The Washington Post

Levi Johnston’s inimitable prose — worthy of a William Shatner reading

This man is a poet. (Touchstone)

I sucked in the smell of her perfume, Viva La Juicy, and was swept away. La Juicy was part of my oxygen supply, even for the year and a half we were apart. ”

Yes, I know it’s the work of a septuagenarian couple, the Cowans, who felt that he was “getting the shaft” in his dealing with the Palin clan. But still. Listen to these sentences! They sound like what would happen if you got the hockey team drunk and forced them to retell “The Great Gatsby.” Forget jumping off the page. They jump off the page, take your wallet and spray you with chloroform.

They practically run screaming out of the building. At least that is what I would do if I had written them.

To say that his writing style is inimitable would imply that someone wanted to imitate it. It is a pastiche of a parody of a pastiche.

It is a cross between the dialogue attributed to shirtless men on horseback in those novels that you read at the beach and the grunting, barely intelligible noises one makes at the dinner table between the ages of 13 and 20.

“I walked right up to her. Just ’cause. ’Cause I couldn’t keep away.”

That’s — almost like a haiku, in the sense that any haiku Levi Johnston would write would also be missing several syllables.

What’s curious is that, even as he denies the Palin clan, Levi’s prose bears resemblance to nothing so much as — Sarah’s own meandering verbiage.

And based on that, I have a proposal. As he proved on Conan O’Brien’s show, the only reader who could possibly do justice to this inimitable prose is the great William Shatner himself. Get him on this.

“As I headed for the bench during a line change, something electric happened over the heads of my teammates.

“Lightning-bolt love.

“It’s lucky the ice didn’t melt.”

Blam! The only thing that would make those sentences better would be if they were read by The Man himself. Or how about this paean to Bristol?

“She was the sun of my life. We became secret camping lovers, scraping gnarly gnats off our lips before we kissed. . . . I love you, I’d started to say, and before I finished, she’d said the same thing to me.”

Get on it, Shatner. The petition starts here.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".


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