LJ McDowall

Messing About With Words

Fifty Shades of Snark—Part the First

Everywhere I look this week  I see “inner goddess” sleep masks and other indications that the BDSM Lite™ phenomenon has hit the shelves. Everywhere.   Supermarkets appear 5a3c0d_816d76fc35ff402f833728d881156f09.jpg_srz_400_511_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzto be selling ball-gags as Valentine’s gifts. What exactly does a ball-gag say in the language of flowers?  Shut the hell up?  And why can’t I have a sleep mask that says “Inner French Existentialist Feminist?” I did ask at Tesco today, but they just looked at me blankly.

Amongst my writer friends we’ve hashed and rehashed why the worst books ever to have been written in the English language have become the publishing success they are. So much so, that even the abbreviation of FSOG is too much. We call them “The Books That Shall Not Be Named.”  I take that one step further and dub them the Voldemort of Publishing.

How, how, how could work as chronically bad as this become such a sensation? I can’t walk into Waterstones  without tripping over  the legion of other books with greyscale, vaguely suggestive covers with numbers and letters in the titles, as everyone with a smutty story or three jumps on the Shady bandwagon.

And then, of course, there is the movie. Out on Valentines Day, as if we needed another reason to avoid  that false and commercial festival.

Fortunately, the Books that Shall Not Be Named, (once poorly written Twilight fan fiction), have now hit the silver screen. At first, I thought that FSOG the Movie would be the sort you’d take your boyfriend too only if you wanted him to dump you.

But no. Clearly, they’re crime thrillers, right?

Fifty Shades has  this wonderful trailer, which correctly portray Mr Grey as the obvious psychopathic serial killer he is:

Why stop there. I think Donald Belasarius, he of JAG and NCIS fame,  should direct the next Fifty Shades movie.  In fact, we could have Fifty Shades of NCIS! 

Think how awesome the trailer would be:

Fifty Shades of NCIS Trailer: 

<whooshing sound: wide shot of Seattle skyline>

<heart beat>

<heart beat>

<heart beat>

Deep Voice:

Special Agent Gibbs and his team have a problem…

<scene – NCIS HQ>


OK, probies, listen up. Vic profile. Women. 18-25, seventeen bodies so far, buried in the pacific north west.

Deep Voice: 

They know who it is …

[At NCIS headquarters Special Agent Gibbs runs through a PowerPoint slideshow as his team take notes]


Here’s our man. Seattle businessman. Employs half the city. Friends of the Governor. Philanphropist. Patron of the Arts. We just can’t get probable cause.

Deep Voice:    

They know what he’s done …


[The NCIS Forensic team pick through a taped-off crime scene in the Olympic mountain range in the pouring rain].

Dr “Ducky” Mallard, Medical Examiner:  

Looks like we’ve found his Special Place, Jethro.

Deep Voice: 

They know he isn’t acting alone. . .

[ Dr John Flynn, British psychiatrist enters a building, looking sneaky.]

Dr Ducky:      

     The victims were all patients at this clinic. But I’ve checked with my old school chum Dr David “Mummy” Goose. The General Medical Council of Great Britain has never heard of John “The Doctor” Flynn.

Deep Voice:          

And they know Ana Steele is next…

[Grey with his arm around Ana. Ana looks scared.]


We have to get her out of there.

Deep Voice:        

This Valentine’s day, prepare yourself for a massacre. . .

Ziva David:    

I can kill him for you. Just lemme do some Krav Maga…


No, he’s made us. . .

Deep Voice:           

The greatest crime thriller of 2015 . . .


Maiming? Hard to rape with your dick cut off?

Deep Voice:           

  Will Ana survive the Red Room of Pain?

[cut to the Red Room of Pain]


   I exercise control in all things Ms Steel.

[frightened breathing, fade to black]

<heart beat>

<heart beat>

<heart beat>


Shhhhhhhh. Don’t say a word.

And then, of course, you can have these “teaser scenes.” I apologise for resurrecting the character of Ziva David for these little teasers. In my defence, it was the last time I watched NCIS before getting rid of my TV in order to write.

Meanwhile back at headquarters:


You brought Grey in?


Ziva’s with him in the interview room now.


<rises from desk>

I’m off to the observation room. This I GOTTA see through a one-way mirror —


<Blocks Dinozzo’s path>

No one goes in there. I mean it. No one. The fewer eyes on this the better.


<looking up from computer while still typing code maniacally>

Boss, I turned off the cameras in the interrogation room and fried the recording equipment, just like you asked.


<Badass little smile.>


Gibbs? Will she break him? Will he talk?


<Larger badass smile.>

Personally, though, my own puny efforts at Fifty Shades of Snark are eclipsed by this following clip, which I must warn you is not safe for work.  Viewed, however, in the privacy of your own home, this erotic classic  never, ever gets old.

Fifty Shades Dramatic Reading.

© LJ McDowall 2015.


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