Her fist. My jaw. The rattle of china.
Only then did I realise we don’t own any china. It was my teeth, clicking and clacking like a domino world record attempt going wrong. It ended in a firework display of pain somewhere around my groin. I fell to the floor, the dull nausea of crushed gonads beginning to spread through the lower half of my body. I wouldn’t have believed reviewing a book could be so hard, let alone produce so much thong trauma.
‘What is Chippy doing with this book?’ demanded The Gab, holding up the quality hardback.
‘Reviewing it,’ I groaned, nose buried deep in the shag pile.
‘Likely story,’ she answered and spat on her knuckles as she prepared to deliver one of her haymakers.
I waved her off me as I scampered back into my office and closed the door. From there, I explained how the man with the unfairly mistreated testicles had been asked to review the book based on the internet blogging sensation of the same name. Only the name seemed to be Gabby’s problem.
‘What next?’ she screamed. ‘Is Chippy thinking of writing “My Girlfriend is a ****”?’
‘Well it does have a certain ring to it,’ I replied.
‘Misogynist!’ she screamed as her fist splinted the door and connected with my jaw. More china rattled in my mouth and I felt a crown dislodge and try to flee down the back of my throat. I wanted to follow it to safety.
Romanians, it seems, have a unique and not wholly healthy attitude towards swear words whereas we men of the thong appreciate a bit of earthiness once in a while. Not that this book is full of that. What you get for your £9.99 is a surprisingly polite and light-hearted romp through relationships and Belgium. (I hope you noticed how professionally I did that: you always have to get the price of the book into a review and use the word ‘romp’ at least once when writing about a comedy). You might have noticed that I mentioned Belgium just then and you might be wondering why. Well, Belgium is one of God’s finest comic creations and it is the perfect backdrop to Zoe McCarthy’s amiable ramble around her life.
The eponymous hero is her boyfriend and the book is written as a manual for living with him. I’m sure no other book deals as comprehensively with the subject, though I have to take McCarthy to task for claiming that it’s a guide for living with all men. She believes that all men share the same faults while I say that the Chipster is quite unique in his sins. I do not break wind in front of my girlfriend. Nor did I seduce her with a packet Cumberland sausages. In fact, to slip you a well-greased slice of truth: I’m nothing like her boyfriend at all. ‘My Boyfriend is a Handsome Welshman With A Love For Thongs’ would be a more accurate title, should she decide to write a sequel and should we have hitched up by then.
‘Hitched up?’ screamed Gabby, looking over my shoulder as I typed that line.
‘Metaphorically speaking,’ I said, trying to move the cursor back to edit it out. Only it was too late and my fingers were already shaking like those of a First World War infantryman who had just survived ‘a big push’.
‘I don’t know why you’re making such a fuss about a gentle little book which would make an admirable Christmas gift for the figure in your life you like to call your “loved one”,’ I said.
‘Chip wants me to buy him this book for Christmas?’ she asked.
‘Well, I’ve already read it during a chuckle-heavy session last night,’ I answered. ‘Besides, I already have my heart set on a refurbished Thora Hird heated foot warmer. But I do recommend that everybody else goes out and buy it. Make it a number one in the charts and prove that we bloggers are every bit as worthy of people’s money as every Rowling, Archer, and Vikram Solanki.’
‘Vikram Solanki?’ she screamed.
‘Or Freddie Flintoff. It really doesn’t matter. Cut your cricketer as you will, you’ll still find a best selling story somewhere about their gory whites.’
Gabby dropped the book and winced as it landed on her toe. 288 pages of neatly packaged hardback proves that you always get your money’s worth when buying something published by the good people at The Friday Project. And that’s not to mention the wonderful illustrations by Lucy Pepper.
‘Sure to be a Christmas smash,’ I said as I typed that line down. ‘Now,’ I said, turning to Gabby, ‘are you going to let me finish this review without any more of your violent insurrections?’
‘My Boyfriend is a swot,’ she sniffed as she licked my blood from a knuckle and left the room.
It was all too much for me. I crumpled over the keyboard. After all that trouble, the words wouldn’t come. I’ll have to sit down some other time and recommend this book to you. Sometimes I don’t think I have it in me to write reviews. Not when I have to write them in blood.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Her fist. My jaw. The rattle of china.