Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Give me twenty-four hours, and I will marry you off to a clown

During a recent trip to the bookstore Boyfriend+ came across the book Care to Make Love in That Gross Little Space Between Cars?: A Believer Book of Advice. The Believer, according to Wikipedia, is a literary magazine founded by Dave Eggers. I guess they have a Q&A section where readers can send in their questions and then comedians offer advice. Like a really messed up Dear Abby. And this book is made up of a collection of those advice columns.

So if it wasn't clear from the fact that I had to look up The Believer on Wikipedia, I'm not familiar with this publication. However, I am familiar with many of the contributors to the advice column, including Louis CK, Nick Hornby, Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Schaal, Amy Sedaris, and a bunch more. So we decided "why not" and threw it on the pile to take home with us.

The book has funny moments. Louis CK is asked by someone what a MILF is cos she was recently called one and wants to know if she should be offended. Louis CK's answer: "MILF is a common acronym used by kids these days. It stands for "Ugly Bitch Who Lies About Some Kid Calling Her a MILF." (His whole section is a bit hostile, though his intro warns he's been having a bad day.)

When asked what books one should read on the subway to make fellow riders look on in awe, George Saunders suggests the following titles:
Common Problems of the Very Wealthy, Well-Endowed, and Omniscient
Why Can't I Stop Loving So Selflessly, and Being Such an Incredible Cook?
Eyes Up, Moronic Commuter! There's a Whole Beautiful World Out There!
What Are You Looking at My Book for, When a Guy with Advanced-Stage TB Is About to Cough Down Your Neck?
Care to Make Love in That Gross Little Space Between Cars?

The book suffers from the problem I have with all books that have a bunch of authors. The book is uneven with some parts being great, and some being very "meh". Unfortunately, even the comedians I liked were sort of meh. I smirked a few times or thought "that's funny" but never actually laughed while reading this. Maybe it's because a lot of the questions and answers sound so forced. Obviously people writing in know what they're getting into, but it's almost like everyone is too in on the joke.

Funny concept but not so funny follow through. Whomp.

Title quote from page 127

Sacks, Mike and Eric Spitznael ed. Care to Make Love in That Gross Little Space Between Cars?:A Believer Book of Advice. Vintage Books, 2012