Awkward short stories

I've just finished reading the book Awkward Situations for Men, by Danny Wallace, a book which by its very title shouldn't really have appealed to me. I mean, to be perfectly honest, I picked this up some time ago off the freebie table in front of my neighborhood charity shop (and despite recent appearances, that is not actually where I pick up all of my reading materials.)

But I'd read another of Wallace's books earlier this year (which I coincidentally picked up off of another freebie table, though not at this particular charity shop, and ... oh, I give up), and had really, really liked it. That book was called Yes Man, and was sort of a comedic memoir of how Wallace - after realizing he'd become sort of a negative person and a lousy friend who constantly turned down all invitations - vowed to say "Yes" to everything offered to him over a period of several months. Including, for instance, credit card offers. It's funny and charming, and on top of that it's actually kind of got a message: "Keep an eye out for 'Yes' moments, because saying yes more just might change your life." I'm so on board with this concept.

So I'd quite happily grabbed Awkward Situations for Men and looked forward to reading more of Wallace's wacky wisdom. It turns out it's not so much a story the way Yes Man is, but instead a collection of short anecdotes about his being, well, an awkward man.

And in spite of not being a man, I could certainly relate to the awkward part in quite a few of the stories. I too have gotten lost inside a department store. I too have been the only person to turn up on time - by a large margin - to a dinner party. I mean, fine, I can't quite relate to the story about stage fright at a urinal, but generally you get the idea.

But what really struck me while I was reading it was that what Wallace did with his book isn't so very different from what I've been doing with this blog: writing short stories about snippets of everyday life. And yes, I get it, he's a successful published author with a career and a cult following (...literally. His first book, Join Me, is about how he accidentally started a cult). I have none of those things.

But I am a storyteller of sorts nevertheless. And since I've been thinking about what I'll do - if anything - with this blog once this great big 2016 experiment is over, I'm kind of thinking it'd be cool if I took some of these blog entries, cleaned them up a little bit, and ... turned them into a book of short, anecdotal stories. Because, as we were saying just yesterday, sometimes you just have to fake it til you make it.

And maybe one day I'll have my own cult.