Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Popemobile in every garage?

By Walter Haan,

There's been a lot of media coverage about the Pope's visit to the United States this past week. Being honest, I didn't pay that close attention to it all until I noticed what the Pope was using to travel our streets: the Popemobile. I think we all need to buy a Popemobile because of all the benefits it would provide to the average driver and his family.

From my own perspective, as a book publisher known to haul books from printing plants and truckers' terminals or to air shows and exhibitions, look at the room in a Popemobile! I could cram carton after carton of books in that baby.

But there are other benefits we could all take advantage of if we drove a Popemobile:

1. Great visibility and height. We could see over those pesky SUVs on the road or when we're attempting to back out of a parking place.

2. No tinted glass to block visibility. The Pope wants to be seen and to see people. And this would be useful for us today because so many vehicles have tinted glass that prevents us from seeing into, let's say, a speeding car that has just illegally cut us off. No tinted glass means we would be able to see the errant driver's reaction when we gave him or her the finger. Or whether the driver is illegally using a cell phone while driving to KFC to get a bucket of chicken, for example.

3. Out in California in some circles, cars are called buckets "Hey, dude, nice bucket," referring to your car has been heard. The Popemobile would make a great bucket with room for everyone. A family of four could be seated around a table in the large glassed in area to play cards and eat that bucket of chicken. It would be a great way for a family to eat breakfast or dinner together while getting to or coming back from school or the office. Talk about multitasking.

I'm sure if we thought about it, there would be other advantages of the Popemobile for the average man. But I wonder what kind of gas mileage it gets. Because of its height, does the wind slow it down at high speeds? There's a thought. A highway full of Popemobiles doing 70 mph on the highways.

I'm sure a manufacturer could offer the Popemobile at a reasonable cost too. They could eliminate using expensive bullet proof glass, for example, because most of us are not in danger of being shot at. That is assuming you don't live in a war zone such as Iraq.

I wish President Bush and Vice President Cheney used a Popemobile. That way we could get a much closer look at the men whose policies have brought our economy to its knees and resulted in the deaths of over 4,000 Americans and a million Iraqis. I'd really like to be able to look such men in their eyes while they drove past. Of course their Popemobiles should have bullet proof glass. --Copyright 2008 by Walter Haan,

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Iraqi War Veterans: Write a book about your experiences

By Walter Haan,

My book publishing company is actively searching for manuscripts about the current Iraq War and occupation by enlisted men and women who have served there between 2003 and now. We are looking for that special man or woman who fits the mold
as an original author about that subject.

"The most original authors are so, not because they produce what is new, but only because they are able to say things the like of which seems never to have been said before." That is the kind of author we're looking for. It is not necessary to have been published before, nor is it necessary to have an agent. We would especially like to receive manuscripts from American enlisted personnel, not officers. Authors' feelings about the war and its success or failure can be conservative or liberal.

There is no timetable for receipt of manuscripts. But we want to see many so we can find the next Jarhead or Follow Me Up Fools Mountain. So spread the word among those Iraq War veterans you know who work with words. If anyone has any questions about this search, email me at

In my next posting I'll put out a call for manuscripts from veterans of the current Afghanistan War. But that will be a different call. We're looking for manuscripts about Afghanistan from European NATO soldiers only.--Walter Haan,

Friday, April 04, 2008

What makes an original author?

By Walter Haan,

"The most original authors are so, not because they produce what is new, but only because they are able to say things the like of which seems never to have been said before. The best sign of originality lies in taking up a subject and developing it so fully as to make everyone confess that he would hardly have found so much in it."

This definition of an original author was written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet, dramatist, novelist and scientist. He lived from 1749 to 1832. Food for thought, don't you think?--Walter Haan,