12 reasons why I won’t be giving Mark Rayner’s new novel to my mother-in-law for Christmas

The cover of a book I will not be giving to my mother-in-law.
Mark Rayner’s new novel, Marvellous Hairy, has gotten some great reviews, and some marvellously entertaining press. It’s been published just in time for the major gift-giving holidays. The paperback comes in an attractive compact format, and it also comes in an economical ebook version. You would think this would make it an excellent gift.

In spite of this, I will most definitely NOT be giving a copy of this book to my mother-in-law. Here are the main reasons why:

The 12 Main Reasons I won’t be giving Marvellous Hairy to my mother-in-law:

  1. The novel contains “adult” language.
  2. The book uses colorful descriptive language, and I mean beyond describing a room as having been painted “belligerently pink.”
  3. I’m talking about sentences like the following:

    He had long greasy black hair that clung to his head like an octopus humping his skull, and then fell onto his his shoulders in oily post-coital exhaustion.

  4. The book has sex in it.
  5. The book has sex and monkeys in it.
  6. My mother-in-law would be fairly scandalized by something that induced me to compose a sentence including both the words “sex” and “monkeys.”
  7. My mother-in-law has probably never spent any significant amount of time contemplating what it would be like to grow a tail.
  8. It is extremely unlikely that the phrase “Release the monkeys!” would make her giggle.
  9. She wouldn’t know what to make of a playful romp of a novel that is described as “part literary fun-ride, part fabulist satire, and part slapstick comedy.”
  10. Especially one that has been called “deeply, unsettlingly weird.”
  11. She certainly would not take well to the suggestion that she get in touch with her “inner monkey.”
  12. She would probably much prefer some lavender-scented hand soap.

Disclosure: Since I’m a big fan of The Skwib, Mark Rayner’s humor blog, I was all set to buy a copy of this book. (Though not for my mother-in-law.) It was already in my Amazon shopping cart and everything. But then Mark offered to send me a copy. (For FREE! Sucker!) How could I resist? (The monkeys made me do it.)

(Monkey images from wpclipart.)

Canadian blogging conspiracy revealed

Go read Pride and Twitterverse at Under the Mad Hat. Right now. It srsly cracks my shit up:

@biz Why must avatar pictures be so small? #twitterfail

@LizzyB Darcy keeps looking at your profile. What’s up with that?

@CharlotteL I dunno but it’s freaking my shit out. Srsly.

You may have seen someone else’s Austenbook, which was Pride and Prejudice on Facebook, as shared by casa az and raincoaster. It was very funny. But Pride and Twitterverse rocks my world.

You know something else that’s funny and Austenish? The book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which sits unread (or undead?) on my kitchen counter. When I read about it at Celebrating the Absurd, I had to order it.

You know something else that’s funny and Twitterish? The Skwib’s Twitterpocalypse.

And you know what else made me laugh at the Skwib this week?
Ten spurious facts about Queen Victoria:

#3 Victoria was the youngest and first Queen of England who had the ability to fire laser beams from her eyes.

And you know what else made me laugh in reference to Queen Victoria this week? Bon at cribchronicles.com with her educational post on May Two-Four: if we don’t get a holiday.

You know what’s freakin’ me out? All of the bloggers I’ve listed above are Canadian, and their combined brilliance and humor is keeping me from getting work done. I think there must be a conspiracy. Perhaps to get me to start spelling humour with that extra u.

They are also all on Twitter. I fear I may be doomed to go over to the dark side after all. Bite me.

I’m dreaming of a pants Christmas

Yesterday, I was most pleased to be able to share with you all a bit of holiday cheer in the form of a Christmas pants song. Which leads me to think there could be far more holiday pants songs. On top of that, this week’s Monday Mission asks for posts in the form of Christmas lists. And I thought to myself, “I should make a list.” So, here I offer you a very Merry Christmas Pants Playlist. Pull up your festive pants and enjoy!

Pants Holiday Playlist

  1. Deck the Pants
  2. Pants We Have Heard On High
  3. God Pants Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  4. Hark the Herald Angels’ Pants
  5. O Little Pants of Bethlehem
  6. I Heard The Pants On Christmas Day
  7. Jingle Pants
  8. The Little Drummer Pants
  9. O Pants, All Ye Faithful
  10. Silent Pants
  11. O Holy Pants
  12. The Twelve Pants Of Christmas
  13. Pants to the World
  14. Pants Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  15. Ding Dong Merrily on Pants

New Life Form Discovered in Eastern United States

Biologists the world over are expressing cautious excitement over reports of the discovery of a new species of animal life that was discovered last Friday.

Reports were received of a number of small furry creatures residing in the refrigerator of a Massachusetts family’s home. Animal control officers on the scene then reported the hitherto unidentified animals to the scientific community.

The Chenopodiaceae Beta Fuzzae, or Fuzzae Beet as it has been nicknamed, appears to thrive in the dark, chilly ecosystem of the vegetable drawer, and requires only as much light as is offered by the little lightbulb that goes on when the refrigerator door is opened. It resembles a common beet root in appearance, but with a coat of downy fur, and is believed to be part vegetable and part mammal. It was observed roaming among the piles of arugula and turnip greens, and exhibited signs of rudimentary intelligence. “One of them looked right at me, and I was sure it was going to start speaking,” said Bob Loobsteele of Animal Control, who was first to arrive on the scene.

A family of the Fuzzae Beets have been extracted from the rest of the colony their natural habitat, in order that their behavior may be studied under more controlled conditions.

The implications of this discovery are far-reaching. “With so many other species being threatened by climate change, it is heartening to find that new life is evolving,” says Dr. Frank Murgentroober, head of the Springfield University Department of Paranormal Vegetable Phenomena. “We think it’s only a matter of time before more life forms are found lingering in the depths of neglected vegetable drawers, or even emerging from pizza boxes left under the bed in college dorm rooms.”

Dr. Wilma P. Snodgrass of Large Urban University, however, is a dissenting voice among the excited scientific community. “We think this may well turn out to be a hoax, or the twisted delusions of someone who has far too many vegetables on their hands.”


This improbable report is brought to you hot off the presses of this week’s Monday Mission, which solicited posts in the style of a news article.

you just didn’t get it, dude

Yesterday’s Monday Mission, a project calling for posts in the form of a rejection letter, which I found to be a somewhat challenging mission. It’s not that I’m unfamiliar with rejection letters, mind you. It’s just that I couldn’t decide where to go with it. I explored multiple options. I posted the pirate one, but I also wrote another one. And not wanting to be wasteful, I’ll post it today.

Ms. Alejna, dude,

It’s a total bummer, but I gotta tell you. You didn’t get the job, man. It sucks, I know.

Your resume was, like, the awesomest. And you totally rocked the interview. We were all like, “woah, she knows her shit.”

But then there was this other dude. Or dudette, really, like yourself. And she rocked the interview even harder. Her quals weren’t as good, and for a while, we were all like, “can she even do the job?”

But then we went out for a beer, and we flipped a coin. And it was tails. Ouch, man.

It sucks to be you. And it sucks for me that I gotta be the one to tell you. Mr. Wilcox pulled a rock when I was sure he’d be all about paper, freakin’ paper pusher. And so I got stuck with it. Whatever.

Yeah, well, right. Ya know. It sucks, and all that. But if it makes you feel better, this place kinda blows sometimes.


William R. Bartholomew, III

Vice President, or Something Like That
Acme Stuff, Incorporated

unable to offer you a position at this time

Dear Mr. Rackham,

I regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you a position as nanny in our home at this time. While we truly appreciated your time and efforts in coming to the interview, we feel that there is not a good match between you and our family.

Both little Emma and Neil were greatly intrigued by your colorful anecdotes. When Neil admired your stylish eyepatch, it was very considerate of you to take it off to let him wear it. The empty eye socket greatly impressed both children. However, I’m sorry to report that both children have been visited by frequent nightmares since the interview.

In addition, their teachers have sent home notes expressing concern that both children have been using increased amounts of inappropriate language at school. Neil was reported to have asked the lunchlady, “what’s crawled out of th’ bung hole, me hearty wench?” while Emma allegedly made another first grader walk the plank during gym class. When queried about this, Neil simply responded “Arrrr!”, and Emma scowled and waved what appeared to be a cutlass at me in a menacing way. (If this item was a gift from you, I must stress that this is far too generousa gift for such a small girl.)

You clearly have some strong ideas about discipline, and Mr. Smith and I appreciated all of your advice. However, we feel that corporal punishment, especially using the cat-o’ nine tails, is somewhat too harsh to use with children under the age of 7. There is also the matter of personal hygiene. We had hoped that our nanny would work with us to foster a reverence for cleanliness and neatness. However, both children have been quite taken with your statement that “washin’ more than twice a year be fer lily-livered scalliwags.”

While we had only expected that you would stay for the 45 minute inteview that we find typical, it showed great initiative that you were intent on moving in with us at that time, and remarkable perserverance that you chose to camp out in our yard upon hearing that we were not yet ready to make a decision about the position. We must ask, though, that you please consider departing as soon as you can pack your trunk and retrieve your parrot.

We wish you success in your search for employment.

Mrs. Jane Smith

p.s. Enclosed please find the names and address of a family on the far side of town who may be in need of a nanny.


This post is offered up as part of this week’s Monday Mission, which asked for posts in the from of a rejection letter. It can also be considered a follow-up post to last week’s submission of a resume.

On the topic of rejection letters, though, you should really check out this one, which is the funniest rejection letter I’ve seen.