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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mock self-help book cures boredom

    Mock self-help book cures boredom

    Need friends? Well, Jason Roeder’s mock self-help book, “”Oh, the Humanity! A Gentle Guide to Social Interaction for the Feeble Young Introvert,”” promises to help with just that problem through tips on topics such as small talk, body language and being curious.

    But before you get your hopes up about a magical portal to your dream social life, remember that Roeder is famous not for his insights into psychology but for his humorous writings, which have appeared in such well-known venues as The New Yorker and McSweeney’s. Therefore, the target audience here is perhaps not the more severe of feeble young introverts Roeder professes to help, but rather anyone who likes a good laugh. And laughs are aplenty in “”Oh, the Humanity.””

    Roeder pokes fun at his reader without becoming unpleasantly insulting, a fall-back so many comedians seem to have resorted to lately. The advice he gives is funny, especially in the examples of potential conversations a person might have. Roeder likes to heighten awkward situations until they border on the absurd. He gives examples of how to appear curious when talking to other people and advises readers against the phrase “”Silence! It is I who will speak now!””

    “”Oh, the Humanity!””
    Jason Roeder – TOW Books
    List Price $12.99
    amazon.com
    4 stars!

    Throughout the book, Roeder adds little boxes of fun information to provide a break from the pseudo-psychologist voice he has going, and these are perhaps the funniest parts. There are several interviews, including one with An Extraordinarily Confident Man, that make fun of the self-assured celebrities who are always saying such preposterous things as, “”I’ve trusted myself right from the start. I cut my own umbilical cord.””

    A quiz, which could have come straight out of Cosmopolitan, allows one to find out how curious you really are in situations that get wilder and wilder, from being robbed to alien invasions. Also, Roeder includes an hour-by-hour plan of the world’s worst pub crawl, which includes stops along the way to give a parrot his medicine and to tutor a Chinese immigrant.

    Roeder is a funny guy, this book proves, and it makes good light reading. People who hope this book will fix their social-interaction problems might be disappointed, but really, who needs friends when you’ve got a good book?

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