Mountain Man Dance Moves: The McSweeney's Book of Lists

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Overview

If a mountain man felt compelled to dance, how would he do it? If koala bears could talk, what would they say? And what’s the right pickup line, if you’re a necrophiliac? (Maybe “I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get you pregnant.”)
 
In the throes of debates like these, we’re lucky to have the learned people of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, America's best low-budget humor website, and their edifying work. From their best-looking writers ...

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Mountain Man Dance Moves: The McSweeney's Book of Lists

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Overview

If a mountain man felt compelled to dance, how would he do it? If koala bears could talk, what would they say? And what’s the right pickup line, if you’re a necrophiliac? (Maybe “I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get you pregnant.”)
 
In the throes of debates like these, we’re lucky to have the learned people of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, America's best low-budget humor website, and their edifying work. From their best-looking writers comes this collection of over three hundred lists, including...

“Signs Your Unicorn Is Cheating on You.”

"Errors in Communication Between My Hairdresser and Me, in the Form of What I Said and What He Heard"

"Things This City Was Built On, Besides Rock 'n' Roll"

"Things This One Girl Sitting Near Me in a Movie Theater Said Out Loud When One of the Characters Was Shown Pulling Into a Gas Station"

"Future Winners of the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest"

"Adjectives Rarely Used by Wine Tasters"

"The Collected Apologies of Lawrence H. Summers, President of Harvard"

"Exactly What I Mean When I Say My Ex-Girlfriend Kristin and I 'Wanted Different Things from Life’"

And much, much more...

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Adult/High School-This collection of lists takes on advertisements, unicorns, grocery items, German tourism advice, and much more in a witty and irreverent satire on our obsession with popular culture. The many lists include "Rides Found at a Psychiatry-themed Amusement Park" (guilt-a-whirl), "Signs Your Unicorn Is Cheating on You," and "Anecdotal Leads for News Stories Reporting the End of the World." Droll, ironic, and often laugh-out-loud funny, McSweeney's offers a hilarious odyssey-by-lists through books, movies, TV, politics, celebrities, and other aspects of modern life. Teens will appreciate the wide-ranging social satire and find the lists entertaining and often quotable.-Susanne Bardelson, Kitsap Regional Library, WA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307277206
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/12/2006
  • Series: Vintage Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 540,061
  • Product dimensions: 5.17 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

McSweeney's is a small group that sells taxidermy equipment and also produces books, a literary quarterly, and The Believer, a monthly review. Based in San Francisco, McSweeney's is also home to 826 Valencia, a nonprofit educational center for Bay Area youth.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

[Note: Lists are best read first column first, then second column. When a list does not end at the bottom of a page, it will continue on the next page]

THINGS KOALA BEARS WOULD SAY

by Timothy Weinmann

Yay!

Love me!

Climbing trees is fun!

Let’s volunteer at a soup kitchen this Christmas.

My tongue is funny!

Eating leaves is fun!

Will you help me think of something nice we can do for Grandma?

Look, a pouch!

Let’s prevent a forest fire!

No, you’re the cutest ever.

Camus is boring. I find Karl Jaspers’s philosophy much more enlightening.

Wheeee!

Let’s make cider!

I bet I’ll live forever!

FORMER JOBS HELD BY THE GUY YOU ONCE SAW WEARING THAT “PUSSY PATROL” T-SHIRT

by Mike Sacks

Vagina cop

Titty detective

Part-time perineum security guard

Anus temp

Nipple bureaucrat

Executive vice president of technology and worldwide operations for Merrill Lynch

EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN WHEN I SAY MY EX-GIRLFRIEND KRISTIN AND I “WANTED DIFFERENT THINGS FROM LIFE”

by Dan Kennedy

Something I didn’t want from life was for us to stay together after she slept with another man in exchange for cocaine.

Something she wanted from life was for us to stay together after she slept with another man in exchange for cocaine.

7 HABITS OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

by Brendon Lloyd

1.Skiing

2.Yachting

3.Snorkeling

4.Golf

5.Polo

6.Dinner parties

7.Shopping

TOURISM SLOGANS THAT FAILED TO SEAL THE DEAL

by Michelle Orange

Kyrgyzstan: Kazakhstan’s Mexico

Germany: Let It Go

Venezuela: We Dare You

Cambodia: Nike’s Best Kept Secret

It’s Worse in Western

Samoa

Canada: Turn Left at Greenland

Syria: Come for the Ruins, Stay Because We Confiscated Your Passport

ANECDOTAL LEADS FOR NEWS STORIES REPORTING THE END OF THE WORLD

by Hart Seely

Nine-year-old Joshua Harding didn’t plan to miss classes Tuesday at West Monroe Elementary School. Nobody did.

But dismissed were his classes—for good.

After carefully parking his red Toyota Matrix in the lot outside Dick’s Sporting Goods, John P. Boyce strode briskly into the West Burlington store.

He was looking for rain gear on a day when rain gear would not be enough.

“The prices are outrageous,” said Boyce, fifty-eight, of West Street, as he sifted through brightly colored slickers and tall rubber boots. “Then again, I guess you could say it’s a seller’s market.”

An hour later, it was a nobody’s market.

Tamika Carter had dieted all spring to lose twenty-eight pounds in time for the Independence Day weekend. She skipped lunches and jogged each night after returning home from her job at the Pancake Circus.

“I always try to lose weight before summer,” the twenty-seven-year- old Sacramento waitress said. “You want to look good on the beach.”

But this summer, looking good on the beach would turn out to be far less important than Carter could have imagined.

Mo Bushnell was not happy.

Not happy at all.

With a wheezing gust from his eighty-four-year-old lungs, the opinionated former Ashtabula steelworker had managed to blow out all the candles on his large chocolate layer cake. But it was abundantly clear that Bushnell’s birthday wish would not be coming true.

Not this year.

Not ever.

Though the sign outside Desi’s Show Lounge shouted closed for good, Andrew Kramer kept pounding on the front door, as if trying to rouse what spirits of romance might still reside within the abandoned South Side disco.

As his knuckles rapped against the empty building, Kramer found himself humming the classic disco oldie “Last Dance” by Donna Summer.

“Last dance,” he sang.

“It’s the last chance. For

lo-ove.”

It was the musical sentiment that echoed across Sarasota Tuesday.

Claude D. LaMont grinned as he stepped from the yellow taxi, then turned to hand the driver a crisp $50 bill.

LaMont was returning from the Oneida Indian Casino, where he had just lost every last penny in his bank account. Not only that, he had gambled away his house, his car, and all his earthly possessions.

“Who the heck cares?”

LaMont said, flicking his cigarette butt to the curb. “In a matter of hours, we’re all dead.”

And he was right.

With a broad smile emerging from his salt-and-pepper beard, gas station attendant Earl Talbot hailed the little man in the shiny red Porsche that had pulled up to pump no. 3 and demanded,

“Fill ’er up!”

Without skipping a beat, Talbot unveiled the sawed-off shotgun he kept behind his back and blasted four bullets into the unidentified driver’s skull. Then, with a tortured howl directed at the sky, Talbot placed the muzzle of the gun in his wide mouth and pulled the trigger.

For the Exit 41 Kwik Fill, the final exit had come.

GOOD LAST LINE TO A SYNDICATED PRISON HUMOR COLUMN

by Mike Sacks

“Anyway, I guess that’s why they call it prison.”

REJECTED BOND GIRLS

by Rebecca Waits

Chlamydia Johnson

Pussy Notsomuch

Gloria Abortion

Incestua

Plenty O’Hep

Jenny Arthritis

S’phyllis

Star Jones

SIGNS YOUR UNICORN IS CHEATING ON YOU

by Christopher Monks

Seems emotionally distant and uninterested

Wears fancier tail ribbons

Starts working out at the gym

Quickly closes its laptop when you walk into its enchanted den

Credit card bill full of charges to area elf lodges

The “three C’s”: confrontation, criticism, and complaints

Every time you say the word “magic” it sighs forlornly

Is making a movie with Angelina Jolie

BARTLETT’S FAMILIAR QUOTATIONS

by Martin Bell

“Hi there. John Bartlett.”

—John Bartlett

“Reservation should be under ‘Bartlett.’ That’s two T’s. Yes. ‘Bart- let-et.’ ”

—John Bartlett

“Yep, that was me. I’m that Bartlett.”—John Bartlett

“Yes, I’d like another one.”

—John Bartlett

“. . . and I said, ‘Yeah, and you can “quote” me on it!’ Ha, ha!”— John Bartlett

“Ah, yes, where’s your restroom?”—John Bartlett

“Hey there, my little . . . my little cowgirl. I’m Jack Bartlett. Want credit for a quotation? I don’t think anyone’s laid claim to your phone number yet. Nice. Just . . . just one second, let me get a pen.”—John Bartlett

“That’s not funny. It’s not funny. Don’t ask me what, you know what. The little quote fingers. All the goddamn time. Everything I say. Just . . . just stop. Okay?”—John Bartlett

“No, how about you please leave the premises? Huh? How about you don’t make a scene? How about . . . how about that? Well, fine. Fucking . . . fine. Don’t touch me! Don’t you dare touch me! Fuck you, you fucking piece of . . . of fuck. How’s that for a bloody quotation?”—John Bartlett

“Oh, nice one, honey. Yes. Clever. That’s becoming quite a familiar quotation in its own right, isn’t it? Maybe I should just add it to the next edition. ‘Mother was right.’ Author: Mrs. Bartlett, world- renowned nag. Year: 1859. Attribution: A short play entitled Every Goddamn Weekend.”—John Bartlett

“Right. Well, you call him and talk about it. Hey, and when you bring it up, ask him about the ‘Bartlett’s’ on the cover. Singular possessive, mind you. Note where the apostrophe is. Ask him if he thinks you’re entitled to half the royalties. Just ask him. I have my hunch, but I’m sure his legal opinion counts for a lot more. Go on, call Stanley. If you need me, I’ll be in bed.”—John Bartlett

PUNCH LINES THAT WOULD ONLY SEEM FUNNY TO YOU AND THE GUY YOU JUST SPENT THE LAST TEN YEARS WITH IN A PIT

by Mike Sacks

“When the buzzard came down and ate that dead rat’s eye.”

“The month we couldn’t move because we were so weak with hunger.”

“The insects.”

“The sun that time.”

“When the kid peeked over the lip of the hole and then ran off and never came back, he almost slipped and fell in also. The look in his eyes, oh man!”

“Hallucinating for the entirety of 1999 that we were characters in a classic Beach Boys song.”

“Let’s get serious now. The past ten years have been a hell of a ride, bro. Good times.”

THINGS THIS CITY WAS BUILT ON BESIDES ROCK ’N’ ROLL

by Eric March

Navajo burial ground

Twelve billion tons of reinforced concrete and steel

Government-protected wetlands

Drunken dare

Waterlogged corpses of Irish immigrants

Previous bizarro underground version of this city

OTHER PLACES JIMMY BUFFETT WASTED AWAY

by Chris Steck

Slipperynippleberg

Jelloshootersdale

Bloodymarysfield

Jägermeisterplatz

Frozendaiquiriland

Cubalibretown

Boilermakerstad

NAMES THAT COULD POSSIBLY PASS FOR CRIES OF PASSION IF ACCIDENTALLY YELLED DURING SEX WITH ANYONE NOT SO NAMED

by Emily Lloyd

Aaliyah

Maura

Ewan

Osgood

Deepak

Uma

Ja Rule

Moe

NAMES GAS-STATION ATTENDANTS CALL ME THAT LEAVE ME FEELING OVERWHELMED

by Rob Eccles

Chief

Boss

GUIDE TO DETERMINE IF YOU ARE IN A JERRY BRUCKHEIMER MOVIE

by Peter W. Suderman

Your girlfriend is a waitress, but could be a model.

A bus explodes.

A psychopathic millionaire devises an elaborate plan to murder you or someone you know . . .

. . . and you feel compelled to stop it.

You are Nicolas Cage.

Despite a total lack of training, you are able to shoot and fight with the accuracy and ability of a Special Forces soldier.

You are a cop or scientist, but could be a model.

A building explodes.

You are in a shoot-out on the streets of a major city . . . . . . and it involves helicopters and rocket launchers.

Everyone around you is a model.

Teams of well-trained henchmen are shooting at you, but they all miss.

You are engaged in a knock-down, drag-out brawl with the leader of a major crime organization . . .

. . . in slow motion.

Everything that has not yet exploded explodes.

NOW PLAYING AT THE ZOMBIETOWN 12-SCREEN CINEPLEX

by John Moe

Breakfast of Tiffanys

My Dinner of Andre

Better Off Dead

A Beautiful Mind

Throw Momma from Her Brain

Footloose

Alive (two screens)

Ocean’s 11 with the Tops of Their Skulls Removed

ADJECTIVES RARELY USED BY WINE TASTERS

by Adam Koford

Chunky

Supercharged

Pondy

Wine-a-licious

Alcoholy

CURRENT FOOTBALL PLAYERS IF THEY DECIDED TO SPELL THEIR LAST NAME LIKE BRETT FAVRE

by Jason DeLorenzo

Drew Bledose

Ben Reothlibsegrer

Vinny Testavedre

Jerry Rcie

Chris Fuamtau-Ma’alfaa

Michael Vcik

Jamal Leiws

Willis MaGaehe

Laveranues Coels

Brett Farve

CINEMATIC EXPRESSIONS OF INNER SELF-LOATHING IF THERE WERE NO MIRRORS TO SMASH

by Ross Murray

Junkie jazz singer sees self in back of spoon; uses telekinetic powers to bend it until it snaps in two.

Actress who clawed her way to the top catches reflection in pond; uses nearby backhoe to drain pond.

Woman who married for wealth rather than love looks at photo on driver’s license; goes to DMV to ask for new photo.

Politician who has forsaken his grassroots values discovers potato in shape of own head; mashes it.

Burned-out rock star looks down at himself during out-of-body experience; refuses to go back in body “until we start seeing some changes around here, mister.”

Aging supermodel has plaster cast made of face; backs over it in SUV.

Alcoholic author looks at reflection in a tumbler of Scotch; drinks Scotch; pours another to see if he looks any better in this one.

TWO BUGS ON DISPLAY AT THE MONTREAL INSECTARIUM, THE FIRST OF WHICH I THOUGHT VERY IMPRESSIVE UNTIL I SAW THE SECOND

by Dan Guterman

Centipede

Millipede

ALTERNATIVES TO “OPENING A CAN O’ WHUPASS” FOR THE LESS CONFRONTATIONALLY INCLINED

by Ian Carey

Unsnapping a Purse o’ Politeness

Decanting a Carafe o’ Contrition

Unzipping a Fanny Pack o’ Friendliness

Sipping a Demitasse o’ Diplomacy

Refrigerating the Tupperware o’ Temperance

Unscrewing a Thermos o’ Thoughtfulness

Gently Folding a Napkin o’ Negotiation

Checking the Date on a Carton o’ Caution

Serving an Aperitif o’ Avoidance

Lightly Greasing a Ramekin o’ Retreat

Applying a Beechwood Veneer to a Hutch o’ Hiding

Cleaning out a Drawer o’ Disappearance

PROPOSED NICKNAMES FOR THE TODAY SHOW’S MATT LAUER

by Dan Kennedy

Mr. Smuggy Pants

Smugly Grinning, Esq.

Smug-o

Rich Smugly, President, Above It All, Inc.

YOUR RECURRING DREAMS ABOUT UNICORNS EXPLAINED,1970S BASEBALL EDITION

by Carlton Doby

You have an unresolved financial conflict with former Red Sox pitcher Dick Pole.

You are worried your father will die and your mother will marry former Royals first baseman Pete LaCock.

You are concerned that former Rangers pitcher John Henry Johnson will lose all his teeth.

You are jealous of your father and sister for monopolizing the affections of former Tigers pitcher Woodie Fryman.

You are envious of former Astros third baseman Enos Cabell, although why exactly is unclear.

POPULAR SONGS RENAMED ALONG THE LINES OF THE CATTLEMEN’S BEEF BOARD AD CAMPAIGN “BEEF, IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER”

by Geoff Smith

“Me, It’s What’s for Leaning On”

“Wu-Tang Clan, It’s What Ain’t Nothing Ta Fuck Wit’”

“Back, It’s What Baby Got”

“The House, It’s What’s Burning Down”

“Alles, It’s What California’s Über”

“The Street, It’s What’s for Dancing In”

“Penis, It’s What’s Detachable”

“Dead, It’s What Ed Is”

“The Dust, It’s What Another One Bites”

“The Bong, It’s What Hits Are From”

“U, It’s What I Would Die 4”

“London, It’s What’s Calling”

“Brooklyn, It’s What There’s No Sleep Till”

“The Volume, It’s What’s Pumped Up”

“Bigger, It’s What Some Girls Are Than Others”

EXCERPTS FROM AN ACTUAL 1970 VIETNAM-ERA NAVY-RECRUITMENT FILM TARGETING BLACK AMERICANS, NARRATED BY LOU RAWLS

by Angelo Young

“Of course, everybody has to go through boot camp . . .

you get checked in and you get threaded out.”

“Of course, you have to get the ol’ bod in shape, you know what I mean? And you learn to swim—yeah, swim, man, you dig?”

“And, don’t forget, you’re getting paid all the time, you understand?”

“You don’t have to go alone. The navy has what they call the buddy system. Where you and a friend from home can join the navy together. And that’s a gas.”

MY FANTASY SPORTS ROSTERS

by John Moe

Football

QB: Steve McNair

RB: LaDainian Tomlinson

RB: Franco Harris

WR: Legolas

WR: Icarus

WR: Marvin Harrison

TE: Jaclyn Smith with a huge plate of bacon

DEF: Soviet Union, circa 1944

K: Pelé

Basketball

G: Dwyane Wade

G: Aldo Nova

F: A pony

F: Christian Laettner (Duke version only)

C: A 23-foot-compendium of Shawn Bradley, Manute Bol, and Gheorge Muresan

Baseball

1B: Todd Helton

2B: That girl in college who, when I looked back on it, might have been kind of into me

SS: Omar Vizquel

3B: A constantly regenerating pizza

OF: Ichiro Suzuki

OF: God

OF: Kid Rock

C: Thurman Munson living to a ripe old age

LHP: World peace

RHP: I become the lead singer of Led Zeppelin

QUESTIONS FROM THE FBI EMPLOYMENT APPLICATION MEANT TO FILTER OUT UNICORNS DISGUISED AS PEOPLE

by Wendy Molyneux

Would you describe yourself as unicorny?

I have:

A. One horn in the middle of my head.

B. No horns.

True or false: I am a unicorn.

LAST NAMES CLEARLY DERIVED FROM ANCESTRAL PROFESSIONS

by Sam Means

Carpenter

Smith

Tanner

Garbagemann

Baker

Secretaryvich

Hooper

Miller

Barber

Editorson

Dentisté

Mason

Taylor

Whoreberg

WHAT TO THINK ABOUT WHEN TWO ADULTS COME AND COMPLAIN TO YOU ABOUT HOW THEY CANNOT GET ALONG WITH EACH OTHER AT WORK

by Dave Best

Being in a spaceship

and no gravity

and coffee

and monkeys

and shit like that.

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