A 20-something Missouri man with a penchant for swilling beer on his lounger experiences an epiphany that turns his life around in this fictionalized memoir.
Selraybob peaks when he plays left tackle for the Waketon champion high school football team. Years later, his wife, Joalene, reads him the riot act, walks out the door, and leaves him sitting in his lounger drinking three quarts of beer a day, reminiscing about those glory high school days. Does he indulge in self-pity as he watches her stride away? Of course not. Instead, Sel (as his friends call him) sees two clocks that differ in time by seven minutes, and this observation becomes the inspiration that drives him from his lounger to reclaim his broken life (“What I decided was this: all we’ve been doing when we tell time, since we started telling time, is counting things. That’s it. We’ve been counting”). That may not seem like much, but to Sel this reflection leads him to obsessively read up on time and to formulate his own intriguing theory, which comprises an Everyman’s argument against the ideas of Einstein and Stephen Hawking and all the sophisticated and complex concepts of modern physics. “Time is a Count,” Sel surmises. In this funny, wise, and poignant account, the author, also named Selraybob (There Is No Now, 2011), deftly describes the protagonist’s bracing journey and captivating cohorts. With the help of his best buddy, Herm, Sel fixes up his old, beloved, broken-down car (“She was still beautiful. Sleek and red. A Corvair. But not just any Corvair….This was a 1964 Monza Convertible. Rear engine. Long, straight lines. Not curvy but not boxy. Lean. And misunderstood. She was called dangerous back in the day”). He wants to hot-rod around town and keep an eye on Joalene; he thinks she is having an affair with Reggie, Herm’s brother, the star quarterback Sel protected back in his football days. As Sel embarks on rollicking escapades while skillfully unraveling the mystery of time, Herm’s beautiful wife gives him some much-needed backup. Written in a distinctive, plain style that calls to mind Mark Twain, this book should touch and entertain readers with its self-deprecating humor and deep perceptions that penetrate to the root of the Midwest American male character.
A piquant and fun romp that recounts the misadventures of a beer drinker who proves to be as insightful as he is amusing.