Last week, a judge in London ruled that Dan Brown's runaway best-selling novel, "The Da Vinci Code," did not violate copyright laws by stealing ideas from a work of nonfiction.
No doubt Brown was happy to hear the verdict, but I was even more ecstatic. You see, I am in the midst of appropriating information from encyclopedias, history books and the Internet to use in my upcoming novel, "The Edison Code" (1,093 pages, published in 2006 by surreptitiously using my office's printer, copying machine and stapler - but the less said about that, the better). If you purchase my book, I expect Hollywood to buy up the rights to turn it into a major motion picture. (Are you listening, Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee and that guy who remade King Kong?)
Because I am stealing from Brown's success, I expect my book to raise an uproar similar to that caused by "The Da Vinci Code." I've figured out how to do it.
Theological issues aside, "The Da Vinci Code" created interest because, on an early page, it has this claim: "Fact: All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate."
That remark, in a work of fiction, messed up some minds. Readers believed the hundreds of pages that followed because, basically, the author told them to. They read, believed, told friends and pretty soon "The Da Vinci Code" was hotter than drive-through coffee.
Being a copycat, I put this statement in "The Edison Code": "Fact: All descriptions of inventions in this novel are accurate."
Are they accurate? Buy my book and find out. "The Edison Code" is a novel, so I might be making up the inventions along with other aspects of Edison's life. Did he really invent the color teal? Buy the book.
(Confidentially, I wouldn't believe a word I say. All I know about electricity, for instance, is that it comes out of the wall and into the lamp, where the two brightest filaments in a three-way bulb always burn out fast, leaving only 50 watts to read a novel by. You'd think a guy who perfected electric lights could have given the three-way bulb a longer life.)
Another thing I stole from "The Da Vinci Code" is my emphasis on codes, secrets and wordplay. For instance, somewhere in this column I have told you how many patents Edison received for his inventions. Find that number and you will look smarter than you are.
In my book, you can see what a trickster Edison was. Take his middle name, Alva, for instance. Mix up the letters and you get "lava," which is a type of lamp. Lamps, as you know, are illuminated by - yep - electric lights. Coincidence, or conspiracy?
I don't want to give too much away, but the main contention of my novel is that Edison worked his whole life with one goal in mind: to subvert America with movies. How so?
In 1877, he patented his phonograph, giving us recorded sound. Two years later, he perfected light bulbs, which are used in movie projectors.
Next, he devised an actual movie projector to go around the bulb, then built a movie studio.
Why, instead of working day and night to make us a nation full of movie addicts, didn't he invent a hearing aid, which he sorely needed? What was his ulterior motive? Did it involve the devil?
Before you scoff, remember that an anagram of Thomas Alva Edison is "A movie holds Satan." Does that mean movies are the devil's workshop?
Still not convinced? Listen: Edison was called The Wizard of Menlo Park, and if we rearrange that, we get the anagram "Mozart help in deaf work."
Why is that important?
Read my book to find out. Just give me lots of time to make you a copy; it takes a lot of staples to put together 1,093 pages. And then go see the movie. Thomas Edison would have wanted it that way.
Glynn Moore is a columnist for the Augusta Chronicle. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.