Friday, July 26, 2013

Book 88: Dad is Fat

I am pretty sure that my first introduction to Jim Gaffigan was his portrayal as Miranda's boyfriend on Sex and the City.  Like most guys on that show, he didn't last beyond one episode, his character's major issue being that not only didn't he close the door when using the bathroom, but he left it wide open.  Since then I have seen him around randomly, and I have of course seen his Hot Pocket routine from his stand up show.  It's on YouTube - you should check it out.
Since I seem to be a sucker for books by comedians, sometimes even ones I don't even care about one way or the other, I of course had to get this one.  As the title implies, this book is about parenthood.  I had no idea that Gaffigan had five children, and lived in a two bedroom apartment in New York.  The book is basically a series of vignettes about having children.  It is definitely not a memoir, though it has personal stories, and in many cases reads like part of comedy stand up routine.  The vignettes and anecdotes are roughly organized by topic and chronology, so that the first parts deal with him as a man without children interacting with parents, discussions on pregnancy leading into a chapter on birth, infants and so forth.   It helps to already be familiar with Gaffigan's humor to appreciate it this, but I personally enjoyed the dry wit.
Some of the jokes get repetitive but I still liked them - he makes lots of remarks about how incredible his wife is, and about his laziness.  For example, there are quite a few comments about him getting tired from watching her work while he was eating on the couch, him sleeping through labor, basically going with the fat schlub persona he has used to get famous.
I feel like this is a book a lot of parents would enjoy as he chronicles the hardships of parenthood but he does it in a way that isn't off putting to non-parents.  Gaffigan didn't portray himself as a martyr, and simply makes humorous comments about the ridiculousness of his living situation and the every day life of parenthood.  His descriptions of family vacation simply reinforce my idea to never have children, at least not until I've visited every place I want to go.  That, or make sure my parents are ready for prolonged visits from actual grandkids, and not just an active Siamese cat.  The book is definitely good for a few laughs, and it is one of the only times I afterwards wondered how the audiobook would have been.

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