It’s in My Book
Originally published in The New Yorker magazine.
When drinking out of a drinking fountain, is there any way to avoid getting your shirt all wet? Yes, there is, and it’s in my book.
Have you ever wondered why people seem to be talking when you want to talk? My book tells you how to shut them up.
How do you tell a kid that there’s no God? My book explains.
When you see a frog in a pond, and a few days later you see another frog, is it the same frog? My book helps you figure it out.
Have you ever wondered why the sky is blue? Me neither. My book tells you how to avoid questions like that.
Chapter 7 explains what to do if you’re accidentally shot by hunters. (Hint: It involves shooting back.)
Have you ever finished a short story or novel and wanted it to continue? My book tells you why you’re stupid to think that.
My book doesn’t bore you with “research.” Instead it’s based on my personal experience and/or fantasies, and good old-fashioned guesswork. In elegant prose, my book spells out:
*How to install a moving wall of spikes in your living room, and the main reason it gets stuck: cat toys.
*How to flip a coin. (It’s not as complicated as it looks.)
*How to de-clutter your pornography collection, by throwing some of it out or donating it to charity.
*Why talking with a fake Swedish accent may not get you that promotion.
*Why old age doesn’t have to be a death sentence, except at the very end of it.
There were people who said I would never be able to get this book published by a major publisher. Those people turned out to be right. There were some who said I couldn’t afford to self-publish it. Those people were also right. And then there were some who said I wouldn’t be able to sneak into my company’s offices at night and copy it on the copy machines and staple the pages together using company staplers. Those people are eating their words right now.
Which of our Presidents wore a tall, stovepipe hat and was known as Mister Sarcasm? It’s in my book.
Do you like to play tricks on old people when they’re asleep? My book tells you how to play tricks on them when they’re asleep and awake.
When you trip and roll down the side of a hill, what things keep you from rolling forever? (Hint: Weeds is one.)
Have you ever seen a flashing light go across the evening sky and wondered if it’s a lightning bug or an airplane? There’s a simple way to tell.
Have you ever been hornswoggled? My book warns you when it’s about to happen.
My book tells you how to make a decision quickly and easily, then tells you how to re-think your decision. It tells you how to make yourself sound smarter by putting “oid” at the end of common, everyday words.
My book is not just dry facts and informatoids. There’s humor too. But it is a gentle humor, that gently mocks the weakest members of society. And if you get tired of reading, there are several chapters of blank pages.
When you make a phone call to a stranger, there are certain words to avoid so that the call is not considered “obscene.” My book tells you which words.
Want to know how to open a door without having the door hit you in the forehead? It’s in my book. (Hint: It involves your shoe.)
Keep it brief! Chapter 113 tells you how to do that.
Should you tell your boss you’re quitting, or just not show up anymore? My book lays out the advantages of each approach.
Have you ever wanted to pretend to read a book while spying on other people? My book has a hole in the middle.
I admit, there are some things my book can’t tell you, like the meaning of life. (Just kidding — it’s in there.)
As hard as it is to believe, there are those who won’t like my book. Someone whose head has been severed by a mad scientist and placed in an aquarium and is being kept alive by some sort of artificial blood being pumped into his jugular vein, is probably not going to…Wait, you know, I’m going to say that even that person would like my book.
When I began work on my book, little did I know that I would still be working on it nearly three weeks later. But, obviously, it has been worth it.