Another wide-ranging collection of funny essays about parenting—and "grammar, sex, camels, women, brain surgery, sex with women, how to become a professional author, airlines, Justin Bieber and death"—by best-selling humorist Barry (Insane City, 2013, etc.).
The author has made a career of chronicling his life (and those of his now-adult son and teenage daughter) in his syndicated newspaper column and several essay collections. The format is as familiar as an episode of a police procedural: Barry offers ludicrous yet authoritatively delivered advice and glumly acknowledges that following it might get you arrested. Although parenting is well-worn fodder for comedians, only Barry would coolly share his idea to install traps around his home to capture any teenage boys who would dare watch TV from the same sofa as his daughter and release the boys ("nothing more than short men") into the Everglades. The author provides useful information for parents of tweens and teens—e.g., "BFF stands for 'Best Friends Forever.' This is a term that girls my daughter's age use to describe essentially everyone they know"—as well as not-so-helpful advice on how to perform emergency first aid: "Keep the victim calm by administering several brisk facial slaps and shouting, ‘CALM DOWN, DAMMIT! DO YOU WANT TO DIE??’…When the ambulance arrives, ask the paramedics if you can operate the siren." The book is also part travelogue and part writing guide, as well as the author's detailed, pre-planned funeral program ("IX. Lucky Seat Announcement: The Audience will be instructed to look under their seats. Under one of them will be a small container of my ashes, which the audience member can take home").
A mishmash, but even those who don't have children and have never lived in Miami or searched for a Wi-Fi connection in the Israeli desert will appreciate Barry's lighthearted absurdity.