Humor Writing and Biographies
Timothy Mcsweeney's at War for the Foreseeable Future and He's Never Been so Scared
Paperback ISBN: 1932416129
Issue 14 features a return of the hard-hitting journalism that has made McSweeney's our nation's preeminent source of Whys and Wherefores: Joshuah Bearman leads a daring investigation into the enigmatic Great Gerbil (Rhombomys Opimus) of central Asia, uncovering signs of an impending disaster that could totally mess up life as we know it. The issue also includes strange and wonderful stories from T.C. Boyle, Susan Straight, Jim Shepard, Wells Tower, Jessica Anthony, Chris Bachelder, and approximately seven other good people. At least one of these stories contains the following paragraph: "I am Felicius Victor, son of the centurion Annius Equester, on active service in the Twentieth Cohort and scribe for special services for the administration of the entire legion. All day, every day, I’m sad. Over the heather the wet wind blows continuously. The rain comes pattering out of the sky. My bowels fail me regularly and others come and go on the continuous bench of our latrine while I huddle there on the cold stone."
Saints Preserve Us!
Everything You Need to Know About Every Saint You'll Ever Need
Paperback ISBN: 067975038x
A guide to the universe of saints, cross-referenced by birthdays, professions, and ailments, features information on the saints of hemorrhoids, dog bites, public relations, and others. Original. 30,000 first printing. $15,000 ad/promo.
A Conditional Love Story
Paperback ISBN: 0156006820
An entertaining memoir by the author of Crackers and First Hubby reflects on the life and times of a Georgia boy turned New York wit, reflecting on the three profound riddles that have had a formative impact on his world. Reprint. 50,000 first printing. Tour. NYT.
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.
How to Be a Villain
Evil Laughs Secret Lairs Master Plans and More
Hardcover ISBN: 0811846660
A delightfully evil gift, How to Be a Villain is a step-by-step guide to joining the forces of darkness. Because, though villains may never win, they sure have more fun, hatching master plans for world domination, smoothing their dastardly tights. Neil Zawacki answers all the most urgent questions: Should I go with a black or red theme? Do I invest in an army of winged monkeys or ninja warriors? And just where will I put the evil hideout? Whether readers choose to pursue a career as a Criminal Mastermind, Mad Scientist, Corporate Bastard, or just a Wanna-be Evil Genius, they are sure to find plenty of tips for jumpstarting any evil enterprise. Cheaper than attending the annual bad guy conference and way more fun than being good, How to Be a Villain is guaranteed to elicit deep-throated evil laughs across the land.
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 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.