do you be=lieve=?!"
        "Yes!," roared the crowd. Mrs. Prim hollered: "Praise Willie!"
        "Praise Willie," Willie For Sale echoed. "Are you =sure=?"
        "What are you sure of?"
        "We are sure that Willie is good!," the crowd chanted.
        "What else?"
        "We are sure that Willie is amusing!"
        "What else?"
        "We are sure that Willie is commercial!"
        Willie For Sale said: "Amen." He gripped at the sides of the
podium. "Do you know that not everyone thinks so?"
        "No!"; the crowd hung on his words. Some looked faint.
        "Some =editors= do not know of the Way of Willie!"
        "=Many= readers do not know of the Way of Willie!"
        "Hundreds of millions of =chil=dren, cute little babies"--the
crowd cooed on cue--"growing up without Willie!"
        "All true, my friends," said Willie For Sale. "All true... We
have =tried=, Lord!, we have tried to spread the one true gospel of
        The Vigorously Nodding Hair Factory clapped defiantly. "Praise
        "We have tried to get the =editors= to know the Word of
        "We have tried to get the Word of Willie out to the =world=,
to those poor sinners who have not =found= Willie's Way!"
        Willie For Sale said: "Willie's ideas driving the stories!"
        "Willie's time spent drafting Willie's Words!"
        "Our time spent reading and giggling at Willie!"
        "We have =tried=!"
        Willie For Sale paused. He took off his glasses and used the
loose sleeve of his robe to clean them. "=Know= that Willie is
        "We witness that Willie is The Way!"
        "=Know= his power!"
        "We bear witness to Willie's power!"
        "Do you =really= know Willie's power?"
        "Tell us of Willie's power!" The Persona Store's young Mindi
jumped up and began to dance madly in the aisle.
        "Willie loved you so much he granted you life e=ter=nal!"
        "Willie loved you so much he guaran=teed= that you will never
        "Willie loved you so much he made you fictional characters!"
        The hall fell silent. There was the beginnings of a group
murmur, but it got nowhere.
        "Willie loves you mightily, my friends!," said Willie For
Sale. "Willie wants to see you =live=!"
        "Praise Willie!," called the Yuppie Burglar.
        "Willie wants to see your truth spread far and wide!"
        "Yes!," chanted Grimface.
        "Willie has found a =way= around the =editors=!"
        "Yes!!" The congregation was again of one mind.
        "A =way= to circumvent their willful ignorance of the Word!"
        "Willie has found a =way= to assure that you will live
        "That you will never =die=!," said Willie For Sale. "That you
will never grow =old=!"
        Willie For Sale pulled at his beard. "You ask, what =is= that
way, Brother Willie?"
        "Tell us of the Way, Brother!"
        "What way can Willie guarantee life e=ter=nal for you and your
fellow fictional characters?"
        "Tell us of Willie's Plan!"
        Willie For Sale scanned the crowd in a slow sweep. "We're
going to publish a book!!"
        "YES!!" The congregation erupted in cheers.
        "We're going to put the Word of Willie into a form that =no
one= can ignore!"
        "...is that what you want to do?"
        "YES!!" More cheering. Fat Merlin was jumping up and down.
        Willie waited for them to calm, suddenly looking sad. "...my
friends, publishing a book costs money..."
        In the pews, heads were turning this way and that.
        "...not a lot of money..."
        There was a visible sigh of relief.
        "But to print only a thousand books," Willie For Sale
continued, "will cost almost =five= hundred dollars!"
        "When we have those thousand books, we can mail them to all
the people we want to know Willie!"
        "Writers, opinion-makers, columnists!"
        "We can tell them to =demand= the Word of Willie in their
local publications!"
        "We can assure that no =child= will grow up without Willie!"
        "All for only five =hundred=--not thousand--five =hun=dred
        The crowd said: "Oh!"
        "I have in =my= hands," Willie For Sale said, holding up a
book. "I have the mock up of 'The Book of Willie'!"
        "Praise Willie!," called the Cottony Lump. Thumper was beside
her, thumping his cane.
        "This book is set in =type=!" The crowd cheered. "It nearly
=drained= Willie's treasury, but this book is set in =type=!"
        More cheering.
        "And all we need is five =hun=dred dollars to spread the
        "...so Willie hit upon this sche--er, idea!"
        "For a contribution of only =ten= dollars, those who know the
Way can help spread the Word!"
        "...think about it friends," said Willie For Sale. "Why, you'd
spend more than that on a movie! On a simpering, insipid =Holly=wood
movie! When you could be at home reading His Words! Stay at home. Read
Willie! And send that ten dollars along to me, to further His Works!"
        "You'll get a photo-copy of the uncorrected galley proofs and
a copy of the finished book when it is published!"
        "Personally signed by the author!"
        "All =that=, for only ten dollars!"
        "YES!!" The cheering blossomed to a pandemonium. Bigger Than
Elvis was dancing in the aisle with Mrs. Stern Reader.
        "Send your checks or money orders to the address at the end of
the story!," Willie For Sale said. "New York State residents add sales
        "Glory to Willie!"
        "We praise the power of Willie!"
        "Spread the =Word=!," Willie For Sale intoned. "Spread the
=Word= about Willie!"
        "We will speak always of Willie!"

=Note: If you wish to purchase one complete copy of the uncorrected
galley proofs plus one complete, finished copy of 'The Book of
Willie', you must respond at once. This is a limited-edition offer;
only the first fifty requests will be honored. So, act today. Send
your check or money order for $10, plus sales tax where applicable,
                Conference Press, Inc.
                c/o The Book of Willie
                145 East 32nd Street
                New York, NY 10016
        Make checks payable to Conference Press, Inc., and allow 3-6
weeks for delivery.