Sunday, November 10, 2013

Why I Hate Neil Pasricha

Ask anybody who knows me and they'll tell you; I'm a nice guy.  I have no enemies.  I give people the benefit of the doubt, almost to a fault, and I tend to assume the best about everybody.  So why should I hate Neil Pasricha; a man whom I've never met and who has certainly never bothered, inconvenienced, negatively affected, or even thought about me in any way?  I'll tell you why.  The Book of Awesome, that's why!

Some time ago, I was minding my own business, shopping for groceries, and I found myself in the section of the grocery store where they keep the books, magazines and greeting cards.  Not looking for anything in particular, I was just browsing the various covers and titles when suddenly this black, hard-cover book entitled The Book Of AWESOME in rainbow-colored lettering caught my attention.  I quickly scanned the write-up on the back cover and the inner cover jacket and discovered that this is apparently a book that celebrates the myriad of small, simple pleasures that we encounter almost every day but that most of us don't even notice; the smell of fresh baked goods, peeling that thin, transparent, protective cover off new electronic equipment such as a cell phone or a TV remote, pushing in the little bubbles that are supposed to identify what's inside those soft drink cups that you get from fast food places but which never seem to be pushed in ... stuff like that.  The idea of the book appealed to me because I love things which accentuate the positive; goodness knows we hear enough negativity day after day, so I bought a copy.

You have to like the style and format of the book.  Each "chapter", if you could call it that, begins with a title that celebrates some little pleasure, like putting on a warm pair of undies fresh from the dryer, or waking up and realizing it's Saturday, or remembering what movie "that guy" is from.  Then there's a short write-up explaining why the author, Neil Pasricha, thinks that the thing in question is so great (it's not always self-evident, such as the chapter about your colon), and it always ends with a single word; AWESOME! 

Most of the chapters are pretty short, often just a page or less.  The shortest I've encountered was entitled "When you push the button for the elevator and it's already there".  This chapter was exactly two words long:



The reason why I put quotes around the word "chapter" before is because the book itself was inspired by a blog, also by Neil Pasricha, called, so each "chapter" is really more of a "post", actually.  According to Wikipedia, the blog was born on June 20, 2008; just about 4 months before I started this blog.  In that time, has pulled in ... well, just a few more visitors than The Halmanator.  And it lead to not just one, but two book deals!  Yes, there is now a second book called The Book Of (Even More) Awesome. My daughter, who apparently delights in rubbing her father's nose in his inadequacies, made a point of getting me the second book last Father's Day.  I think the accompanying card said something like "You're okay too, for an unimportant nobody" (Okay,  it didn't actually say that, but I'm sure it was there between the lines!) 

The Book of Awesome was a New York Times bestseller and was the number one international best seller for over 140 weeks and was translated into Dutch, Korean, German, French and Portuguese (what, not Swahili???)  Nobody ever offered me a book deal!  Harrumph!

And that's why I hate Neil Pasricha; because he has accomplished what I can only dream of accomplishing, and he probably never even had any such ambitions.  Heck, he probably started the whole thing just as a lark.  The only thing worse than people who realize your own wildest ambitions are those who do it without even trying!  He`s like the Mozart to my Salieri!  Every time I either read The Book Of Awesome or visit I get a severe case of "Warumistmirsoetwasnichteingefallen".  That's a German word (that I just made up), something along the lines of "Schadenfreude", except it means "Why didn't I think of that???"

I've toyed with the idea of maybe cashing in by spoofing Pasricha's work.  I could start a blog of my own called  Every day I could write about something that sucks.  How about this:

When you're tying your shoes and you`re already late and your shoelace busts



Eh???  Eh???  Maybe it could catch on!  Maybe I could write a book of my own called The Book Of BOGUS.

Nah, it wouldn`t work.  See, the reason why Pasricha's blog caught on so big is precisely because it's so positive.  It gently opens an umbrella over the reader to shield them from the torrent of negativity that seems to rain down upon us from the commercial media every single day and it urges us to take pleasure in the little things.  It's precisely the kind of light-hearted, "feel good" writing to which The Halmanator aspires, only with money and success attached to it. 

And I have to admire the writing style too.  Pasricha comes across as one of those easy-going, down-to-earth, "I'm okay, you're okay" kind of guys. When writing about those drink cup lids, he explains that "we..." (meaning he and his sister, when they were kids) "...thought there was a big Garbage Survey at the end of the day and every customer had to punch their button to send in feedback.  We figured some poor sap stuck his arm shoulder-deep in that bag of lettuce scraps drenched in Big Mac sauce, hollow ice cream cone bottoms, and greasy French fry containers and pulled out all the cup lids.  We imagined he arranged them in tipsy, drippy piles and counted how many sold that day, adding the results up on a clipboard and calling them into the head office so they knew how many batches to make for tomorrow.

You see what I mean?  That paragraph right there probably brought a bigger smile to your face than anything I've written in this post so far, didn't it?  DIDN'T IT???  You probably even chuckled knowingly, didn't you?

But, all kidding aside, I don't really hate you Neil.  Actually, I think you're kind of...

AWESOME! (c) (R) (tm)

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