Fifty Shades of (Flea-Bitten) Gray

Unless you just crawled out from under a rock (or have been out riding)
you probably have heard about Fifty Shades of Grey the highly charged erotic romance about a billionaire CEO and a naive young college student. The book is so popular that it it outselling every other book for sale right now by a power of about 100 to 1.

Now, I can’t complain. Because, while The Eighty-Dollar Champion is clearly a horse-of-a-different-color, I still think that the books have something in common.

I believe that every horse story is a love story, a soaring triumphant bond so strong that it rises above words.

I read Fifty Shades of Gray, at least enough to get the basic idea, and I have to admit, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I’m not going to criticize the millions of readers who obviously feel differently from me. Different strokes.

But speaking of different strokes… why is it that there are more mentions of riding crops in Fifty Shades of Gray than in The Eighty-Dollar Champion?

Well, I think it’s because the essence of love is NOT coercion.

That’s why my heart fills with joy every time I see this picture.

That’s why, when I think of love, the shade of gray that comes to mind is Snowman’s color: fleabitten gray.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who prefers rubber snaffles to scissor bits and The Eighty-Dollar Champion to Fifty Shades of Gray.

I’m thrilled that family-friendly The Eighty-Dollar Champion has climbed to Number Eight on the New York Times bestseller list of paperbacks.

But I still dream that the inspirational true story of a rescued plowhorse and his plucky immigrant rider could take the number one spot (or two, or three, or four…) away from the Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy.

So, I’ve come up with an idea.

There have been reports of books with somewhat similar titles climbing up the bestseller list, as readers mistake them for Fifty Shades of Gray.

So, I’m thinking about changing my title to Fifty Shades of Flea-bitten Gray.

I’m imagining people buying Fifty Shades of Flea-bitten Gray to see what all the fuss is about…and how they’ll rave about the epic love story it tells.

And when their best girlfriends lean in and ask, in a hushed whisper, but what about the riding crops…? They’ll smile and say coyly, who needs a crop when you’re riding a horse who wants to go all day without it…?

Shh. No telling. It will be our secret.

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