Humor Writing and Biographies
The Encyclopedia of Stupidity
Paperback ISBN: 1861891970
Matthijs van Boxsel believes that no one is intelligent enough to understand their own stupidity. In The Encyclopædia of Stupidity he shows how stupidity manifests itself in all areas, in everyone, at all times, proposing that stupidity is the foundation of our civilization. In short sections with such titles as 'The Blunderers' Club', 'Fools in Hell', 'Genealogy of Idiots', and 'The Aesthetics of the Empty Gesture', stupidity is analysed on the basis of fairy tales, cartoons, triumphal arches, garden architecture, Baroque ceilings, jokes, flimsy excuses and science fiction. But Van Boxsel wants to do more than just assemble a 'shadow cabinet' of wisdom; he tries to fathom the logic of this opposite world. Where do understanding and intelligence begin and end? He examines mythic fools such as Cyclops and King Midas, cities such as Gotham, archetypes including the dumb blonde, and traditionally stupid animals such as the goose, the donkey and the headless chicken. Van Boxsel posits that stupidity is a condition for intelligence, that blunders stimulate progress, that failure is the basis for success. In this erudite and witty book he maintains that our culture is the product of a series of failed attempts to comprehend stupidity.
Change Your Underwear Twice a Week
Lessons from the Golden Age of Classroom Filmstrip
Paperback ISBN: 1579652638
In the pre-Internet, pre-VCR—oh, go ahead, call them prehistoric—days of baby boomers' grade school, the high art of audiovisual classroom programming was the filmstrip. If you're old enough, you remember the darkened room, the hum of the projector, and the beeep that signaled the teacher to turn to the next frame. If you weren't busy shooting spitballs, filmstrips might even have taught you something about science, hygiene, the great bounty of American farms and factories. With simple illustrations and quaint photographs that evoke a more innocent era, Change Your Underwear Twice a Week is the first book to collect dozens of these filmstrip treasures together, creating a panorama of four decades of overlooked graphic design, popular culture, and inadvertent humor. Readers from the Internet generation will get a good chuckle over what appears to be electronic cave art. But you'll also discover one of the great subtexts of postwar American life. From the mid-1940s until the late 1960s, filmstrips were the coming attractions of capitalism and the American way, teaching youngsters how society wanted them to view the world. Filmstrips celebrated our foundering railroads ("Tommy Takes a Train Trip"), the space program ("The Moon, Our Nearest Neighbor"), and our trusted friend the butcher, the milkman, the mailman, and the cop. They taught us not to sit too close to our new TV sets and why we should change our underwear twice a week (presumably, Commies did this only once a week). A chronicle of America's filmstrip experience, Change Your Underwear Twice a Week is also a glimpse into the companies and eccentric pioneers who created these graphic gems and how they influenced several generations of American youth.
The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy
& Other Stories
Hardcover ISBN: 0060526491
From breathtaking stop-action animation to bittersweet modern fairy tales, filmmaker Tim Burton has become known for his unique visual brilliance -- witty and macabre at once. Now he gives birth to a cast of gruesomely sympathetic children -- misunderstood outcasts who struggle to find love and belonging in their cruel, cruel worlds. His lovingly lurid illustrations evoke both the sweetness and the tragedy of these dark yet simple beings -- hopeful, hapless heroes who appeal to the ugly outsider in all of us, and let us laugh at a world we have long left behind (mostly anyway).
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook
Paperback ISBN: 0811835995
A guide to dealing with the trials and tribulations of the holiday season offers a variety of whimsical coping strategies for dealing with obnoxious relatives, surviving an office holiday party, escaping a runaway parade balloon or a stampede of rabid shoppers, rescuing someone stuck in a chimney, silencing a group of carolers, and other festive scenarios.
Adventures in Adolescence
1st Edition Paperback ISBN: 0609809431
The creator of the popular TV series Freaks and Geeks draws on his own experiences to present a hilarious and candid look at the trials and tribulations of adolescence and high-school life, from ill-fated prom dates and hellish bus rides to bombardment by dodge balls. Original. 25,000 first printing.
The Funny Thing Is...
Paperback ISBN: 0743247639
A new collection of essays by the comedienne and author of My Point . . . And I Do Have One considers such topics as her coffee addiction, her experiences in church, and the devious tactics of salespeople. Reprint. 150,000 first printing.
Paradoxical Wit and Wisdom from History's Greatest Wordsmiths
Hardcover ISBN: 0060536993
Collects hundreds of paradoxical and contradictory observations by a range of writers, politicians, philosophers, and public figures, in a language-lover's reference to such phrases as "Less is more" and "Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth." 20,000 first printing.
Dracula Was a Lawyer
Hundreds of Fascinating Facts from the World of Law
Paperback ISBN: 1573247189
We are all fascinated by the legal system and the people behind it. With Dracula Was a Lawyer, trivia experts Erin Barrett and Jack Mingo explore lawyers we love to hate (until we need one!), the pitfalls in our legal system, celebrity lawyers, and more. This compendium puts lawyers and legal history on trial and exposes over 500 outrageous oddities from the wild world of law.
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook
Paperback ISBN: 0811835758
Provides detailed advice for handling situations that may occur on the job, including getting employment as a waiter or a brain surgeon, dealing with coworkers and customers, meetings, business travel, and workplace emergencies.