(Home) Perry Portly and the Fake DNA Results, by Gary Gocek
©2020, Gary Gocek, https://gary.gocek.org/, @garygocek, gary@gocek.org
A hero's journey in mid-pandemic upstate New York.
Fiction, parody and satire. About 5000 words excluding preface and appendices.
Perry Portly and the Fake DNA Results, by Gary Gocek
Outside the Fairport Public Library

Contents - NEXT


Call to Adventure
Refusal of Call
Supernatural Aid
Crossing the First Threshold

Belly of the Whale
Road of Trials
Meeting the Goddess
Atonement with the Father
The Ultimate Boon
Refusal of Return

Magic Flight / Rescue from Without
Crosing the Return Threshold
Master of Two Worlds
Freedom to Live

APPENDICES (spoilers)
Explanation of Character Names


This story is a parody of life around Fairport and the encompassing town of Perinton, and Pittsford village/town, in upstate New York, southeast of Rochester. The parodies touch on the friendly rivalry between these two affluent suburbs, and on technology topics.

You might find deeper satire, as well, as the characters learn of DNA results they find undesirable.

I had been thinking about parodying the friendly rivalry for some time, and then in 2017 I came across Joseph Campbell's research1 into the "monomyth", or the hero's journey. Campbell describes the typical pattern of the classic hero stories. Consider "Star Wars". Luke just wants to get on with his dreary life, but a tragedy occurs and he embarks on his journey to right wrongs. Luke's self-doubt, struggles with his father, eventual triumph, and his difficulty in establishing a new life (and more) are present in the monomyth. I followed the monomyth pattern closely for my story.

Since this is based on two real-life towns, I thought it would be fun to mention existing businesses by name, but authors need to be careful about this. The most benign comment about a business can be interpreted in a negative way never imagined by the author. So, I don't mention private businesses, and the characters stick to public areas, libraries and fictional settings. No intent to portray real-life businesses is intended nor should be construed. Libraries have coffee bars in Perry's universe, but those are hard to support in real life, so support your local coffee shops. Support your local library!

Politically correct? I tried. I am not sure how I would approach the monomyth pattern with a female hero, but my story features two important, capable, female characters. I don't mention race directly, but Fairport and Perinton are what they are. As for making jokes at Pittsford's expense, I'd say an author can mock "up", but shouldn't mock "down". So, the rich should not make fun of the poor, but the poor can get away with making fun of the rich. Fairport and Pittsford are very similar. In the end, I think Pittsford can handle the jokes.

Monetization – I suppose I could self-publish this, but it's not a full novel, so let's say I could charge a dollar. With hard work and promotion, maybe I could sell ten units. Alternatively, I'll make less ad revenue from my web site, but with very little effort. So, I chose the web ad route.

COVID-19 pandemic2 – I am writing this preface in July, 2020. COVID-19 caused many businesses to be shut down. Today, stores are allowed to serve customers under more conditions, but we're still required to wear face masks in public. Consider the characters in this story to be wearing masks and exercising distancing recommendations. I suspect it will be a long time before we forget about COVID-19, so I figured it would be misleading to pretend it just doesn't exist in my story's universe.

Acknowledgments - thanks, as always, to my lovely wife. Thanks to the Fairport3 and Pittsford4 public libraries for all you do, and I hope everyone feels my story places libraries in a good light. Thanks for the resources of the Perinton Historical Society5.

Thanks for reading my story. I hope you laugh a little. Please email me your comments, or better yet, write a new story from the Pittsford perspective!