Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Snitch, Houdini and Me

One of my first purchases for my new Kindle was "The Snitch, Houdini and Me" by Johnny Virgil. The book is a compilation of stories from Johnny's childhood. The subtitle of the book really says it all, Humorous Tales of Death-defying Childhood Misadventure. Each story will make you both laugh out loud, as well as reminisce about your own childhood memories. If you grew up during the 70's, you'll so relate. You'll enjoy reading stories about everything from Christmas tree shopping, to booby trap making, to money-making schemes involving a spitball cannon-making business, to Easter stories about helping his parents preserve his younger brother's belief in the Easter bunny.
"On the night before Easter, we'd always leave a carrot and a bowl of water out for the Easter bunny. I don't know why we left a bowl, since I'm sure a human-sized, vest wearing bunny who walked upright could have handled a drinking glass without much trouble, but that's what we did."

One of my favorite chapters was "The Artist Formerly Known As." It featured some of Johnny's childhood artwork, which had been saved in a scrapbook by his mom, with Johnny's adult commentary on each.
"As you can see from his grin, The Snitch was an extremely happy kid, even though he had clover hands and zero genitalia."

When I finished the book, I actually went back and re-read some of my favorite chapters. I wasn't surprised the book was good, I would've been surprised if it wasn't, because being funny is nothing new to Johnny Virgil.

I've been an avid reader, though not an official follower, of Johnny's equally hilarious blog entitled 15 Minute Lunch, since finding it in early 2010. He's got the kind of great sense of humor and writing skill where anything and everything he writes about is funny. One of my earliest favorites was Johnny's recap of his vacation in Mexico. Holy moly! I read one part of the multi-part recap at work (during lunch, of course), and I nearly tinkled my pants, especially at his description of the jungle birds responsible for his early morning wake-up calls.

A recent post to make me chuckle was this simple flow chart which Johnny created for a nearby cube mate which is a 'loud talker.'

I thought of printing it, not to give it to anyone, but post it by my own phone at work. Yes, sad but true, I am one of those 'loud talkers'. When asked to use my inside voice, my response would have to be, this is my inside voice. When excited about something, positive or negative, my voice has a tendency to go up a notch. I try to do better, but it's an unconscious thing. One of the many flaws which my friends at work love me in spite of.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand, whether you have a Kindle or not, buy the book. You'll definitely enjoy it. If times are tough and cash is low, then do yourself a favor and at least check out Johnny's blog. A few laughs always does a body good.