The top brass, i.e. the CEO’s of the publishing house that put this book together told me to write a catchy and snappy introduction to this story, but I really don’t know what that means. So I’m writing this. Suffice to say this is the introduction that I have signed a contract to write for legal reasons, which I will get to soon enough. In this day and age of mass suing, legal precautions have become second nature and mandatory and it’s all in the fine print. With everyone talking about my notebooks that have now come to life in book form, in which you are reading now, all the hoopla and what not, precedes me. So I want to pen this intro to set the record straight, so to speak. First of all, I was not born in Grosse Pointe, as many have said. No, far from it. I did not attend Harvard or Princeton or any other highly esteemed educational establishments. The truth is I was born on the South Side of Detroit, in an area most would consider “rough” or “ghetto” or “scary.” And it is still all of these things. That said I dismiss completely the comparisons to some new age Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, William Styron or even the second coming of William Wordsworth for that matter, who many have compared me to and yes that is his actual pen name. I am honored by these comparisons, but please zip it. I am Charlie Chance, perennial nobody and wannabe popular and never will introvert. Take it or leave it. The reason you are reading this right now is because I write better than I talk. God help me, I know, but jokes aside. That is it. That is the secret formula here and in all honesty this is more of a malady than it is a literary talent. Dare I add that I am what a friend once called “an outgoing introvert,” whatever that means, but in all honesty, I can see his point, even if to be fair in the general standards and practices of the aforementioned label, my friend is far from college prep material. He actually ate Elmer’s glue well into the second grade, in fact, I think he developed a habit long after, but it is what it is. Consider the source…

I write a lot, because I am a hired geek by many little magazines and aside from this book, it’s what you’d call a job, something someone does for money to survive in this dog eat dog world. It should also be noted for personal reasons I published this for one reason: money. I repeat I am doing this for: money. It is actually more money than I’d ever seen before, but then again before this check, I worked the fryer at The Chicken Shack in downtown Detroit. If you think I have sold out then I did. A thousand fold and you would too. If making money means selling out, then I am guilty.

Ok now to the legal part of this…According to the esteemed “marketing research team,” of the publisher herein, 83% of people who buy books usually only read the first few lines and if those first lines don’t grab their attention, then they put the book down and move on to the next one. I don’t know if this is true or not nor do I really care. What I do know is that just after publication, this book was rated by one thousand randomly hand-picked readers, who were hired by the publisher for purposes of researching the best demographics for global sales. By the way, the bottom line of anything usually involving the term “research” can always be boiled down to one or two concepts…greed and money, or at least that was what I had come to know as I gallivant through this endless time capsule and the various cities in which I’ve seen. If you look around there’s a good chance you could spot a crime, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyways something very strange occurred on the way back from the printing press. This is not something I am proud of, but quickly upon completion of this book nearly a third of the readers started drinking and/or became more concerned about having fun in life, more so than they had before. Some even changed their careers completely. But it is what it is. I do not take responsibility, though these are my words and this is my story, but let it be known that the aforementioned readers did this on their own and I nor the publishing house is responsible. The Ying and Yang of anything is sometimes mind boggling. Some of this is unexplainable and likely has little to do with this book mind you, but the weirder thing was…a slightly lesser percent, some 25% of these readers simply quit their jobs and disappeared altogether, never to be heard from again. You may have read about these stories. There is still little word on where these readers moved to, but according to a couple of people, it is likely somewhere sunny and with palm trees. A slightly lesser percentage of the 1,000 readers, some 170 or so of varying demographics ranging from teenagers to retired librarians took on a second job or furthered their education just because they were so scared of what could happen if they didn’t. Like a reverse cautionary tale type effect, though that is to say that this is not all bad mind you. Just a thought. Some have said this story has weird affects, but sometimes people create their own rumors and stories. The rest of the readers it should be noted legally, some 54 remaining men and women thoroughly enjoyed it, so there’s that. Again, the publishing house takes no responsibility for said actions. So, in careful aplomb to quell some of these so-called “possible side effects” in you Dear Reader, for legal reasons anyone associated with this book shall not be liable in any way for anything going awry in your life upon purchasing it. But I digress…

How things happened for me no one could conjure up and it’s irrational because I was headed for a life of mediocrity like most everyone else my age as far as a career, but I was rich in friends and family. This book is the direct result of the old saying, “the more you do something the better you get at it…” Well, for many years all I did was write in notebooks, because most people seemed to be on different levels, like frequencies tuned into being more well liked or more popular. They cared about how they were perceived whereas I was more worried about keeping to myself and not getting bothered by them. I didn’t want to get caught up in the issues of others, which for a few I had done and was guilty by association at one time or another. Again, this is not the norm I get that and in many ways I know I am not either, but like a baseball player, who fields ground balls all day or a teacher who endlessly grades hacky essays, I got better at these notebook entries or pages or diaries or whatever one might be privy to coin them. I guess in summary, what all those people read, they liked. I really didn’t think my ramblings would amount to anything, but they did. So here we are, my story…you’ve been warned.

Charlie Chance , 2016.