• Vyasa Speaking

The King who never took himself so seriously ..

Updated: Mar 21

This is not an autobiography, more of a curriculum vitae. This is not a glorious tale of how a writer was born. Rather, how a writer was chiseled.

"A gist of my childhood. We were evicted from my apartment because a neighbour saw my brother David climbing the roof and called the police. When I was 5 or 6, I asked my mother if she has seen anyone die. I spent most of my first grade at home, in my bed, writing. One day, when I copied a comic book word to word and showed it to my mom, she was disappointed. And she said, “Write one of your own Stevie” and that idea has made my life to what it is. Hi, I am Stephen King."

This is an episode based on the world renowned writer, the Uncrowned Overlord of ghosts and goblins, Stephen King. I will be paraphrasing a couple of interesting incidents from his book, “A memoir of the crafts”.

A long time before, stamps had a lot of value. In America, stores and gas stations gave something called S&H stamps for every purchase. The full form is Sperry and Hutchinson stamps. After collecting tons of stamps, they can be redeemed in exchange for something pretty.

Stephen’s mom wanted to redeem her stamps to buy a lamp for her sister as a Christmas Gift. Unfortunately, the number of stamps she had in hand were not sufficient to buy the lamp. She told this to Stephen and pulled her tongue out as a playful gesture. He noticed that her tongue was green because of excessive stamp kicking needed for a stamp booklet. And instantly, Stephen’s eyes became wider. A story was churning in his head.

And here it goes,

Roger who served jail time twice for counterfeiting money, decided to repeat his crime with stamps. He counterfeited Happy Stamps which held a simple design. While Roger was knee deep in his delinquent act, his mom casually remarks that if they print a decent number of booklets, they can redeem it for a house in the suburbs!

His mom contacts Happy Stamps National Redemption Centre to check if her dream has a feeble chance of materialisation. In the meantime, Roger realises that the glue used for the stamp-sticking is defective and the pink stamps turn blue when they goes through a mechanical licker. At the end of the story, Roger looks at himself in the mirror and pulls his tongue out. His tongue and teeth are pink because of all the licking & sticking.

His eyes go bleak as he looks at himself. And he gets back to work. Only 11 million 5 hundred and 90 thousand books to go, he can get a house for his mom. This is the first story Stephen King pens down. Though, he felt the story had its flaws, Little Stevie refrained from overthinking and sent a copy of Roger’s sad tale to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.

Do you want to know what happened after that? Listen to the complete episode on my Podcast, Vyasa Speaking.

Available on Google Podcast, Apple Podcast, Castbox and Spotify.

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