I was going to the Chicago .NET Meetup yesterday evening and I realized that I was a good half hour early. Leave it to Chicago Transit Authority - if there is one thing you can rely on it for, it's that you'll arrive earlier or later than you expected. So I found I had 30 minutes to kill. I said to myself, "Self, you like books, don't you? Why do't you go to the used book store down the street?" I thought that was a great idea, so I went to after-words, a cozy little bookstore on 23 E. Illinois in downtown Chicago.
As I wandered through the store, I didn't really see anything that caught my fancy... until I made it past Media and Current Events and basically stumbled upon an old Shel Silverstein book of which I had never heard. Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book: a primer for tender young minds was the title and I was drawn in by the large yellow tag printed on the cover that clearly states "A Primer for Adults Only". Having grown up with such Silverstein classics as Where the Sidewalk Ends, The Giving Tree, and The Missing Piece, I was curious to find out what this book was all about. I picked it up and began flipping through the pages, only to find that this was, as the post title suggests, one of the funniest books ever. What Marx and Engel's Communist Manifesto did to inspire anarchy in the teenagers and college students of the early 20th century, this book does for 5-10 year olds. With such wonderful advice as "Lollipops are good to eat just before supper!" and "Too bad the fireman only goes to places where there is a fire!" and "... today the game is hop-scotch and we're going to use real scotch...", this book appeals to adults of all ages.
Needless to say, I had to have this book. After buying it, I still had about 10 minutes before the meet-up. I walked to one of the benches on the corner of Illinois and State (in that little mini-park) and I read the book from cover to cover. If you happened to be in that vicinity between 5:50 and 6:00 pm on Monday, October 25, you might have seen me - I was the guy with the shaved head and glasses sitting on a bench laughing his way to tears. You may have even heard me up to a block in any direction... this book is that funny.
Note: Under no circumstances should Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book: a primer for tender young minds be shown to young children... or adults who sometimes act like young children.