Friday, April 11, 2008

A Very Shallow Book Review : A Complaint Free World

As my incredibly sharp readers have no doubt figured out, ShallowGal is reading a book. Specifically A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted by Will Bowen. And I have to tell you, this book just sucks. (1)

In theory, ShallowGal likes the idea: you wear a free purpl
e bracelet (2) on your arm and move it to the other arm every time you complain, criticize or gossip. In reality ShallowGal would have to give up blogging, and quite honestly just stop being around other human beings ever.

It only says "complaint free" it says nothing about being gossip-free.

The book's biggest flaw (oops, move that bracelet, SG) is that ShallowGal has a hard time identifying what exactly qualifies as a complaint. Let's make up a purely hypothetical situation, so I don't have to stop typing to keep moving my bracelet. In this truly fictional story (3) let's say that PCSguy ate the chicken salad that ShallowGal was planning to eat for lunch.

Which of these possible statements is allowable?

  • You totally suck for eating my chicken salad
  • I hope it was worth it. Your eating my chicken salad ruined my day
  • Next time should I put a note on my chicken salad specifying it as such? Can you read?
See the dilemma? Without complaining, criticizing or gossiping, my chicken salad will never again be safe.

Ability to explain how to adequately protect my chicken salad interests without having to move my bracelet so many times that I develop carpal tunnel syndrome: unsatisfactory.

Now I did think this book had one possible use ~ to make everyone around me less annoying. Not the gossiping part, because that is totally no fun by yourself, but maybe just a tad less critical, ie:
"When you spend the money for the electric bill on shoes , the nice people at the electric company have no choice but to shut off our power"
However Bowen takes all the fun out of that idea. He even says that if someone complains and then doesn't move their bracelet and I point it out, that I have to move my bracelet because I'm complaining about their complaining. My pointing out is technically called enforcing and I don't think I should be penalized for that.

Grade for giving me techniques to make other people less toxic to be around: * (out of *****)

Total book score: not my cup of tea. Oh well.
1) Yes that was a fairly predictable joke and I apologize.
2) Which actually costs 37 1/2 cents. See for yourself.
3) It so happened, just in case you're new here.


Anonymous said...

For the record -- the chicken salad was most excellent. I added a little Penzy's Cajun seasoning and voila - a damn fine lunch. Bear in mind, I'm not complaining about the chicken salad. Just saying that it was *enhanced* with the cajun seasoning.

And I'm truly sorry for taking it.

PCS Guy.

countrymouse said...

It sounds like a whole lot of how-to-get-along-on-the-grade-school-playground nonsense to me : )

And I think #3 on the list of possible chicken salad thievery responses would have been acceptable--it was two simple questions. It wasn't complaining so much as being sarcastic and cruel--which are totally not the same as complaining, right?

Stimey said...

Are you aware of what a very funny writer you are? Because you are. Oh my God, you are.