Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dad Is Fat

I like to read the Sunday paper to see the best selling books.  I can frequently find something I may not have noticed on the library website.  I offered to write a blog for the county library system to highlight new books purchased, give suggestions and provide other content.   Permission had to be obtained from the county and they were suspicious of blogs on county sites, it seems.  So I will post this and you can go order the book from your library.  Or by the book.  Jim Gaffigan needs the money.


You may not know the name, but you should know his comedy routines.  Particularly the one on Hot Pockets.  What you may not know is that Gaffigan lives in a two bedroom apartment in New York. With his wife.  And FIVE kids!  He needs the money to get a bigger apartment!

My parents had five kids.  But they had a house on a large lot.  My father added on a room for every additional child.  Although I did have to share a room with both sisters for a short time and then , as rooms added on, I only had to share with one. I can't imagine all those kids in a small apartment.

Imagine living in New York City with even one child in a five floor walk-up.  You heard me FIVE floors.  Carrying kids and all their accoutrements.  And then they have to go to the bathroom.  Mr. Gaffigan has written a funny book, as long as you don't plan on having bunch of kids in a small apartment.  Here are a few of my favorite parts.

"I am incredibly lucky to have married a woman like Jeannie.  She is energetic, hardworking, and she takes incredible care of the kids and me.  However, during our marriage there have been periods where she has become rather lazy.  Jeannie describes these periods as 'pregnancy'."

Gaffigan realizes that his wife is growing another human, in addition to all her other duties,  while he is merely existing.

"HUSBAND: I'm tired.

PREGNANT WOMAN: Oh, really? I'm growing a human being.

HUSBAND: I have so much work to do.

PREGNANT WOMAN: Oh, really?  I have to push a baby with your head size out of my body.

HUSBAND: I am going to stand in the corner for the next nine months."

Gaffigan was worried he wouldn't be able to provide the unconditional love a parent is supposed to feel.   " I always found those Anne Geddes baby-flower photos annoying and it kind of puts me in a good mood to see a teenager fall off a skateboard."

Gaffigan has some funny takes on traditional childhood literature.  Most parents have read those same stories over and over and will enjoy his humorous reviews.  For example, on Goodnight Moon, " He has to say 'goodnight' to everything in the room?  How manipulative." 

Or Harold and The Purple Crayon, " Great book.  Where do I send Crockett Johnson the bill for cleaning my walls?  Glad it wasn't Harold and The Purple Matches."

Gaffigan is not impressed by the phrase, "pitter patter of little feet".  And with five kids under 9 in a small apartment, I can imagine the noise level is incredible.  In fact, the downstairs neighbors frequently move out, for some strange reason, and ask him to take the kids out for the day when they are showing the apartment in order to fool the next potential tenant.  He claims he was once awakened by an absence of noise.

He likens allowing a three year old, who has out grown napping,  to fall asleep during the day as the parental version of a payday loan.  Sure it is great when you can get something done during the day, but you are going to pay for it double that night.  He suggests Suze Orman would be very disappointed with you.

This funny book is a fast read. It is written in short chapters on various amusing aspects of his large family in a small space and with his interesting lifestyle of a stand-up comedian.  I also like that he loves, honors and respects the contribution his wife provides.  "I don't know how I got so lucky to have Jeannie as a writing partner, lover, and friend, but I scored big.  She really has ended up being a fantastic first wife."

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