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: 78 Funny Short Original Stories

by Alex Carrick

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4392-5392-2

A series of random, lighthearted anecdotes from a professional economist and family man.

The book consists of 78 entries from Carrick’s personal blog, tackling everything from family life, to being Canadian, to general observations about the world’s eccentricities. Though the author definitely has writing chops and an easygoing, likable style, his subject matter may interest only a very limited northern audience. Chapters such as “The Curious Meanings of Some Canadian Place Names” and “Reasons to Want to be Governor of the Bank of Canada” will solely be humorous to a Canadian reader. A remark like, “Québec is Up, Ontario is Down and the Prairies are Flat” may be amusing to the author, but many will be left out of the joke. Some chapters are no more than retellings of mundane conversations with a schtick spin, as in “My Wife and I Argue Over a Plant.” Readers will be left feeling that “you had to be there” to get the humor. Other entries are simply dated–the chapter “Only One, the Governor of New York,” about Eliot Spitzer’s woes, might have been funny when it was originally published in March 2008 but it’s now a stale bit. When Carrick does attempt fiction, such as in “The Best Valentine’s Day Present Ever,” with its anagram punch line, or “Spartacus the Kite”–in which the author imagines himself in the titular role–his efforts fall flat. The book works better when he takes on more universal ideas, such as “Which Letter of the Alphabet is the Funniest?,” which only requires that the reader speak English and not be familiar with, say, the obscure habits of Canadian bachelors (see the chapter titled “Canadian Male Pick-up Lines.”) Certainly Northerners who know the author personally will thoroughly enjoy “Two Scoops” Is Just Right, but for the rest of us it’s not nearly enough.

A blog by any other name is still a blog.