Book Review Time: Someone Could Get Hurt

I personally don’t know Drew Magary, but I’ve been a big fan of Drew for quite a while. I read his witty and always awesome articles on Deadspin as fast as he puts them out…follow him on Twitter and of course, since I’m a probably a stone’s throw from where Magary lives I listen to him from time to time on the Sports Reporters, on our local ESPN radio network. Magary never disappoints in any medium, though my preference is to read his articles as they are as vivid as a blue sky night. He says the things that guys like me are thinking...you know in their late 30’s with a wife and a couple of kids…but will only joke amongst the guys, my wife or occasionally a co-worker or two after knocking back a few beers.

When I first heard that Magary was publishing a new book about the challenges and tribulations of being a husband and dad in the 21st century, I immediately signed up on Amazon for a pre-order. I didn’t even have to read a review or a hear Magary pitch his writing online or on the radio.

My kindle version was available about a week ago Thursday, which I immediately pulled down. Heck, I live about 10 miles out of DC. The Caps lost again in the first round. The Wizards perpetually stink. The Nats and O’s were amidst losing streaks. I was pretty much tired of listening about the progress on RG3’s knee. Reading Magary’s book was a no brainer.

Let’s start off with the logistics. It’s a quick read. Since it’s on Kindle, I don’t know the exact paper pages, though if I got off my fat ass and looked on Amazon, I would know that it’s 256 pages of pure humor and bliss. I probably could have read it cover to cover, but let’s face it…like Magary I have 2 kids of my own. So I’m not littered with hours and hours of free time on my hands to read a book un-interuppted. I split my reading across 4 or 5 sessions right before bed and while I was waiting with my pre-schooler for her school to start after dropping off my first grader.

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Magary bookends his tales of parenthood with a really serious story about his third child born premature and dealing with a major intestinal issue. I didn’t face the agony of premature childbirth like Magary and his wife went through, but my first daughter spent 2+ days in an incubator under the billyrubin lights. Definitely small potatoes compared to what Magary and his wife went through. In between the chapters there is endless delight and humor about the foibles and challenges that Magary went through in raising his oldest daughter and middle son.

My favorite chapter was definitely the story about his daughter’s first halloween. Magary appropriately labeled the title of the chapter “Slow Guy” mocking a sign he and his wife put up in front of their house to slow traffic down from speeding on his street. As most people would conclude, there’s always an ulterior motive in anything Magary does…so the costume was definitely a cheap, yet funny joke. Kind of reminds me of the time I was in my early 20’s and I thought it would be hilarious to dress up like Warren from There’s Something About Mary. As you could probably guess, most people didn’t find me too funny unless they were obliterated or high. It didn’t hit me that my costume was completely insensitive until the morning after…

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I definitely could relate to so many of Magary’s stories. I remember the first time my oldest daughter said a curse word. My wife and I definitely dropped $200+ on the Lice Lady. I fight daily with my youngest about brushing her teeth. I have buckets of toys that my kids have thrown aside like a dirty rag doll. Sadly I miss each passing phase my daughters go through as they get older. It makes me want a 3rd kid from time to time.

Things or stories I wished Magary had written…god knows he’s probably got loads of material about these topics:

Wine Drinking Wives: My wife loves wine. It was definitely not her go to drink before we had kids. That would be a captain and coke, an occasional Cider or a giant swig from a bottle of Champagne. Since having kids the consumption of wine by my wife and nearly every mother of 2+ kids I know makes wine their afternoon delight.

First Kiss: I nearly crashed my car the time my 6 year-old told me she kissed a boy. My immediate response was “where” in hopes of finding out if she kissed him on the lips or some other body part. Her innocent answer was “at school” and the location was the eye brow.

10 Hour Road Trips with Your Wife and Kids in the Mini-Van: The picture below is taken from my recent road trip to Kentucky last Labor Day. This is apparently what they keep in bathrooms and rest stops in West Virginia. I definitely heard banjos…

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Shots at the Doctor’s Office: Magary talks about his youngest getting needles poked into his body, which was sad and certainly not intended to be funny. It would have been great to hear a story like the time my wife called me to meet her at the pediatrician’s office. Our oldest, who at the time was 2 had the lead test on her finger. According to my wife it was like a scene from the Exorcist with spinning heads and blood everywhere. Once I arrived at the doctor’s office, it was my job to pin her down. I’m a modest 210 lbs and my daughter may have been 30 lbs at the time. She had superhuman strength that day…

St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo: It’s like a right of passage to take your first born to a bar on some amateur drinking holiday like St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo or Flag Day. I remember the first time I took my kid I did the obligatory baby bjorn with beer in hand move.

Crazy Art Work Your Kids Bring Home: I can’t tell if this was a death threat from my kid or her finest winter snowman. Either way I might have dozens of skull art like the one below…

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Note to Drew…you only get 1 shot I guess at writing a book about parenthood, that is unless you are Bill Cosby and you forgot that you wrote the same book three times before. If by chance you do write another book of similar genre or better yet using the same tone and writing style, you definitely have a reader and supporter in me…

– Steve

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