A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Race Me in a Lobster Suit by Kelly Mahon- Feature and Review


Knit me into a cocoon...help me eat a burrito...pretend to be a chair at my dinner party...wrestle a komodo dragon...race me in a lobster suit. Author Kelly Mahon posts absurd gig ads online, and shares the conversations she had with the brave souls who wanted the job.

We're living in a gig economy. But would you respond to an online ad seeking someone to search for escaped ants? Or take an offer for a free tattoo by someone who "needs the practice?" How about a mattress for sale "tainted by geriatric love" or a workout plan that involves throwing Virginia hams? And if you hit reply, and the poster is sketchy about the details or offers to pay you with a gift card for clams, how long would you keep the conversation going? 
When NYC copywriter Kelly Mahon started posting weird, fake gig ads as a creative outlet, she found that there was someone interested in every bizarre offer she came up with. And the subsequent awkward email threads were equally hilarious and bizarre. Race Me In A Lobster Suit collects Mahon's funniest fabrications, plus the hysterical email conversations that followed as she ratcheted up the crazy. While some respondants become suspicious, others seem willing to play along with the joke. And don't worry, everyone involved agreed to share their emails in the book, so there are no hard feelings. 

In a world where it seems like everyone's suspicious of everyone else, it's nice to know that there are still people who will at least consider helping a stranger reenact a recurring spider nightmare, or explain the principles of pig Latin to a baffled mother of three.



Race Me in a Lobster Suit: Absurd Internet Ads and the Real Conversations that FollowedRace Me in a Lobster Suit: Absurd Internet Ads and the Real Conversations that Followed by Kelly Mahon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Race Me in a Lobster Suit by Kelly Mahon is a 2019 Quirk Books publication.

If you know anything about Quirk Books, you know to expect the unexpected. This book, however, almost goes beyond the pale.

I’m pretty picky about humor or comedy in movies, television and books, having long outgrown base humor, or anything too silly, which is most comedy is today. But, because this book is supposed to feature actual correspondence, the human element enticed me to take the bait.

I worked for the public all my life, so I know how people can be. After many years of witnessing so many insane human behaviors, I commonly boasted that nothing could possibly surprise me anymore. In fact, on more than one occasion, a friend or relative suggested I write down all my experiences and publish them. Of course, my experiences were not choreographed in anyway, but now I’m thinking these situations may not translate so well in print.

But, if the outlandish conversations relayed in this book are indeed true, and the author is not pulling a gag on us, which I suspected on more than one occasion, it proves that truth is stranger than fiction, and the next time I read a book and start to question the realism or plausibility of it, I will remind myself of this book.

Despite the bizarre-o set-up, some of these e-mail conversations did make me chuckle. They also horrified and mystified me. It is scary, and maybe a little sad too, that people responded to these ads. No matter how desperate I was financially, could I consider doing something so outrageous- like being hired to tickle someone, for example.

However, according to the author, the emails printed here were done so with the permission of those who answered the ads. So, I guess they must have a self- deprecating sense of humor, or maybe they were offered compensation- who knows.

Bottom line-

I was amused to some extent, but mostly I found it a tad disturbing. I’m not sure what that says about MY sense of humor- but I did try to see the appeal and humor here. For the most part, though, this type of gag/prank humor doesn’t really appeal to me. It was just a little too silly for my taste.

On a more positive note, I think this author does have a knack for coming up with quick witted comebacks. It is possible she could find a niche in improvisation or comedy writing, but perhaps it would be best not use real people to experiment on.




Kelly Mahon is an advertising copywriter based in New York City. She graduated from Fairfield University and Miami Ad School.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.