Monday, March 11, 2013

The Book of Bad: Stuff You Should Know Unless You're a Pussy by Christopher Lee Barish

While I was reading all those books about relationships in February, this is the book I was reading aloud to my wife.

Barish gives instructions for 34 acts of dubious morality and legality. Christian Kunze provides amusing and helpful illustrations for each one. Some of the life lessons contained within include how to make a Molotov cocktail, how to get out of jury duty, how to fake your own death, how to mask marijuana smoke, and how to rob a bank. With only a few pages devoted to each skill, some are more completely or usefully explained than others, but this book at least offers a good start down the road to Hell.

As a bonus, Barish recounts a few tales of little-known but accomplished bad guys and gals. One example is Chad Storey, who took siphoning gas to a new level by installing an elaborate system activated by a dashboard switch so he could sit comfortably inside as another vehicle's gas was pumped into his tank.

The Book of Bad is fun to read and explains some things you've always wondered about like how to pass a polygraph test or how to count cards in blackjack. I don't think I'd actually use it as a guidebook, but there is some practical advice that anyone can use. For example, to get free food, sign up for e-mails at chain restaurant websites and give different birth dates so you get free birthday meal coupons throughout the year. After all, they don't validate your birth date, they just send you a coupon whenever you say it's your birthday.

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