“I suspect it was because they[my parents] realized there was something wrong with me and believed that growing up in the same small West Texas town that they’d grown up in might change me into a normal person. This was one of the many things that they were wrong about.”
I had a very difficult time reading Let’s Pretend this Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson because I laughed so hard my eyes squeezed shut on almost every single page. If you doubt what I am saying about reading when your eyes won’t stay open, duplicate my experiments I did with hardcover books, paperbacks and my iPad–trust me, if you’re really intuitive, you may catch some vibes but the words will totally elude you.
Seriously, y’all, this is the funniest book I have ever read–foot-stomping, bend over, guffawing kind of funny. And influential, too. If you saw my post last Friday about Namaste Wine, the impact on my writing style while reading the book was obvious. I didn’t go so far as to drop the F-bomb or let the V-missile fly all over the place, despite the temptation. (Yes, y’all, that is a warning. Jenny liberally employs the best known word that should-never-be-spoken-in-polite-company as well as the word forbidden in the Michigan State Legislature. If that language bothers you, Jenny’s book will make you nuts. But I promise, you’ll never hear anyone use either one to greater comic effect.)
I think the book will have a permanent impact on the rest my life. I’m pretty sure any time I hear the words “taxidermy,” “acupuncture” or “raccoon” in the future, I will find it difficult to maintain my composure. All bets are off if there is ever a news story about a taxidermist dying from acupuncture while stroking his pet raccoon.
Jenny takes us from growing up in “the small, violently rural town of Wall, Texas,” to her life in a Houston suburb to her current spot in the universe, out in the countryside near Austin. There are a few touching and tragic moments in Jenny’s memoir that simply broke my heart. Even if you are non-feeling, callous and bored by the hardships of others, you will still appreciate these serious passages because they will give you a tiny bit of time to catch your breath before you are off laughing till you snort again.
You may have noticed that I call her Jenny, which could indicate that I know her, but I don’t. I just feel close to her after reading her memoir. She probably would say that indicates something very disturbing about my character. Nonetheless, I genuinely hope I can meet her some day.
I knew Jenny was really funny so my expectations of her memoir were quite high. She thoroughly exceeded them in Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Thank you, Jenny!
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson from Amy Einhorn Books, an imprint of Putnam, is available from any self-respecting bookseller, even from Murder by the Book.