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I Think, Therefore I Have A Headache
Chicken soup humor
By Linda A. Prussen-Razzano
Martha Bolton, a full-time comedy writer and author of numerous books, offers up her latest round of light hearted humor in I Think, Therefore I Have A Headache. I opened the book around 4:00 p.m, and before 5:00 p.m., it was over. This quick moving series of vignettes alternates between poignant and funny, to repetitive and mundane. Bolton's self-depreciating humor spans from delightful to somewhat stale and predictable.
Nevertheless, the book is not without its charm.
The opening piece, from which the book derives its title, promises quick barks of laughter on the first few pages. Woven delicately into this piece is an underlying tone of seriousness, an unspoken prompt that we examine the frenzied chaos of our everyday lives and imagine bigger things.
The second piece, regarding television advertisements for controversial new drugs, will elicit howls of laughter. Here Bolton shows her true comedic genius, allowing the reader to vividly picture the described commercial in all its wonderfully ironic detail. The piece is brief, bitingly funny, and ends entirely too soon.
I hummed my way through the next several vignettes, still interested but not completely engaged. It was not until "A Penny For Your Thoughts" that Bolton's words grabbed at me again, with her passionate defense of the penny as a form of currency. For anyone who has experienced the seemingly never-ending quest to rid themselves of these self-replicating coins, you will view your copper friends in an entirely different light.
Several notably humorous moments also occur in "Vacuum-Sealed Ideas." Think shrink wrap, and let your mind wander. No more need be said on the matter.
Bolton's humor is clean, wholesome, and family oriented. The book tries hard to be inoffensive and uplifting, clearly succeeding in the first and moderately successful in the second. Those who enjoy the "Chicken Soup" series will find Bolton's book an easy and pleasant read.
Those who enjoy something sharper or more sardonic may walk away unsatisfied. In its totality, Bolton shines best when she steps outside the box. In several chapters, her opening quotes tend to be funnier than her original material. A number of her pieces floated quickly through the mind, but like cotton candy, they were not particularly nourishing to the soul.
Those pieces that made an impression, however, will make a lasting one.
Linda Prussen-Razzano is frequent contributor to Enter Stage Right and a number of other online magazines.
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