I vaguely remember reading Simon Rich's first book, Ant Farm, and not really understanding much of it. (I think I got it because it had a Jon Stewart blurb on the back? I'm so slutty* when it comes to Jon Stewart.)
So why I got his new book, Free-Range Chickens, I'm not sure. But I'm so, so glad I did. It's only a half-hour read, and I'm not sure it's worth its $17 cover price, but there's no doubt that some of it is very, very funny.
It opens with a nice little essay in which a young Simon Rich tries to wrap his mind around the concept of the tooth fairy (a weirdo being who wants children's teeth and sneaks into their houses to get them) and moves directly into the very hilarious "A conversation between the people who hid in my closet every night when I was seven.)
But, hands down, my favorite was "How My Mother Imagined the Police":
"FIRST OFFICER: I just got a call from a local mother. Apparently her child was supposed to be home by six--and he still hasn't arrived.
SECOND OFFICER: Jesus Christ. It's almost seven. Are you sure she told him to be home by six?
FIRST OFFICER: Yes, that's his weekday curfew: six p.m. If he stays out past that hour, he's supposed to call and tell her where he is.
SECOND OFFICER: And you're telling me he still hasn't called?
FIRST OFFICER: I know...it's a pretty scary situation.
SECOND OFFICER: We better get the chief." (p. 26.)
Tee hee. That is quality stuff. Although I see in the back that Simon Rich (in addition to looking about 11 years old) writes for Saturday Night Live. Which leaves me with just the one question: Why isn't Saturday Night Live funny?
*Reading slutty, that is, in that I'll get any book he blurbs or that is written by any author who appears on his show. Oh, who am I kidding? I'd love the chance to be slutty slutty** where Jon Stewart is concerned; I love him. Although, and here's your question for the day: who do you love more, Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert? I think I might actually tip Colbert...
**This morning my mom told me about she and dad's visit to a comedy club over the weekend, where the comedian was funny but, you know "a little crude." Ever since she told me that I've found myself being way cruder than usual.