Larry is a former writer and producer for such TV shows as The Simpsons and Beavis and Butt-head and has written for The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, National Lampoon, SPY, and many other places. He also keeps a blog over at Time. He even won the 2008 Thurber Prize For Humor Writing.
This is a really fantastic book. It’s clever and smart and funny. Not just make-you-kinda-smile-funny, but really-laughing funny. That’s not always the case with essay collections.
Here’s an excerpt from the book. Enjoy!
Do your kids like to have fun? Come to Fun Times!*
Do you like to watch your kids having fun?
Bring ’em to Fun Times!
Are your kids sullen, withdrawn, wearing a lot of black lately, and you, your life practically over, and for what?
For gosh sakes, get the whole family down to Fun Times!
Fun Times!’s “fine amusement dining” is the most fun you can have, legally, in the United States right now. Why spend thou- sands of dollars flying to Disney World when you can spend less than half of that indoors and malaria-free, within a day’s drive of most cities?
To find the Fun Times! nearest you, simply get on your favorite highway and keep going until you hear the fun! Park in any of our outer lots and hop on the Jolly Trolley,† or walk on ahead if you prefer. Once you’ve reached the Fun Times! intake office, you will be asked to fill out a few simple waivers and financial disclosure forms.
You’re moments away from fun!
Next you’ll purchase your children’s Fun Times! Happy Cards!, which can be loaded in twenty-dollar increments by Grumpy McPoops, or set to Unlimited Happiness! for kids whose parents would prefer to spend the money now, rather than later on therapy and make-goods.
You’re on the cusp of fun!
Release the children!
The first thing you’ll want to do upon entering the Fun Times! Game Dome is stagger over to the Grown-Up Pagoda and purchase a pair of ear plugs. They cost a little more, but we recom- mend Westone ES49s, the kind Pete Townshend uses to preserve what’s left of his hearing.
Now take a look around.‡ Was there ever anything this much fun when you were a kid?
Maybe there was, and your parents lied to you about it.
But you’re not them, and you don’t have to be them.
Just one look into your children’s glowing, jittery eyes will tell you how much cooler you are than they ever were.
That may not happen right away, but rest assured your kids are in here somewhere, enjoying video-game graphics almost as good as the ones at home. While you’re waiting, why not check out our costumed entertainment? We are proud to host the Medi-Cools, a cartoon menagerie developed by Hanna-Barbera for the National Institutes of Health in the seventies. Feel free to arm wrestle with Mike O’Cardial or shake hands with Whiz and Wee, the Kidney Twins, because, for the most part, the children won’t go near them.§
Don’t bother yelling; your kids can’t hear you.
Maybe you should eat something. There’s a restaurant in here, too, in the direction of the smell. For the little ones, we have pizza, fries, and chicken shapes. And, for you, six sizes of beer!
We strongly advise against searching for your kids down the Console Canyons; they’ll find their way out long before you do. What we recommend is that you pick one place and stand there.
But not there!
You’ve been Goob (TM) ed!
Don’t worry, that was gallons and gallons of totally “natural” fun,** which won’t ruin any fabric developed after 2005. That slight burning sensation is not humiliation, so relax and enjoy the laugh- ter of hundreds of children, all because of you!
And, look: here come your kids now, laughing like they’ve never laughed before, and apparently unharmed. They just want you to hold on to the six hundred game tickets they’ve accumulated so far—almost halfway to a Frog Clacker!—and then they’re gone again, into the fun.
Did they call back, “I love you, Dad,” as they slipped into the neon darkness? We think they did.
* Fun Times!, formerly Fun Tymes, is not affiliated with Ye Olde Fun Tymes or the New York Times Company, and does not recognize their debts or finan- cial obligations.
† The Jolly Trolley is not operated by the Fun Times! Company, which makes no warrants as to its driver, Glenn, or to the final destination of the Trolley.
‡ Epileptics should not take a look around.
§ Ladies, please note: Dr. Lungtissue is not a licensed physician.
** Goob (TM) is a proprietary peanut-based gel, which may contain traces of pea- nuts and whole peanuts still in the shell. People who are sensitive to peanuts and/or tree nuts should have read the waiver more carefully.