Self Help Hell
After losing my left arse cheek's worth of weight in nervous flop sweat when preparing for an hour long presentation on my book earlier this year, I've gone and done something much more stupid - agreed to run a THREE HOUR workshop this Saturday morning.
Be that as it may - ego beating reality yet again - I've decided to share with you some self-help books that have either amused or puzzled me but most importantly given me a quick-and-dirty way to mock and cover up my own feelings of anxiety and ill-preparedness with contempt and piss-takingicity:
I remember my very best friend, Samantha Philips, in year five had 'ABBA in the Moog' in her Dad's record collection. It had me fooled - I thought it was Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Frida's lost album from 1978 until I heard it and realised that there was no singing on it; just slightly odder and funkier elevator musak versions of their existing songs.
How Moog translates to cookery might be like a quirky 'take' on an existing classic, early 1970s's techno style. I'm thinking tuna mornay in ramekins, cubes of cheese and tiny pickled onions on toothpicks 'sputnik' style, fruit salad that comes out of tins and kids (or drunk adults) running around with cheezels on every finger. With an added 'tish boomba ba tish boomba ba' beat to every instruction.
Sorry Winnie Cooper, but it does.
Kevin Arnold may have loved you, yearned for you and spoken to us, his faithful viewers, of you for years but even you can't convince me, that math doesn't in fact suck.
It does. It sucks harder than Mick Jagger's lips on a just-ripened lemon still hanging from a tree in the next neighbourhood. It sucks harder than an airline toilet hosting an obese traveller suffering Bali belly and still wedged on the seat during touchdown and even harder than a seven year old trying a McDonald's thickshake for the first time and wondering why they can now feel their earlobes in the back of their throat.
I'm sure I'm not alone in this; but many's the time I've managed to wrestle me a wild elk in Trinity Gardens and then thought, "Bugger, how am I going to cook this thing?"
I'm hoping the authors are married and NOT siblings and heaven help the party guest who idly looks up from their culled koala canape and calls into the kitchen, "Can I do anything to help...?"
"Why that'd be just dandy, thanks. We'd love you to lend us a good hip-n-shoulder with this moose here. Dang thing can't fit in the oven with those confarned antlers on."
Ah yes. The Colon Health Handbook. This was a rollercoaster ride from beginning to end. I laughed, I cried, I passed a motion, actually. Top prizes for 'grabbing the reader by their wallet' cover art, too.
Bless. This was written many many years ago - several hundred years, if Hollywood years are anything like dog years - and in it Britney and her mom Lynne share all their secrets to being normal, well-adjusted, intelligent and educumuhcated role models for other teenage girls to aspire to.
You know, stuff like how Cheetos belong in the fourth food group and frappu, er frappey, um, frappuhcheenos are great for helping you dance and sing real good.
And who can pass up a book about offal cookery? 'Beyond Nose to Tail' is a book that provides you with ways to cook every single little bit of the pig.
Mmmm hmmm! Even the cover picture looks so appetising - who doesn't want to see roasted pig's arse being presented in the middle of the table after eating a minced snout dip served in deep fried crispy porky ears?
Maybe, just maybe though, books can be translated or interpreted in ways that are more meaningful and more fun that the original intention. Let's hope so or Love Chunks and Sapphire will be eating Stewed Squirrel Scrotum for dinner again tomorrow accompanied by the sweet sounds of 'Madness in the Moog'.