A collection of the author’s humorous newspaper columns.
Buhl’s debut offers a glimpse into some of the humorous aspects of the author’s life via a series of short essays. A muckle, as the author explains, is a “muffled chuckle,” and readers will likely utter a few along the way. The book proceeds in more or less chronological order, beginning with the author’s first labor dispute involving the chores his parents expected him and his brother to do at their family’s motel. Accounts of his teen years and young adulthood follow, including camping disasters and hitchhiking adventures. Buhl recounts his working life, the joys of marriage, and pastimes both old and new. Whether he’s describing his first cruise or his first colonoscopy, Buhl spares no detail and can find humor in even the most mundane of events. His experience with a grocery store’s self-checkout lane will resonate with anyone who’s been bested by a machine. Campers, both those who prefer to rough it and those who, like the author’s wife and daughters, appreciate their creature comforts, will enjoy the numerous tales about not always loving the great outdoors. The occasional awkward phrase (“We proudly marched on toward our goal of which we had absolutely no clue of what it was”) and some repetition—the phrase “less than stellar” is a favorite—pull the reader out of the anecdotes, but the folksy style gives this the feel of an old friend telling some favorite tales. The humor is generally subtle, with here and there a line or description that will inspire some laughter, such as Buhl’s revelation about what he presumed was his father’s nickname: “Bull chip, I found out later, was really not my dad’s nickname after all, but rather what I thought I heard the other guys say whenever dad finished one of his stories.”
A lighthearted compilation that will especially appeal to those who, like Buhl, are members of the baby boomer generation.