the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Archive for the tag “comedy”

Book Review; I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern

i-suck-at-girlsJustin Halpern has had one of those meteoric rises to fame akin only to the legendary Phoenix’s rise from the ashes. After breaking up with his girlfriend he moved back into his parents and from there started the Twitter account ‘Shit My Dad Says’ which became an overnight sensation and lead to a book deal and a TV show…all because his dad (like mine seemingly) is a belligerent who says the most random shite you ever heard.

I hadn’t realised he had written the first book (titled on the Twitter account) but after reading this one I will definitely hunt it down soon – unfortunately Waimakariri’s District Council’s Libraries haven’t got it, so if anyone has a copy I can borrow?

This tale follows Justin’s life sometime after the makeup of before-mentioned ex-girlfriend when Justin tells his dad he is going to marry her…and doesn’t quite get the rapturous reception that such an announcement would, or should bring. Simply, his dad told him to ‘relive those moments through life in which girls were involved and then if you still feel the same, then go for it…’

Or something like that.

So as Justin takes us on a journey through his female interactions from aged 8 through his mid-20s, the lanes flip with alarming regularity and raucous laughter as this absolute dunce with the ladies struggles through impressing a girl (with drawings of dogs defecating on her head), to robbing homeless men of their porn, to gropes in the car, to attempting to lose his virginity, and all that normal American stuff in between; college, sports, working in burger joints and the such.

While his failure in love is central to the plot, the undoubted star of the show is his dad who steps into frame like jumper leads attached to the testicles, only harsher. How Justin never ended up a babbling psychotic with murderous tendencies is anyone’s guess, but one cannot help but love the bloke, and at times I understood that being like him and me is not such a bad thing after all…we might die lonely, but people will always understand why.

A top notch read for guys and gals alike, beware the cantankerous bastard behind you!

How I picture his (and to some extent mine) dad...

How I picture his (and to some extent mine) dad…

Book Review; The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes

mercy-closeIt’s not that I hunt them out, or they hide in my bedside drawer or anything, but for some reason I feel compelled, nay obliged, to read Keyes everytime she pumps out a new novel. I have never tried to hide the fact that I enjoy her books and have giggled like a girl, cried like a baby, and chastised like a nun through all but one of her books to date and have even had the honor of meeting her and getting her finely scrawled chciken scratch on “Sushi for Beginners” which now resides at an ex’s….wasted….dying…unloved.

So to “Mercy Close”; pretty much all that happens in Keyes’ books is something along the lines of dimwitted and naive hot chick falling for bad-for-you boy while dealing with angst, pain, rejection and humiliation while each day dawns interspersed with Irish humour and uncomfortable moments of sexuality. Good bloody premise if you ask me…

…so imagine my surprise when this book almost dismisses each and every plot line set before over the last 15 years!

Meet Helen Walsh, a seemingly excellent Private Dick who becomes a victim of yet another Irish crisis (really? It seems Ireland exists in a permanent state of crises) and as the economy stumbles she is shunted into the dark ages as her electricity, phone, TV and eventually her mortgaged flat fall to the debt-collector and she has to move in with mum and dad. No real problem, she still has her Van Damme/Schwarzeneggar-esque cop boyfriend giving her a length on call (despite the kids and ex-wife hanging round 24-7), but if sex paid the bills, I’d be living in a cardboard box.

So when an ex turns up offering her a job, after the usual debating she does so; find the fourth member of a has-been boy band, Laddz, who are due to play reunion gigs, the epitome of any self-respecting performer. It seems he has simply ‘disappeared’ during practices no less than a week before the first concert, which, at the time, had sold barely more than Bad News had in Bad News (some of you will not what I am referring to here).

"Hang on...I think I found him..."

“Hang on…I think I found him…”

What happens over the next 30-odd chapters becomes an insight into the soft and rotting underbelly of the fame industry, exposing sex scandal, back stabbing, drugs, and public perceptions blown away. But for me it was the introspective into depression that had me gripped. As a confessed sufferer the byline became the main plot for me as Helen battled hers (and my) demons when faced with the enclosing black that comes with it. Although it overstepped with Walsh’s attempted, and failed, suicides, the first recorded conversation between her and her doctor hit a real chord explaining my exact thoughts about death…

…enough of the dark and weary, this is a pretty bloody good book to read, and other than the tame (in my standards) blow job and root between Helen and Artie there ain’t too much to class this as a real chick-lit type book.

Book Review; The More You Ignore Me by Jo Brand

Jo Brand is sort of the literary Janis Joplin. Not the most stunning woman you could come across, but with a certain something, a special ‘thing’ that gives her a sexy edge. With Janis it is the voice, and other than Joss Stone, no other woman has the voice, and with Jo it is her dead pan humour, not like Jen Saunders or Dawn French which is a little more mainstream, but more like Tracy Ullman or Kathy Burke.

As I have always maintained, I find all women attractive, just some more attractive than others.

Anyway, I am being sidelined from telling you about this book. She has written a few books it seems and this one is the latest (about 2 years old by the time I got to it) and I loved it. Very much in her style of delivering a story live or doing her routine I couldn’t help but wonder if this was some sort of biography she has written it so well. I think it is very much aimed at the English sense of humour and could be ‘missed’ by American readers although you could not help but picture the Wildgoose brothers as two stereotyped rednecks from the US south.

While the story is really based around one character, a girl named Alice, as she grows up in small town Herefordshire (or something like that) it as much focuses on her mum, Gina, a woman who appears to have a devilish streak about her which actually turns out to be full-blown schizophrenia as she ages. Caught up in the middle is poor-suffering hubby and dad, Keith, a loveable guy who does his best to portray himself as a hippy.

Brilliantly written and more than a giggle and roar here and there it is also a sobering insight into the world of bi-polar disorders and the effect it has on those around them.

Other than the unlikey and all too convenient ending I would recommend this, but unfortunately the last chapter or two undid all the good work the previous 20-odd chapters did.

Book Review; Stand Up Strummer: a tale of sex, love and side-effects

By Dr Russ Harris

Imagine a person who is portrayed as a morph of Seinfeld and Woody Allen…and you have Dr Max Strummer.

Max is a youngish GP by day, stand-up comic by night…but a 24-hour paranoid. And his perception of how the world deals bad cards to him is apparent form the first chapter when he comes home to find his girlfriend of three years strewn out on the bed in the throes of orgasmic delight…being administered by another woman.

Now personally I couldn’t think of a more beautiful and natural scene to behold, but I’m not Max who goes into a tailspin in which his sexual ineptitude and inability to read a situation creates an emotional monster he can’t seem to escape from.

Then it seems things might be turning for the better; a hot, nubile, and bordering slutty/nympho new girlfriend, a break into TV, and of course he’s a bloody doctor…its a load of bullshit that money can’t buy you happiness, I’ve never met a miserable bloody doctor yet.

I won’t divulge too much more than I have already as I would think this snippet will no doubt get you rushing to the local Borders or library. It is a funny-as-hell book and well written.

I do have to knock it back though; it finishes a little predictably and rushed, and as I read all I could picture in my head was Jerry Seinfeld…which is probably not a bad thing as I like the guy.

Written by an Aussie it was interesting to read his bio and notes in that the story was changed to be set in the UK (understandable, no bigger bunch of neurotic whingers, and it is loosely based on his own experiences. Unfortunately he did not expand on his gold mine of lesbian trysts as such (much the shame) but we’ll let that one to the masses to decide.

Get it out, if for nothing else the erection incident is priceless!

Teenagers…who needs them?!?

Harry Enfield

Harry Enfield is one of the true comedy legends in my book…I was introduced to him by a mate of mine who swore by him and whenever his reruns show on TV, I’m there. He stills get out and about with his partner in crime, Paul Whitehouse.

He came to light in the eighties with a character he and Whitehouse had created called Loadsamoney (as well as Stavros the Greek), and in the nineties was given his own show which became Harry Enfield and Chums which starred his mate and Kathy Burke. He also starred in a new comedy of the time, Men Behaving Badly but left this show after one season.

During his first series he created a wide range of characters that have become part of the English psyche, amongst them The Scousers, the overly stupid rich twit, Tim Nice-But-Dim, his anti-heroes Wayne and Waynetta Slob, and the washed-up DJs, Smashie & Nicey.

But this clip will showcase Kevin, the angst-ridden teenager from hell…the clip shows the remarkably realistic transformation of the lad into a teenager. This character went on to have his own movie in Kevin & Perry Go Large (who can forget Perry’s crush on Kevin’s mum?).

PiS…titbit of info; Enfield used to go out with Lily Allens’ mum, living with her and looking after the kids. Maybe this is where Lily’s quirky lyrics have their origins from?

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