Eric recommends: ‘A Portrait of Yo Mama As a Young Man’

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Drop whatever you’re doing, hurry to your nearest book emporium, and buy “A Portrait of Yo Mama As a Young Man” by Andrew Barlow and Kent Roberts. One author contributes humor pieces to The New Yorker; the other writes for The Onion. Both are younger than I am, which makes me extraordinarily angry.

But anyway, this book is hysterically funny, one of the funniest, silliest, most random books I have ever read. It is a 188-page treatise on yo mama and all the things wrong with her.

There are many pages of “yo mama” jokes, but not the sort you hear on the playground. These are non-sequiturs, random insults that are only mildly insulting, or that barely make sense. I quote a few examples:

“Yo mama’s so lupine, she chases rabbits.”

“Yo mama was the subject of the TV movie ‘Fat Insane Whore.'”

“When people look at yo mama’s wedding photos, they remark that she looks ‘haggard.'”

“Yo mama is a poor man’s Roy Orbison.”

“Yo mama spent most of July 1988 in a labyrinth.”

“Yo mama’s so Abraham Lincoln, when someone comes up behind her and shoots her in the head, they say ‘Sic semper tyrannis’ afterwards.”

The book also includes yo mama’s resume (honors and awards include: “Won daughter in pie-eating contest, 1983; Perfect Attendance Award, Northern Arizona Nazis; ‘Caller 105,’ WSMX Hits 105.3 FM, Providence”), some e-mails yo mama wrote you while you were in college, a list of terms yo mama has Googled (“strictly-for-fashion wheelchair,” “how do i get there,” “boxes boxes boxes,” “best way to kick dogs,” “kevin costner + abdominal + november + corn on the cob + my kids + wisconsin newspaper”), and much, much more.

It’s absurdist, ridiculous stuff, and man, does it ever make me laugh. Laugh till I weep. Find it, flip through it, see if it makes you laugh, too. If it doesn’t, we can still be friends, but we cannot get married.

(By the way: If you want to buy the book from Amazon, please use the link above, as I get a tiny referral fee that way. And then perhaps I will reconsider the marriage thing.)

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