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Deer-hoof bottle openers. Grizzly bear toilet paper holders. A copy of Sports Illustrated from 1983 with Hulk Hogan on the cover. You never know what you might find lurking at your parents’ house.
Standup comic and blogger Joel Dovev has made it his personal quest to compile a catalog of the useless, tacky, and utterly bizarre items that moms and dads not only acquire in the first place, but refuse to throw out, all for reasons unbeknownst to their kids. If you’ve ever helped with cleaning and organizing efforts—or just opened up a junk drawer or a box in the basement during a visit home—you’re sure to recognize the feeling of stumbling across treasures such as these and asking yourself, “Why?”
Packed with photos and humorous observations, Crap at My Parents’ House is a very special journey sure to provoke a mixture of tender nostalgia . . . and head-shaking bafflement.
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|Publisher:||ABRAMS, Inc. (Ignition)|
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Milk, Milk, Lemonade, 'Round the Corner, Genius Is Made
It all started when I was visiting my mother's house in suburban Massachusetts for my youngest brother's high school graduation. She asked me to go down to the basement and collect some frozen meat from the refrigerator. Since I'm a lifetime, card-carrying member of the "I'm a scaredy-cat of the cellar" club, it was a task I was less than enthusiastic to perform. Nonetheless, fetching leftover bags of chicken from an oh-so-long-ago Rosh Hashanah is one of my sacred duties as a good Jewish son, so I did it. When I opened the freezer, the ghost of briskets past fell to the ground. The thing was overflowing with meat — and nothing else. Just for kicks, I opened the fridge door beneath. It was a barren Frigidaire wasteland ... except for a lone, nearly empty bottle of Manischewitz wine. (Although I can't swear to it, I believe the official sommelier ranking of Manischewitz places it slightly higher than cough syrup.) Standing alone in front of an open refrigerator (a serious offense in my house), I found myself laughing hysterically and muttering, "In case of emergency bris." When I went back upstairs, I started to look at everything in the house with a different set of eyes. On the mantel there was the usual collection of bizarre Judaica: a menorah, a dreidel, a shofar, and a small replica of a three-masted galleon from the eighteenth century. "What are we, Jewish pirates?" I thought.
Then it came to me: I can't be the only one who's a little confused (and somewhat appalled) by parental taste in decorating and by what they keep in their home (and refuse to put by the curb). Crap at My Parents' House Anonymous was probably a little too complicated to set up, I thought, but a blog might be an easier way to commiserate, work through these feelings, and finally take advantage of this "Internet" thing everyone has been raving about.
And so, armed with my cell phone camera and the determination of a poor comedian tired of eating ramen noodles six days a week, I began my search for crap. I had to be stealthy in my approach. What mother wants her son to take pictures of her crap with the sole intention of posting it on the Internet for friends, family, prospective employers, and registered nurses/sexual offenders to see?
First I found a Sports Illustrated from 1983 with full-time wrestler and part-time actor Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea gracing the cover in all his mustached glory. I combed through old drawings, Simon and Garfunkel cassettes, and a few disappointing report cards with concerned notes from teachers and school psychologists. Then I found our family's secret stash of humidifiers and airplane life vests. Every family has those, right? Within fifteen minutes I had more than twenty shaky, low-quality pictures.
Before I returned to Brooklyn, I gave my mom a heads-up about the idea. She hated it. Based on her reaction, I knew I was on to something. I went home and created the CrapAtMyParentsHouse.com Web site.
Everyone loved it. People submitted. Ramen intake decreased. After I spent an hour on the phone with her walking her through the site, her reaction was everything you would want from a mom.
She thought it was fantastic. She was proud. She couldn't stop laughing and wanted my permission to e-mail Aunt Priscilla in Denver and Cousin Howard in Schenectady.
So if you ever find yourself in the South Shore area of Boston and end up talking to a short woman in a tracksuit with matching windbreaker who works in the marketing department of an assisted living community, you will soon find out the name of the Web site her son runs and how absolutely proud of him she is. Yes, this book might be about crap, but buried underneath it (and next to it, just to the left of the Clorox bottle doll on the top shelf) is love.
Excerpted from "Crap At My Parents' House"
Copyright © 2011 Joel Dovev.
Excerpted by permission of Abrams Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 Crap in the Living Room,
2 Crap in the Dining Room,
3 Crap in the Kitchen,
4 Crap in the Home Office,
5 Crap in the Bedroom,
6 Bathroom Stuff,
7 Crap in the Attic,
8 Crap in the Basement,
9 Crap Around the Garage,