Confessions of a Naked, Shoplifting Hitchhiker and Other Posts

'hitchhiker' photo © 2009, Bradley Gordon - license:

Since I was raised a good Catholic boy, I exercised all the tenets of the faith, including regular confession. Since I’ve skipped a distance from my altar-boy days, I’ve not experienced the pleasures (?) of the confessional in many years. Fear not! These are times of public exposure of the most sordid sorts—entire television networks are built on shows displaying the curdlings of our bestial natures.

In that vein, I’ve put a few posts on the wonderful medium of Medium, one of the more intriguing of the long-form essay sites that have gained solid web readership, even in our time of the sound-bite post. And lucky for you, each one is about salacious events in my past, so that you can use them as a moral lesson for your children or your cats.

First up, though, a different confession: my account of my extended, laborious attempt to promote my collection of short stories using every book-promotion tool at my disposal, until I felt like disposing of them all.

The Book-Promotion Balloon, Where’s the Helium?

Promoting your book without appearing to be a self-obsessed asshat sleazeball, housed at the wonderfully writerly home of WriterUnboxed.

Five-Finger Discounter, Emeritus

I might need two priests to confess this one: my glory-days as a high-school shoplifter, where my first taste of entrepreneurship came to the fore (handcuffs optional).

The Witching Hour

More just-post-high school fun: the imperative lesson here is not to approach your landlords after you’ve been drinking (and happen to be naked).

Playing with Matches

A tale from my hitchhiking days, detailing when your ride goes south—and you’re not even moving. Oh, and the highway was set on fire too.

Anyone interested in a much longer version of hitchhiking madness can read my coming-of-age novel, All Roads Are Circles, where I make the characters undergo even more terrible things than I underwent in these escapades above. Authors, cruel lot all.

PS I have calmed down a bit since high school, and I’m my own landlord, so I can confront myself naked when I please.

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2 thoughts on “Confessions of a Naked, Shoplifting Hitchhiker and Other Posts

  1. The book promo article is a good read, though I had to take a nap afterward, I was so tired thinking about all you’d done.

    The shoplifting article made me grip my wallet, and I don’t even have one. Also, put that bottle back young man.

    Reading the landlord story, I just realized how much you remind me of my older brother.

    And the matches story seals it. Two peas in a pod. No wonder I feel comfortable, yet still nervous, around you.

  2. Joel, I hope you had a long shower after reading all that stuff. You know, the statute of limitations has kicked in for my crimes, so I’m safe, but the thought police might come after you for reading about them. Just tell them that it was your brother.

    Book promotion, yikes. And I’ll probably be doing it again sometime soon. But you are first, so we’ll be seeing the blood spilled on your pages sooner yet …

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