Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Laugh-out-loud books........... and one in particular. :o)

Hi Y’all,
I’ve been reading a rare book, ….. One that really made me laugh right out loud.

A lot of books have reviews by people who describe how a book had them ‘laughing out aloud’, and quite often by People Of Note, sometimes on behalf of Publications Of Note,. Sometimes the book was so funny, evidently, that such an open display of humour was unavoidable in public.

Well, that’s as may be, and far from it for me to doubt the truth of the reviewer, but quite honestly I find few books really are that funny. Most are quite funny, but those that really make you do more than chortle, smile, or interrupt the natural breathing rhythm to shove out a reverse sniff from the nostrils are quite rare. Maybe it’s just me who finds that, but I suspect not.

The book which has had me laughing aloud, and to the point of moist eyes a few times, is Rich Hall’s ‘I Blame Society’

To some extent I think it was helped by my having his ‘voice’ in my head pretty much all the time I was reading it. Made all the easier because it’s written in a dialect which kinda makes it hard not to ‘hear’ him in your mind, and that dry way he has of telling a yarn, assuming you’ve seen his stand-up performances, and/or other appearances on TV. I’ve recently seen him on our British comedy quiz show, ‘QI’, hosted by the amazing Stephen Fry, so that may well have been the reason his voice was speaking to me.

It didn’t have me laughing all the time by any means, and certainly not aloud every time I did laugh, but I couldn’t go very far without something funny hitting home. The other day, (the pebble collecting day), I sat on the beach and absolutely howled with laughter a good few times. I rocked back and lay there laughing for a minute, dried my eyes and sat up to read the same bit again, only to burst out laughing and repeat the performance.

It was a pretty empty beach. Just as well. Undignified behaviour for an Old Greaser.

Now, before you get the impression that I’m claiming this to be a great work of literature, I’m not. Partly because it isn’t in ‘classic’ terms, but also because I wouldn’t exactly be qualified to make such a judgement. To be honest, I hold a personal view that a great work of literature could be anything that intensely amuses the reader, is especially fluid and easy to read, and fills your head with what was intended by the author. Still, that’s not the point………. I’m not qualified to judge, that being generally the preserve of the finely educated.

Anyway…….. to quote Amazon’s synopsis:-

‘Married six times, all to women named Brenda, Otis Lee Crenshaw's bourbon-fuelled odyssey takes him from the high mountains of East Tennessee to the bottom of the music charts. A man not above faking his own death to sell more records, this is his not quite true story of romance, recidivism, country music, and an unshakable belief in Marriage at First Sight.’

Ok, so that’s generally the gist of the book, but in amongst it all are some wisdoms, and here is where I wished I’d noted the page numbers where I read them, but I didn’t, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. You will probably have to be the sort of person who ‘thinks’ a lot about life, has been hammered by it at times (and who hasn’t, bar the very fortunate?….. Or perhaps less fortunate, I guess.), and can think a bit sideways at times too.
There was one morsel that tickled me, and I had been dying to try it out on someone since I read it……….. I was at work yesterday, and got my chance. Someone (We’ll call her Cheryl, shall we?) was going on about something or another, bless her. Some detail of out working day that was to be set in concrete as it tends to be these days. There were a few staff around to be amused by my great wit, and so I took a risk……….

“So, I’ve moved all the furniture around and it should be better for you all now”

“Cheryl, do you hear that?”

“What, I don’t hear anything?”

“Exactly, Cheryl, because that’s the sound of nobody giving a shit”

Everybody laughed, mainly because I was laughing my head off, and I JUST got away with it. It was a real close thing, because ‘Cheryl’ is Quite an Important Person, and knew she shouldn’t really be seen to see the funny side of it. It was ok because she knew it wasn’t meant spitefully, and I was just getting a laugh out of it.

Getting away with it. My biggest kick since I was born. :o)

Not so great when I come a cropper though, but isn’t that the measure of how good something feels………….. how bad the downside is. How dark the flip-side of the coin.

Sorry, rambling away.

Maybe I’ve read this at just the right time, in just the right mood, and so it floated my boat, I dunno. I read another of his books, called ‘Things Snowball’ a while ago, and can’t remember clearly, but don’t think it had me laughing as much as this one did. I must have a look for it, and read it again. Different things ‘fit’ us at different stages of our lives.

I’ve actually gone and rummaged around for ‘Things Snowball’, found it after ages wandering around my books, muttering, “I bleddy KNOW it’s here somewhere”, but not being able to see it anywhere. You know when you can ‘see’ where it is in your mind’s eye, but when you look there, it’s ‘gone’.

I suddenly found inspiration, and went delving into The Big Box, so called because it’s a real big box, yanking all the books out, finding it wasn’t there, and then and not being able to pack the same number of books back in again. There’s a lesson to be learnt there, and one I’ve learnt and seemingly repeatedly forgotten; never be too efficient in your box-packing/storing/tidying, because if you don’t leave some slack, you’ll never do such a good job when you go and take something out, and so The Untidiness will start all over again.

Always leave some slack in your efficiency!

In the end, after looking absolutely EVERYWHERE, I found it two books down from the top of the stack on the floor by the bedside cabinet. I KNEW I’d see the bleddy thing recently!

You know what it’s like when you find a book, especially one you’ve driven yourself to the edge of what sanity you have left, and believe me I can scarce afford to go anywhere near that precipice; you just have to start skimming though, and reading at least bits of it, don’t you? I ended up reading a few chapters ……… and, sure enough, ………… nope, nothing like as funny.

Funny, but not laugh-out-loud funny, as the reviewer on the back cover from The Scotsman claimed. Still we all find different humour funny, and so maybe these reviews, including my opinion here, aren’t worth reading. You just have to suck it and see. (Stop it!)

So, as per the usual, I guess I’m wasting everybody’s time here today.

Sorry (sigh) :oI

Ok, that’s enough…….. it was just going to be a few lines.

Y'all know how it is.........
K.x :o)

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