This book is unusual because it is real. But, it may be the world’s first unbook. There is little narration. It is a book of lists. There are few bona fide jokes unless you think that it is funny for a parent to name her kid, “Martina Moron.”
Now, consider this information:
Outraged customer ahead of me in a store. Unreasonable business associate. Nothing that a good chuckle can’t cure.
If you pay attention, you can learn a lot about people. Some of it is obvious. Some of it is bizarre.
Now, about the obvious: Everybody has a name, and everybody can relate to names. As a person who talks but especially listens a lot, I run into unusual and quirky names often. Santa Claus, Jesus Christ, Candy Cane, and Fruity McGill are among the people with odd names that I have met.
No way? Have you ever checked out the tattoos that people have? Each and every one them says something interesting and/or strange about that individual. Why can’t a name have the same purpose?
Anyway, this book has taken most of my life to write. I have written down the person’s name and verified it later. No name has been incorrectly reported in my fierce quest for accuracy.
I have learned that there is not a person alive who does not have or know somebody with a name that is atypical or weird. The waitress at my favorite diner is sure to remind me that her name is “Bippie,” and if I get it wrong and call her “Mippie” or “Blimpie,” I may find a fake fingernail in my lentil soup. Not really. She always does a professional job!
I met this wonderful woman named “Luna.” Her whole life, she was tormented by this first name. But worse, she hated that she was not given a middle name. While growing up, she would pin imaginary middle names on her bedroom curtain quite often. And, when she turned 21, she legally gave herself the middle name of “Delight.”
Now, the pronunciations may not be what some people might expect, but the spelling is what matters. For instance, “Moron” may have a Spanish or even a French pronunciation that we would not initially expect which is better than the “I am a dumbass” related pronunciation. But, the spelling is the same.
A part of the inspiration for the book is a custom-made license plate that I saw while walking on a lonely street in a city where I resided at the time. It said, “MORON.” Is that how that person wanted to be labeled and known? What was the thinking behind giving one’s car, and hence oneself, such a name? Or, was thinking even possible in this case? I, on the other hand, do not want to look stupid. Silly, outrageous, sarcastic, thorough, and funny are much more my style.
And, it was not long ago that I found a sign outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that said “Shit Creek.” Does anybody want to go fishing?
Now, what inspired this whole book even more, however, is my love of movies. I saw Meet the Parents, in which the main character, played by Ben Stiller, is named “Gaylord Focker.” I learned that Jim Carrey came up with this name only for one of the producers to come to believe that there actually are three Gaylord Fockers in America, or at least this notion is what he believed. (I do not think that he researched this suspicion well.) In fact, the producer was wrong, or at least, I see no evidence of it. Nobody really has or had that name in real life. Everybody makes mistakes, even producers of hilarious movies. He will remain nameless. It is only fair. Ha ha!
Anyway, it was just too much──the combination of the name "Gaylord Focker” and seeing bizarre names on an infrequent basis in my social life and business life──that propelled me into the huge research project that evolved into this delightful, irreverent, and funny, but even somewhat educational, book. Not too educational, however. Let’s be real. This book is the paper or computer wire version of the fart. It is nothing groundbreaking, brilliant, or special. It doesn’t even smell good.
Still, you can believe me: you will see people in a different light
I received this book in return for an honest review.
It was a short read. I'll give it that and only that.
I think this book was written in bad taste. I know it was meant to be a funny thing, but to me it wasn't. I think it was cruel. I knew it would be a list of names, but I also kinda hoped that maybe it was people he had actually met. Not ones he came across at random or online.
There are quiet a few well known names, like my favorites, Forest Gump and Clark Kent..... Why were their names on this list? I find no humor in them unless you are going by Forest's movie. Even then, it's not all that funny. A man who didn't let his disabilities stop him from experiencing and loving life.
Clark Kent, Superman, a HERO.
I wonder how many other's are on this list who are actual heros. Not just heros in books, but actually war heros.... The thought of that actually makes me angry.
What also makes me angry is if Joseph Joel knew my last name, or even my friend's last name, I KNOW me and her both would be on that list. Why wouldn't they be? They are both a target on our back since the first days of school. *smh*
The more I read, the more I realized I really really really didn't like this "book" and saw how cruel it was and realized that this is just a "book" making fun of people. What's next? A book of "funny" stories about people's disabilities?
I had high hopes that this book would give me a laugh. It didn't. It left me angry and disappointed.