Read an Excerpt
Meet Mr. Smith
Revolutionize the Way You Think About Sex, Purity, and Romance
By Eric Ludy, Leslie Ludy
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2007 Eric Ludy and Leslie Ludy
All rights reserved.
Just yesterday I sat down at a Starbucks in downtown Manhattan and had a very uncomfortable three-and-a-half minute conversation with Sex.
I realize that sounds a bit odd. And I assure you, odd is not a strong enough word to describe the experience.
As you know, Sex is a rather popular celebrity in our modern world, and it is easier, these days, to book the Dalai Lama for a keynote address on "The Beauty and Wonder of War" than to book Sex for an interview. His docket is crammed full with everything from nude photo shoots at the Playboy mansion, to steamy love scenes on the silver screen, to guest appearances on Howard Stern.
Let me give you a little background to help you understand what led to my conversation with Sex.
I have certain connections gained through my writing career, and I decided to cash in on one of the favors owed me. Yesterday, I caught wind that Sex would be on a movie set in a Manhattan high-rise. And after pulling a few strings, I was able to get a friend of a friend of a friend to slip a note to his agent.
The note read:
My name is Eric Ludy. I'm writing a book that will expose everything. I know you are an imposter. If you wish to defend your name, then give me a call. My cell number is ...
The message was short, but it accomplished its errand. Later that day, I received a phone call.
"Mr. Ludy?" The man's voice was raspy and condescending.
"Yes?" I answered. I could hear what sounded like a large piece of gum being mercilessly masticated in his mouth.
"Sex doesn't have time for your games!" the man insisted.
"This isn't a game," I said firmly. "I have hard evidence proving him a fraud. And I'm going public with it."
There was a long pause.
"He'll give you two minutes. The Ritz-Carlton, presidential suite, one o'clock tomorrow."
"No!" I insisted. "I want five minutes. Have him meet me at the Starbucks at 45th and Broadway, Manhattan, three o'clock today."
With that I hung up, feeling adrenaline explode through my veins. I'd seen people talk tough like that in the movies, but I'd never tried it in real life. It was sort of fun.
I was confident he would show. When you have that much to lose, you will do a lot to keep your secrets.
* * *
Just study that short little word for a moment. Why does such a dwarfish word garner so much of our attention? I mean, if you think about it, sex is a very unimpressive word. If anything, it sounds oddly similar to a name you might give your dog, not the title you'd give to your life's great ambition. Sex boasts merely three letters, yet it struts about the stage of life as if it were ten boldfaced capital letters leaving four exclamation points in its wake.
Take another moment and ponder that stumpy little word. It sits on our minds like a plump kitty preening itself, making it seem impossible for us to move without incurring a serious amount of scratches. But that's just it. Why does Sex have such a hold on us? Why are we such pushovers for its chicanery? When we sit down at the kitchen table in the morning, unfold the newspaper, and begin reading a fabulous editorial, why do we allow this overfed feline to jump up on the table and plant itself right smack in the middle of our attention?
I realize the word, just like that plump cat, has a beautiful fluffy coat, purrs like a idling Maserati engine, and possesses an intoxicating ferocity—but let's not forget the set of teeth and claws these three letters are packing.
* * *
Just yesterday I sat down in a Starbucks café on Broadway with this overfed feline, and the two of us had a heart-to-heart.
The place was packed, as usual, with an eclectic array of people sipping caffeinated beverages while typing on laptops, chatting with friends, or sealing business deals. Those of you who have spent time in Starbucks know it is possible to eavesdrop on at least five conversations at any given time if the conversation you find yourself in isn't suiting your fancy. In other words, it's crowded and close—sort of like an elevator ride to the seventy-seventh floor of the Chrysler Building.
Although the environment wasn't much to Sex's liking, seeing as how I had threatened to expose his impostership, he arrived, nevertheless, with two bodyguards and a haughty smirk splattered all over his face, as if he had left the lid off the blender that morning when mixing up his daily dose of self-importance.
My first glance of him came through the Starbucks' picture window as I noticed him with his bodyguards out near the curb. I was quite surprised at his appearance. Seeing as how this guy is all about glitz and glam, I'd expected a handsome, well-formed leading man sort of fellow—you know, Tom Cruise meets Russell Crowe. However, this guy was more like a smarmy Elvis impersonator. He was almost cartoonish in his form—tall and lean, but with a blubbery beer bulge up front. Although he had a rather attractive face, his hair was greasy black and he even had a set of long sideburns à la "the King."
* * *
It's an inglorious, diminutive word with a supremely cocksure personality. You know that one kid who sat next to you in earth science class in the eighth grade? I think his name was Dillon. You know, the one who smacked his gum like a masticating bovine and glopped a pound of hair gel onto his head every morning. The kid had a way about him. The girls fainted with breathless wonder as he strode down the hallway, and the guys grunted their approval as he strutted by their lockers. Well, Dillon never studied for tests, because he knew you would. So for forty-five test-taking minutes of misery, you found yourself choking back revulsion as Dillon's overapplication of Polo cologne and his unmistakable Twinkie-breath hung like a cloud about your right shoulder—well, that's Sex. It struts, it preens, it croons, it hovers, it cheats, it's drenched in buckets of Polo cologne—and when it gets caught, it doesn't mind bringing you down right along with it.
* * *
I can now say, from personal experience, that Sex doesn't make a very good interview. As I sat at a small table near the street-side windows of the café, nursing a tasty chunk of coffee cake and a tall chai tea, one of his bodyguards approached me. He mumbled, "Are you Mr. Ludy?"
"Yes, I am."
"Come with me," he commanded. Something about his condescending voice sounded oddly familiar.
"I don't think so," I responded. "We're meeting here. He might as well get used to me talking about these things in public."
After a protracted dirty look and a blue streak of profanity, the bodyguard turned and headed back through the front door of the café and out into the street, where Sex was waiting.
I watched the interchange through the window with interest. Sex was obviously used to getting his way with people and was not one to kowtow to the whim of a peon like myself. He cursed and stomped a few times in anger; then he took a deep breath, lifted his chin into the air as if the idea of entering a Starbucks was beneath him, and commanded his bodyguards to open the door for his entry.
As Sex entered, it seemed the entire room stopped and looked. You would have thought a Greek god was humbling himself and dining among mere mortals.
"He's gorgeous!" I heard a woman whisper from somewhere behind my right shoulder.
"That dude is a dude!" said a male voice near the coffee pickup counter.
I thought it odd that someone so unimpressive to me was receiving such accolades from these coffee drinkers.
Flanked by his imposing bodyguards, Sex sauntered up to my table and looked down at me with disdain.
* * *
It's a word that captures your attention, gets you excited, traps you in its web, makes you feel guilty, and messes up your life all in the span of ten minutes.
I realize you may not see Sex the way I do. To you, he may not appear as a greasy Elvis impersonator with a jiggling midsection. My eyesight has been altered ever since I saw the truth. Things that used to draw me like a moth to a flame now seem supremely corny and unattractive. So I understand if you disagree with me on this matter as we start out this book. You may very well see Imposter Sex as the "gorgeous dude among dudes" if he were to swagger into the Starbucks in your hometown.
However, I must forewarn you: don't buy his charm. For all his smooth, "Babe, I love you's," he's a con, a thief, a crook—and not a very socially adroit one at that.
* * *
"So you're the loser who caused me to miss my afternoon rubdown, huh?" he said with disdain.
I stood up and held out my hand for a handshake, but Sex grimaced as if repulsed by my sort of life form.
I dropped my hand to my side. "Thanks for coming," I said politely.
"The clock's ticking," he barked, "so get out whatever it is you supposedly have on me." He pulled out a chair and situated his bulging midsection into the small seat. His bodyguards stood on either side of him, keeping close watch on the people in the café—including me.
I sat back down and gathered my thoughts. My soul was trembling, although I would say I held myself together fairly convincingly on the outside. And despite Sex's arrogant, gruff demeanor, I could sense that he was nervous.
"The jig's up!" I announced. "I've found the real thing, and I have a publisher willing to print the whole exposé. We're blowing this wide open!"
Sex looked at me as if he thought I was insane. "Mr. Ludy," he said evenly, "have you gone mad?"
"I'm perfectly lucid, sir, I can assure you."
"Well, I'm convinced that you've completely lost your mind." He leaned back in his chair with a condescending smile. "First of all," he continued, "I'm the real thing, and I've got a billion-dollar industry willing to back up my claims." He chuckled derisively. "And second of all, even if you did find my nemesis, which I highly doubt, rumor has it that he's a doddering old fool. From what I hear, he couldn't get a rabbit to reproduce if you loaded him intravenously with ten gallons of Viagra!"
I couldn't wait to wipe that smug expression off his face. "But I don't just know that he exists, sir," I said calmly. "I've experienced the results of his work firsthand."
I let that sink in for a moment.
Sex leaned over and whispered something in his bodyguard's ear. The bodyguard nodded at his partner, and then the two large, muscular men left the café.
All-important Sex then turned and looked at me with knives in his gaze. "You're wasting my time, kid."
"I'm bringing this all out into the open! Everything! The world is going to know that you are nothing more than an imposter."
He paused and then leaned closer to me. "What do you want from me?" he hissed, lowering his voice. "Money?"
"Absolutely not. That's not why I am here."
"Well, then, what did you expect to accomplish with this amateur display of politicking?"
"I just want you to know that your jig is up."
At that moment a bright red Ferrari Scaglietti squealed to a halt in front of the Starbucks' curb.
"Mr. Ludy," Sex announced as he rose from his chair, "my jig will never be up!"
* * *
Yes, it's only three letters long, but it may very well be the most powerful word around today. Those three letters have caused more havoc than chocolate, caffeine, nicotine, gambling, Nintendo Wii, and butternut toffee ice cream all combined and multiplied by twenty-six. Sex is one bad dude. He's got a rap sheet longer than Jessie James and a wily smirk to match it.
Sure, he is legally allowed to share a bed with you and your spouse. But let's be ruthlessly honest here. Sex must be quite a miserable character, because, as excited as most married couples are to have him hang out with them on their honeymoon, it sure does seem like the guy wears out his welcome awfully fast.
Strangely, these three letters weren't always smarmy, conniving, and falsely debonair. I know this may be difficult to believe, but Sex wasn't originally coupled with strip clubs, nudie magazines, adulterous antics, and sipping rum punch in a penthouse apartment near Hollywood and Vine. In fact, there was a time when Sex was a clean-shaven gentleman, mature, dignified, bearing roses, and speaking in poetic rhymes with a hint of a British accent. There was a time when Sex worked humbly and selflessly to bring about something good, pleasurable, fun, noble, and pleasing to God.
What happened to this Sex, you ask? I must forewarn you, there are myriad theories, of which I will only mention a couple. Many theorists hold to the Darth Vader legend, which imagines that Sex—a dashing young dude with an Elvis-like flop of hair and long sideburns—one day realized his true power and magnetic potential and gave into the dark side. There is a smaller band of conspiracy theorists who claim that the original, dignified Sex mysteriously died back in 1960 and that his son, Sex Jr. (the spittin' image of his father), has carried on his father's family business ever since. This is commonly known as the junior theory. There have been several other theories passed around over the centuries—some preposterous, some deranged, some quite hokey, and some actually conceivable. But there is one theory that few in our modern times have ever heard. I call this theory the amazing truth.
I agree, the theory I'm about to propose is a bit fantastical, but what in regard to Sex isn't? And it is important to note that the difference between this and the other preposterous, deranged, and hokey theories out there is that this idea can actually be tested and proven to be true. Therefore, this really isn't a theory at all but a fantastical fact.
So let me lay out for you the fantastical facts about Sex.
I can demonstrate to you that the smarmy, lust-crazed Sex we all know today is an imposter and a backstabbing traitor who has lied to all of us about the true nature of Sex and duped us all into thinking he is the only Sex out there. But there is another version of Sex! I realize this may sound a bit unbelievable, but the original, refined rendition of Sex is still alive. I've personally encountered his grandeur; in fact, I'm quite familiar with his work. He doesn't have an Elvis-like flop of hair and long sideburns, he doesn't have a jiggling bulge around his middle, and he doesn't swivel his hips—I'd say he's more William Wallace meets Lord Alfred Tennyson, with a dash of Jimmy Stewart and a dripping dollop of Sidney Poitier.
The original version of Sex is something to behold. In fact, he makes Imposter Sex look like potato skins in yesterday's trash. But our hero has been obscured for many years by cultural ignorance, and the path leading to his chalet needs a little dusting off before I can walk you up to his front door.
* * *
As Sex roared away in his bright red sports car, I smiled to myself. I had never done anything so Clint Eastwood—you know, staring down a villain and calling his bluff. But I was hoping to see him sweat. I wanted to see his expression when I told him that I had experienced firsthand the work of the original version of Sex. I wanted to see the guy up close and analyze what it is about him that people find so attractive.
Once you've met the original version, I promise you, Imposter Sex looks like a chump. Sure, he's handsome in a Las Vegas sort of way, but he's nothing more than a wannabe version of the real thing. There is a better version of Sex, a far better version. In fact, my plan in this book is to negotiate an interview with the real version of this three-letter word, get him in his finest attire, and just let him speak for himself. I'm confident that when you behold him, you will find that the word better falls far short of what this version of Sex actually is. Prepare to utter words like Wow! and Whoa! as we reveal the real version of Sex through the pages of this book.
* * *
Let's admit it. This crazy little word fascinates us. We can't ignore it, we can't turn it off—we hear the word, see the word, and stumble over the word in nearly every situation life brings our way. It pesters us, tempts us, intrigues us, and destroys us. We love it, we hate it; we love to love it, hate to love it, and love to hate it. So I'm fairly confident that you will enjoy this book. Because this book will do for your mentality on Sex what Extreme Makeover does for the toothless and misshapen—it will transform it into a beautiful rose. You'll see Sex like you've never seen him before—the original Sex, the one who inspired such phrases as "once upon a time" and "happily ever after."
Excerpted from Meet Mr. Smith by Eric Ludy, Leslie Ludy. Copyright © 2007 Eric Ludy and Leslie Ludy. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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