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and Other Mostly Happy Stories

by Carl Reiner

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-06-019451-0

Reiner (Continue Laughing, 1995) continues cheerful in this collection of two dozen stories, most of them fictional although the title tale and some others seemingly are taken from life. In the title story, Corporal Reiner is attending a noncom’s school in the South, where his Army barracks is being integrated and Reiner is taken to task by a brutal, black-baiting tech sergeant whom he outwits by letting him win every point of disagreement. In “G.G. Giggler,” a wealthy young man is engaged to Miss Georgia, on her way to the Miss America contest. His jealous sister tries endlessly to undermine the ever-giggling Miss Georgia, but her attempt to make her the laughingstock of a fancy dinner backfires on the prissy perpetrator when Miss Georgia’s various very real gifts and attainments become evident. In “Hampa Han,” a lad wins the favor of his multimillionaire grandfather and a ten-million inheritance by being frank about what a boring after-dinner speaker granddad is. In “Lance and Gwendolyn,” two knockoffs of Lancelot and Guinevere meet in an elevator and find themselves mutually attracted, although the woman’s upcoming marriage stands in their way. Several pieces hinge on our being told how full of wild laughter some of the characters are. They must be looking at reruns of Reiner’s glorious straight man to Sid Caesar on the old Your Show of Shows, since nothing here invites even the barest smile.