Friday, December 11, 2015

When the Balls Drop

Book 49 of my 2015 Reading Challenge
read from August 3 - 4

When the Balls Drop by Brad Garrett

Summary (via Goodreads)
A refreshingly candid and wickedly funny look at life's second half fromEverybody Loves Raymond TV sitcom star and comic Brad Garrett.
In this no-holds-barred book of comedic and personal essays, Brad Garrett waxes hilarious--and irreverently honest--about the gaffes, challenges, and ultimately the joys of middle age as he advises us on how to best approach the dreaded "second half" of life.
Ranging in topics from genetics to genitals, weight to women, and dating to diarrhea, Brad leaves no stone unturned in this laugh-out-loud look at getting older. With pieces such as "No Scales in Heaven," in which Brad points out the essential pointlessness of overthinking diet and exercise, and "Celebrating Your E.D. (erectile dysfunction) During Your Mid-Life Crisis," the star comedian encourages you to forget the overwhelming concerns that accompany middle age and to welcome the laughs--even if you have a fifty-fifty chance of throwing your back out in doing so.
Penned in Brad's signature witty, conversational, no-nonsense style that has cemented his status as an icon in the comedy industry, this autobiographical book will teach you the most important thing: that, no matter what, we're all in this together. So embrace it.

My Opinion
Oof, when it starts off with this quote about how he wants to be treated after dying: being "cremated and sprinkled in with "Love My Carpet" in the "Pardon my Pet" scent, and then vacuumed up by an illegal Filipino in a sundress. That's right, illegal. Because that adds to the danger.  Don't judge me yet. You have many more chapters to do that" know you're in for a rough ride.

There is lots of penis talk and he even gives a detailed description of his own.  Maybe this is my fault because I didn't take the book title literally?

I learned his changed his name from Brad Gerstenfeld, and there was a fun behind-the-scenes story about Peter Boyle's terrible flatulence and the discomfort it caused while waiting to enter scenes (and who knew John Lennon was best man at Peter's wedding?).

The thing I came for, the comedy, was what I hated; it wasn't funny or edgy, it was just bitter and offensive.  What brought it up to a 2 star rating for me were the surprise insights.  It was strange because it was so crude but then so incredibly insightful and introspective about any artist's struggle with sobriety (if they found success while high, would they be as good sober?), or when he talked about his nonprofit organization Maximum Hope which provides "immediate practical assistant to families who are caring for a child with a life-limiting illness".

You want to be a great dad?  Stop talking shit about their mom.  You want to be a great role model?  Stop talking shit about women in general.  One of the more infuriating quotes: "A woman will cost you more than any drug addiction, gambling binge, real estate debacle, or frivolous lawsuit. You will lose your mind if she wants you to, along with all your lettuce. That's why the vagina is shaped like that, so you can swipe your credit card. One stop shopping for eternity. If she's Jewish, swipe once and wait for approval. Asian, swipe it sideways, backside up. Mexican, you'll need two forms of ID. If she's from the South, make sure it doesn't eat your card. If it does, do not put your dick in there! That's right, I said it." 

I find this incredibly ironic to read in a memoir "As you can probably tell, I try not to live in the past or the distant future. I'm a big believer in moving on, and I find reminiscing pathetic, a silly pastime reserved for the elderly as they muddle through dementia, waiting for the bimonthly visit from their ungrateful bastard of a son, stroking a stuffed cat that they think is real."

A Few Quotes from the Book
"As stated earlier, I am a pessimistic optimist, or what I like to call a "pissed-omist". This is a person who has lived long enough to know not to expect much from most people or life in general, but still allows him-or herself the hope that somewhere under all the horseshit there may possibly be a pony."

"You can "live right", "pray right", and "do right", but there are no guarantees. Ultimately, you have to live right for you. As in get your eyes off the clock, get off your ass, and do something good for yourself and the people around you who have your back. And keep swingin', baby."

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