Too vulgar for me. But I think Table 16.1, "How to Fix the Dumb Stuff You Said," is hilarious. Here's one:
What you said: "Man, I am so tired." Quick, b
Too vulgar for me. But I think Table 16.1, "How to Fix the Dumb Stuff You Said," is hilarious. Here's one:
What you said: "Man, I am so tired." Quick, backpedal: "And I haven't been working a tenth as hard as you have. You're amazing, did you know that?" What you should have said: "Those boots you liked on Zappos.com -- let's order them. No, I will. You've done enough." Damage control: Buy the boots, then make dinner.
What you said: "How come I don't have any clean socks?" Quick, backpedal: " . . . is what I keep asking myself, because after all maintaining my wardrobe is my responsibility. . . I love you. What you should have said: "Laundry time! Do you want me to hand-wash your intimates? Damage control: Do the laundry and never say the word "socks" again in the house.
Hilarious satire. A slacker decides to become a famous novelist in order to impress his ex-girlfriend at her wedding. I laughed my head off (that's thHilarious satire. A slacker decides to become a famous novelist in order to impress his ex-girlfriend at her wedding. I laughed my head off (that's the kind of sophisticated review I'm writing this Memorial Day weekend) -- the book is worth reading alone for the fictional New York Times bestseller list. Anyway, here is an excerpt of his famous novel, "The Tornado Ashes Club". If you think it is funny, definitely read the book (but skip the chapter about the Hollywood producer if you want to avoid some language).
In strewn banners that lay like streamers from a longago parade the sun’s fading seraphim rays gleamed onto the hood of the old Ford and ribboned the steel with the meek orange of a June tomato straining at the vine. From the back seat, door open, her nimble fingers moved along the guitar like a weaver’s on a loom. Stitching a song. The cloth she made was a cry of aching American chords, dreamlike warbles built to travel miles of lonesome road. They faded into the twilight, and Silas leaned back on the asphalt, as if to watch them drift into the Arkansas mist.
Away from them, across the field of low-cut durum wheat, they saw Evangeline’s frame, outlined pale in shadow against the highway sky, as it trembled.
That’s the way it is with a song, isn’t it? she said. The way it quivers in your heart. Quivers like the wing of a little bird.
In a story too. He spoke it softly in a voice that let her hear how close they were. That’s the way it is with a story. Turns your heart into a bird.
The Dashwood family had been living in Sussex until the untimely death of their father, who was eaten by a hammerhead shark while trying to discover tThe Dashwood family had been living in Sussex until the untimely death of their father, who was eaten by a hammerhead shark while trying to discover the source of "the Alteration", "when the waters of the world grew cold and hateful to the sons of man, and darkness moved on the face of the deep." The dying man is washed onto shore and manages to write, with his remaining hand, his final wishes: his desire for his son John to care for his half-sisters and their mother financially.
But, of course, as the story goes, John's wife persuades him otherwise, and the Dashwoods find themselves at the mercy of their relation Sir John Middleton, who has offered them a "haphazard shanty, built atop a jagged promontory on the windward side of Pestilent Isle" off the coast of Devonshire. The Dashwoods' new acquaintance Colonel Brandon falls in love with Marianne. But alas, Colonel Brandon suffers from the curse of a sea witch: he bears "a set of long, squishy tentacles protruding grotesquely from his face, writhing this way and that, like hideous living facial hair of slime green . . . Otherwise, he was very pleasant." Though he is the undisputed hero of the novel, "Brandon is just the kind of man, if man he truly be, whom everybody speaks well of, and nobody cares about; whom all are delighted to see, and everybody is sort of mildly afraid to look at directly." And the story continues on in familiar and not so familiar ways.
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters begins as just silly but ends up being truly absurd. Winters is not just adding punchlines; instead, he transforms the book into a tragicomedy, which takes surprising sophistication (think Kierkegaard or Camus), but also the purely ridiculous: death lobsters, gelatinous food-flavored cubes, Sub-Marine Station Beta, and a pet orangutan named "Monsieur Pierre". Austen's subtle satire and social commentary are not able to withstand intact; what does it matter, after all, whether one is guided by one's passions or societal decorum, when certain annihilation by a Leviathan is just around the, er, pond?
I prefer to read Austen without Winters, but I was impressed with the sophistication: it was like reading H.P. Lovecraft, watching the last episode of the 1960's television show "The Prisoner", and reading "Oscar and Lucinda" all at once. And that's saying something. ...more
Judith Martin has impeccable wit. In answer to the question, "Isn't etiquette always a matter of making other people feel comfortable?" she answers "TJudith Martin has impeccable wit. In answer to the question, "Isn't etiquette always a matter of making other people feel comfortable?" she answers "This would make politeness an activity exclusively for suckers and wimps. And, of course, sluts." I will never wear white gloves or leave my calling card, but I enjoyed reading this book and I burst out laughing several times. A few excerpts:
Dear Miss Manners: Usually, lots of men I pass by on the street say "hi" to me. I assume it's flirting. Most of the time I just ignore it and walk right by, since I don't want to stop walking and say "hi" to a stranger. I don't even know what his intentions are! But lately, I've felt that what I do seems pretty rude and I think I'm coming off as unapproachable, and I was wondering what is the best way to deal with this kind of situation without being rude. Gentle Reader: If you want to seem approachable -- which Miss Manners understands to be the same as not wanting to seem unapproachable -- you might respond, "Hi, honey. Are you lonesome?" She does not recommend this. What you were already doing is the correct behavior, not because you don't know what a strange man's intentions are toward you, but because you do.
Dear Miss Manners: What is the proper reply when someone says, "Excuse Me"? Gentle Reader: A weak smile. The way to perform a weak smile is to raise the corners of the mouth without moving the center part of the lips, which remain closed. The length of the weak smile depends on the magnitude of the act for which the excuse was requested. For example, if a person has asked to be excused for burping, the weak smile in response should last only a fleeting moment, as did the burp, one hopes. If he is asking to be excused for breaking a porcelain vase that your great-grandfather brought back from China, the weak smile becomes fixed. This is to distract attention from the expression in your eyes as you stare at the fragment of china on the floor.
Dear Miss Manners: Now that I have mastered a "weak smile", I find that I have need for a "hollow laugh." Can you please tell me how to do it? Gentle Reader: Ah, the hollow laugh. Yes, indeed, it is a most useful social skill indispensable for for responding to tasteless jokes, excessive kidding, and other unacceptable forms of behavior. Miss Manners will be glad to teach it to you. For the hollow laugh, you first smile with the lips wide open, displaying all of the forward teeth, while the rest of your face registers a puzzled look. You then force up from the throat a noise that does not resemble a genuine laugh, but rather imitates the words "Ha ha" or "Huh huh" that writers use to transcribe the sound of a laugh. When these words have been emitted, leave the open smile hanging there for a moment, as if you had forgotten about it, and then abruptly close the mouth into a solemn expression. ...more
"IT IS A TRUTH universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains. Never was this truth more plain than dur"IT IS A TRUTH universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains. Never was this truth more plain than during the recent attacks at Netherfield Park, in which a household of eighteen was slaughtered and consumed by a horde of the living dead."
Such a promising beginning. I thought this would be the perfect read-aloud book for my husband and me, touching on some mutual interests. Sadly, we were unable to finish it. The man who brought the world "The Big Book of Porn" was unable to develop the joke. It's worth reading the first three chapters and flipping through the illustrations, but not much more than that.
SPOILER ALERT: I would have liked to see at least Kitty or Mary or Lydia become a zombie. Kitty would then become significant, Mary ironic, and Lydia would achieve the measure of her creation....more
I guess I'm a pretentious snob -- though I'm only 50% white according to the quiz at the end, I feel like the game's up. It's not about white people,I guess I'm a pretentious snob -- though I'm only 50% white according to the quiz at the end, I feel like the game's up. It's not about white people, though; more like liberal white hipsters. The website is http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com. ...more
I would not read this book again, except for the part about his awkward relationship with his convicted sex offender/pedophile neighbor. So awkward anI would not read this book again, except for the part about his awkward relationship with his convicted sex offender/pedophile neighbor. So awkward and hilarious....more
You would like this book if you like the television show. He's more of an actor than a writer, but reading him does give you more time to savor the joYou would like this book if you like the television show. He's more of an actor than a writer, but reading him does give you more time to savor the jokes. The book reads like the "word of the day" segment of the show -- there's the text and then there's remarks about the text in the margins. There's also games at the end of each chapter; for example, the chapter on racism includes a word search ("How many racial slurs can you find in the grid above?") and the chapter called "Homosexuals" contains a flow chart to determine if someone is gay "from a safe distance."
I listened to his book promotion interview on NPR's Fresh Air while I was reading this book, which was the first time I've ever heard him out of character. I think I appreciated the book more because of it....more