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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Books: Special Friends, by Pat Darnell

Thinking Outside the Hermetically Sealed Jar of Mayonnaise...

Published on
11/22/08 7:00 PM
Central Standard Time

There are several special books I keep with me at all times. If these special volumes are mislaid, I stiffen up and have long nights of sweating through problems of separation. Yes, I wish to be buried with them. They are my closest companions.

The first is of course Geoff Tibball's Dumbology, the Book of Gaffes, Foul-ups and Blunders. In 2002, Magpie Books London, Constable and Robinson Ltd published this vital non-fiction testament to human stupidity, in every field -- "from boardroom to the bedroom." Keywords: bloopers, bungles, dumb moves, errors, faux pas, flubs, flub-ups, fluffs, gaffes, goofs, howlers, indiscretions, lapses, oversights, slip-ups, and solecisms.... illustrated by Duncan Proudfoot.

My next essential work of fiction is The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide: Five Complete Novels and One Story, by Douglas Adams, of course. This warm blanket of wit for a cold wint'ry night reading by firelight cannot be compared to any other friend. I usually open it at random and read from any alliteration of Adams; I am immediately pulled into the author's looking glass.

Sparkling in the flickering light, my special gold edged, 2005 printed and bound in China, anthology of Adam's omnibus editions, is part of Gramercy Books, Random House Enterprises and Affiliates. It fits nicely into my Kolchak man purse with my Instamatic camera, and other special books.

From the late author's own lips, is an introductory forewarning: "So the publication of this omnibus edition seemed like a good opportunity to set the record straight -- or at least firmly crooked. Anything that is put down here is, as far as I am concerned, wrong for good." The series began as a radio show on BBC Radio 4 at 10:30 PM on March 8, 1978, "in a huge blaze of no publicity at all. Bats heard it. The odd dog barked."

The Wall Street Journal describes my next inseparable tote: "It's the kind of book that makes you laugh, makes you angry, makes you question, makes you cringe, makes you think and shout yes! in agreement. It's the kind of book that thoroughly defines its times."

Yes, it is certainly RF Laird's Boomer Bible, Workman Publishing New York. "He captures the conflict of the Boomer era -- growing up with the Ten Commandments, the Four Gospels, and the Golden Rule, and coming of age in the era of sex, drugs, and gimme gimme gimme."

From the opening Book of Kinesis to 649 pages later the end Book of Rationalizations, platitudes to live by a' plenty. My elegant paperback copy has appendices included the Brayers, Catechism, and Hymnal.

As you can see I am partial to anthologies. My last comfort and longest friend in travel companionship is my battered and well fingered "why was He Born so Beautiful, and other Rugby Songs," Prefaced by Michael Green. My weathered 1972 copy has been with me, just like my F2 Nikkormat, all over the world.

"Editorial Note: For more specialized insights into the social psychology of these songs, and to the fans who evidently take pleasure from singing them, a recent article by the eminent psychiatrist Dr. Stafford Clark is recommended."

There you have it: my secret time capsules of unsuppressed credit for where credit is due in my ignoble squinty eye of literary magnificence. Thanks for listening.
Pat Darnell

Boomer Deathwatch
Baby Boomer Death Counter


ConnectingTheDots said...

Interesting post and blog. Relevantly, many prominent experts and publications have pointed out that Obama is part of Generation Jones, born 1954-1965, between the Boomers and GenXers.
This link takes you to a page you may find interesting: it has, among other things, excerpts from publications like Newsweek and the New York Times, and videos with over 25 top pundits, all talking specifically about Obama’s identity as a GenJoneser:

MooPig_Wisdom said...

Thanks connetingthedots. Your comment is leading me around to some detached memories. I am posting another log on Joneses per your link suggestion.

I think we started using the phrase Jones in '74 or so when Cheech and Chong came out with Basketball Jones. That was in San Antonio, and I suspected a silent generation would pick that up if they are age ten in 1975... no?

Well, I see that it has become reality. Cheech and Chong were very popular in San Antonio... along with Freddie Fender.

How old is Al Franken?

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