I am NOT jealous of the woman who writes the Harry Potter books. It does NOT bother me that her most recent book, ``Harry Potter and the Enormous Royalty Check,'' has already become the best-selling book in world history, beating out her previous book, ``Harry Potter Purchases Microsoft.''
It does NOT make me bitter to know that this woman's books are selling like crazy, while my own books - some of which took me HOURS to write - have become permanent nesting grounds for generations of bookstore-dwelling spiders.
And I disagree with the critics who charge that the Harry Potter books teach witchcraft and Satanism. Yes, I'm aware of the recent case in Pittsburgh, where a 9-year-old boy recited a so-called ``magic spell'' from a Harry Potter book, and his piano teacher turned into a singing walnut. At first glance, this incident seemed alarming, but it turned out that there was a ``perfectly innocent explanation,'' according to a police source, who spoke on the condition that his head be changed back to its normal size.
So as far as I'm concerned, the only problem with the Harry Potter books is that they're not being produced fast enough. Booksellers have already been swamped with orders for the NEXT Harry Potter book, which hasn't even been written yet! So I'm thinking: Why should the Harry Potter woman get to write all the Harry Potter books? Any professional writer can do it! All you need is your plucky British schoolboy characters, your forces of evil, your ominous foreboding, your grave peril and your totally unexpected plot twists. In fact, I'm going to write the next Harry Potter book right now:
Harry Potter awoke with a start. Outside Hogwarts Castle, it was dark and ominous. In his mind, Harry mentally reviewed his situation for the benefit of people who have not read the first four books in this series. He was a plucky young wizard with magical powers living in England, a small foreign country that speaks English, but with a lot of slang. He was in grave peril from forces of evil.
``Blimey, Ron!'' he said to Ron Weasley, with an English accent. Ron and Harry were mates, which in England has a different meaning.
``Crikey, Harry!'' said Ron. ``You look as pale as a blooming ghost!''
``Cor!'' said Harry, as he fingered his lightning-bolt-shaped forehead scar, which he received as a baby when his arch-nemesis, the evil Lord Voldemort - who was always trying unsuccessfully to kill him - had attacked him with a powerful deadly curse, which incredibly, had not been successful. ``I just had a foreboding that Lord Voldemort is going to try to kill me again, as he has in every book so far in this series!''
``Well,'' responded Ron, ``Duh!''
The two chums laughed in a plucky British manner, little suspecting that there were going to be some totally unexpected developments in the chapters that lay ahead.
``Drat that blasted Harry Potter!'' sneered the evil Lord Voldemort to his evil sidekick, a giant snake named Nagini, who in the movie version will be played by either Cher or Jim Carrey.
``I have to think of a way to successfully kill that blighter of a bloke!'' sneered Lord Voldemort, who was always in a bad mood because his lips hurt from the strain of constantly sneering when he talked. ``Begorrah! I have it!''
And he outlined his evil sneering plan to Nagini, who realized with a sense of foreboding that, of all the unsuccessful attempts on Harry Potter's life, this was going to be the most totally unexpected one yet.
``'Od's bodkins, Hermione!'' said Harry Potter, by way of a British slang greeting to Hermione Granger, a plucky young female wizard who had become Harry's close friend during the previous books, even though he had no idea how to pronounce ``Hermione.''
``Jeepers creepers, Harry!'' responded Hermione. ``Is that a magic wand in your wizard robe, or are you just glad to see me?''
They both laughed heartily, but their laughter ended suddenly, for they had a joint foreboding that something very perilous and evil was about to happen, without anybody expecting it.
That's all I've written so far. If you young readers would like me to finish this book, all I need is for two million of you to send me one dollar apiece. Or, if that sounds too greedy, I'd settle for just two of you sending me one million dollars apiece. The important thing is that we all work together to find a way for Uncle Dave to ``share the magic'' with you young readers. Because Uncle Dave loves you very much. He would hate to have to turn you into squid.
Dave Barry is a humor columnist for the Miami Herald. Write to him c/o The Miami Herald, One Herald Plaza, Miami FL 33132.
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