I've always had a little thing for Denis Leary. I don't know why. I just think he's funny. On his comedy disc No Cure for Cancer he does a bit about NyQuil and how its warning label says "may cause drowsiness" when it should say "Don't make any fucking plans." Even the label means business, to Leary: "Big N, little y, big fucking Q." Whenever I need a giggle I think, "Big N, little y, big fucking Q" and it never fails.
So of course I had to look at his latest book, Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid. By and large it's a forgettable book, with chapters (and by chapters, I mean collections of rambling thoughts on the chapter subjects) about Anna Nicole Smith, Britney Spears, why cats suck, and self-esteem (as well as a variety of subjects meant to shock, including things like "testicle-colored towels" and "this is your brain on semen," which is really just an extended rant on how men and women differ.)
So yeah, a good half-hour perusal is enough to get all the laughs this book is going to get. You know what else a half-hour is long enough for? To completely burn supper. I had something in the oven while I read this book, and partway through it, the oven timer went off, but supper wasn't quite done. So I made the biggest kitchen mistake ever: "I'll just leave it in a few more minutes, without resetting the timer." A chapter and fifteen minutes later, mmm, burnt supper. Primarily because I was amused by the transcript of a phone conversation between Denis and his mom:
How are you?
Good. Listen, Ma--
Sheila Turbody has bad cancer of the face--it spread all down her neck and into her throat and into her brain.
The doctors say she should never have been spending all that time out in the sun without a hat or sunscreen or anything at all plus she was smoking and--
Ma--who is Sheila Turbody?
You know who Sheila Turbody is. She lived around the corner all her kids got straight A's? Remember?
Oh. Those kids--yeah. Nobody liked them.
Listen, Brian--you had better stop that smoking and wear some suncreen and--
It's Denis, Ma.
Don't change the subject." (p. 116.)
I was completely amused by the Sheila Turbody non sequitur--do all Moms do that on the phone, or just mine and Denis's? I also love that she eventually ends the conversation by asking if Denis went to mass that week, and whether or not he knew it was Ash Wednesday, and he responds, "Really? I just thought people suddenly decided to start putting cigarettes out on their foreheads." On that note: Happy Mardi Gras!
But the book itself? For hardcore Denis Leary fans only. Just remember to set your oven timer while you read it.