be glad i didn’t write this

I made a shuddering, abortive attempt at another mash-up the other day. Faithful readers may recall my efforts in merging Candace Bushnell’s Sex And The City with China Mieville’s The City & The City. I caught a brief glimpse of a Sandra Bullock / Ryan Reynolds rom-com with all the usual tropes – fish out of water, humorous misunderstandings, uptight city gals, protagonists finding that their initial hatred of each other is blooming into love , etc. – but the setting was, oddly enough, the small Alaskan town of Sitka. All that I know of Sitka comes from a rather good alternative-Jewish-history-noir-suspense novel by Michael Chabon (I half-expected it had been made up, from whole cloth, for the story). So, my mind instantly started whirring about adding Sandra Bullock into a chapter of The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, or alternatively transplanting tough-as-nails Detective Landsman into a romantic comedy setting. There’s something enticing about a mash-up, about seeing the familiar become unfamiliar and new again. I ran through a series of scenarios in my head but my efforts were, unsurprisingly, doomed to fail. Scenes where Margaret, Sandra Bullock’s headstrong police chief takes on a gang of Jewish paramilitary cultists failed to write themselves. Perhaps for the best: the world may not be ready for the Yiddish Policeman’s Proposal.


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