(If not, here’s the deal: I desperately need some laughs, and Cracked.com videos got me through the crappy end of last weekend. There. You’re all caught up.)
Well, it turns out one of those fine, funny folks wrote himself a book. Actually, he technically collaborated on another one. And wrote a presidential-themed kids’ book…
But whatever. We’re talking about one book. One. Focus, people!
This guy — let’s call him Daniel O’Brien, since that’s what his parents seem to have preferred — is friggin’ hilarious. Nope. Scratch that. I’ll break my own unwritten- and occasionally-broken rule and swear. Ahem:
He’s fucking hilarious.
The world still spinning? Okay. Moving on.
O’Brien is obsessed with the presidents. Like really, really obsessed. Like, his paradise may well be the Futurama scenario where presidents are still alive as floating heads.
He’s done several hilarious videos filled with presidential facts. And then he got the bright idea to take that information and a unique slant to net himself a crap-ton* of money as a book advance.**
Thus was born How to Fight Presidents: Defending Yourself from the Badasses Who Ran This Country. And as previously mentioned, fuckin’ hilarious. So hilarious that I’m leaving off the “g.” Yeah, I’m a rebel.***
The book is filled with strange, fun facts about the presidents. Many of whom, let’s face it, you’d probably forgotten all about. Not that I did, of course. But maybe some of you guys did. It’s okay. Don’t be too hard yourselves.
One fact we learn is that Lincoln was a mutant (sorta). Per O’Brien:
“I’m not saying he was tall (though, at 6’4” he is still our tallest and fourth-beardiest president). I’m saying that physically, he had a disease called Marfan syndrome. People who suffer from Marfan syndrome generally grow taller than your average person and have longer limbs that, typically, are fairly weak. Lincoln refused to accept the ‘weak’ part of his condition and strengthened his arms through years of farmwork (he built his first log cabin when he was goddamn seven) because why even have bonus arms if you’re not going to make them the strongest and most powerful arms you can?”
We also learn that Franklin Pierce was crazy. When he injured his knee in battle, he refused to be discharged. According to O’Brien:
“Pierce, weakened but still determined to achieve some battlefield glory, fought in the Battle of Churubusco the next day and almost immediately injured the same knee, because obviously he did, because of course he did, because war is very dangerous.”
Also, we learn which president is the Charlie Browniest. (Hint: It’s not the one you think. Or, given our school systems, probably remember.)
The book’s chapters include:
- John Tyler Wants to “Accidentally” Put His Foot Up Your Ass
- William Henry Harrison is going to kick your ass so hard he — oh, shit, he’s already dead
- Millard Fillmore. One of Our Most Millard Fillmore-esque Presidents.
What have we learned?
You’ll come away from this book with hilarious anecdotes about our forefathers. Also with the knowledge of how to defeat them, should you be transported back to their time. Ya know, like you do.
But if that situation does arise, then the tactics in this book will be vital — even if sometimes the author’s conclusion is basically, “Just run. And even then…”
Of course, you do have an advantage if an unbeatable president catches up with you. (Some of us don’t run very fast, okay?) You know when and how he’s going to die.
Perhaps you could freak him out with your prognosticatory**** powers, and he’ll leave you alone. Or you’ll be burned as a witch. It’s a coin toss. But apparently that’s still better odds than actually trying to fight George Washington.
The cheap option
Given that you’re reading a frugality(ish) blog, you may be reluctant to spend the money. (In which case, I hope that’s because you spent the money buying my book.) So make your library buy his.
While you wait for the slow turning of bureaucratic wheels/purchasing systems, you can get a taste of the author’s hilarious ramblings in a Cracked Presidential Playlist, which includes:
- The 4 Most Literally Insane Statements Made by U.S. Presidents
- The 11 Most Badass Presidential Facts
- Andrew Jackson: The Most Terrifying Man Ever Elected President
- 4 U.S. Presidents Whose Lives Put Action Movies to Shame
So that’s my hard news for Friday. Because… Friday. And laughter. And Friday. Did I mention that one already? Sleeeeeep.
What’s the last funny book you read? Can I have some of your sleep? Also, if by unimaginable series of events Daniel O’Brien is reading this: I think we (and my husband, because otherwise it’s awkward) should be friends. I’m cool. Just ask my mom.
* As always on the metric scale, so convert it to Farenheit or whatever.
** Mental note: Next time you write a book, get a publisher to buy it. Way more money.
*** A rebel whose in-laws woke her up at 4:45 a.m. when they got home from helping their perforated son. And who is, therefore, a little punchy. Which is why she’s writing like this. And in the third person, apparently.
**** Probably a word.