Hey reader. I’m Veronica, or There’s Always Money in the Beaunana Stand, one of the new interns at Beaufort, and I’m an Arrested Development addict. AD’s irreverent, awkward, and oftentimes completely insensitive and inappropriate humor is something that I find hilarious, both on television and in the real-world. Finding this particular nom de plume on the list of possible Beaufort puns in the office made me feel a lot more comfortable after I saw it on my first day. As you might expect from my pen-name and confessed interest in the wide world of comedy, I try to find the humor in life. I’ve been told that I laugh at anything, but that is not the case. I just happen to find normal, everyday things to be funnier than the average person might.
As an avid reader and over-all book enthusiast, I have found a general lack of humor in the books that I read. This could possibly be attributed to the fact that I generally read classics (since they are free on my Kindle: thank goodness for public domain books!). Also, I was a Literature major in college and, unfortunately, not many of my required readings were really all that funny. Unless you think Confessions of an Opium Eater is funny. But I didn’t. Due to the amount of depressing and dreary books I have read over the past four years, I have been trying to broaden my scope of potential books to include some more amusing content. I am still enjoying reading my classics (I am currently reading Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night), but I am breaking up these intense, serious reads with spurts of comedy. Or, at least, I’m trying to.
This past summer my brother gave me a book by John Hodgman, a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (but better known as the guy that played PC in the old Apple versus PC commercials with Justin Long), for my college graduation.
The book is entitled That is All, which my brother thought would be fitting considering I was ending my college career with no job prospects. Thanks brother. After letting the book sit on my desk all summer, mocking me, I finally decided that I would read it. I figured I needed some joy in my life, since I had just finished reading Lolita. If you have never read Lolita and are thinking about reading it, consider your mental state. If you are having a relatively nice time in your life and want to stay positive and upbeat, steer clear. If you are in a dark, dismal funk and want to travel further into the abyss, Lolita is the book for you.
But after crawling out of the abyss that I found myself in from Lolita, That is All was the perfect rebound. Hodgman wrote the book in 2012, when the Mayan apocalypse was impending. He wrote the book as a continuation to his first two books (which I have plans to read, if my brother can ever find them in his room). His first two books are titled The Areas of My Expertise and More Information Than You Require. These two books function as fictionalized historical and informational books from the mind of Mr. Hodgman. He fabricates historical events and portrays them as seemingly common-knowledge facts (more specifically common knowledge to those with money and influence, which he finds to be an extremely important gateway to the world). That is All acts as a kind of training manual or preparatory instruction for the impending apocalypse, and hilarity ensues.
I devoured this book. After reading Lolita, this was exactly the kind of book that I was craving. It has sections entitled “How to be a Deranged Millionaire” and “A List of Seven Hundred Ancient and Unspeakable Gods.” I found myself laughing out-loud when reading many sections of this book, which was a new thing for me and got to be a little embarrassing when I read the book at the gym (although not as embarrassing as reading Lolita in the gym). Sometimes, when I read something funny I will giggle quietly or smirk, but this book had me chortling and having to take breaks from reading because I was laughing too hard. After finishing the book, I wanted to read more books that made me feel good, unlike most of the depressing, disheartening books that I normally read. My literary goal at the moment, therefore, is to change up the genre of books I read and steer myself in a more humorous direction. We’ll see how that goes.
-There’s Always Money in the Beaunana Stand