Friday, May 15, 2015

Book Review: Honey the Carpet Needs Weeding Again

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Honey the Carpet Needs Weeding Again
        
Author: Martha Bolton

Author's web site: http://www.marthabolton.com/
        
Date: 1993
        
Publisher: Servant Publications
        
ISBN: 0-89283-798-5
        
Length: 135 pages
        
Illustrations: drawings by Gerald L. Gawronski
        
Quote: “When life’s little frustrations come your way, give yourself a healthy dose of laughter.”
        
Laughing out loud is a safe, effective painkiller. If comedy is the prescription, Martha Bolton is a reliable pharmacist. In Honey the Carpet Needs Weeding Again she offers 135 pages of family-friendly jokes.
        
Why, exactly, is it funnier when the person who says things like “My sons...grew up thinking all families have char-broiled gelatin for dessert” or “You truly know you’re a naïve, trusting soul when you take two scoops of my casserole” happens to be a good cook? I don’t know, but I’m guessing, since Bolton has won comedy awards, that she’s not hard-boiled anybody’s soft-boiled egg in a long time.
        
In other sections of the book, Bolton exaggerates her other domestic frailties. When making blouses, “I always seem to have trouble with the darts. Oh, I can usually get the darts to hit the garment...” When shopping, she doesn’t pretend to cook only organic food from scratch: “I fill my cart so full, the Keebler Elves on top start getting dizzy from the altitude.” When house-cleaning, “I tried for hours to get three streaks out of the medicine cabinet mirror. I finally managed to remove one. It turned out the other two were on my face.” Big secret: some of these jokes were once uttered on radio as slurs about some male comedian’s mother-in-law, but, as Gracie Allen and Erma Bombeck proved, they’re funnier when a female comedian’s pretending they’re true of her.
        
In some chapters Bolton shifts from self-mocking to offering suggestions for others. A few chapters consist of lists: songs to sing on various  occasions, parodies of once-familiar bumper stickers, tips for visiting patients in hospitals...“Never give the patient a gift cookbook entitled 101 Ways to Prepare Lime Gelatin.”
        
Honey the Carpet Needs Weeding Again is definitely a lightweight book. For patients in hospitals, that’s a good thing. Large, heavily inked type also helps make the book easy to read, even if you’re in bed. For a patient who’s in a private room, or whose roommate(s) want(s) to try using laughter for pain control too, this is an excellent hospital gift. Since this is a Fair Trade Book, this web site recommends buying extra copies for the roommates.



"What's a Fair Trade Book?" That's this web site's label for a book by a living author; if we sell such a book secondhand, we send 10% of the price (including the shipping charge) to the author or to a charity of his or her choice. Our minimum price, the price for most books, is $5 for the book, plus $5 per package (which could include six copies of Honey the Carpet Needs Weeding Again) for shipping. In other words, if you buy six copies of this book, you would send $35 to salolianigodagewi @ yahoo.com, and we'd send Bolton or her charity $6. You might get six copies of the book cheaper at another site; buy it here to support living writers--Bolton and me.