My oldest son celebrated his 24th birthday recently. It is a manly
rite-of-passage that at some point he receives his very first gas
grill, and my husband decided that he was old enough now to handle
such an important responsibility. Plus, it allowed my husband to buy
a gas grill, something he always enjoys doing. The problem was that,
other than macaroni and cheese and Ramen noodles, my son had never
cooked a meal on an indoor appliance, much less on an outdoor gas
His brother decided that he needed a book to teach him how.
That is how we found ourselves in a bookstore surrounded by books
that ended in the words "for Dummies." These books were in the
reference section of the store, where you'd normally find such dry
tomes as "Computer Programming: In 14 Languages." I always wondered…
If you only speak one language, is the rest of the book wasted?
Anyway, we eventually found what we were looking for: "Grilling
for Dummies." Not only did it teach a complete "newbie" all about
grilling, it also gave my younger son the unholy pleasure of
indirectly placing my oldest son in the category of "dummies." They
also had the "Complete Idiot's Guide to Grilling," but the
difference between a dummy and a complete idiot was just enough to
get the younger one decked. So he chose the one that was less
harmful to his health but still allowed him to insult his older
brother on his birthday.
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Personally, I wouldn't be caught dead walking out of a bookstore
with a book that proclaimed to all and sundry that I was a "dummy"
or a "complete idiot." So I have to believe that there simply must
be a lot of people buying these books for their loved ones. The
marketing guys for these books must be geniuses.
While we were perusing the shelves of that bookstore, we came
upon some interesting titles for the "Dummies" books: "Gardening for
Dummies," "Bartending for Dummies." They should have "The Complete
Idiot's Guide to Drinking and Driving." I wonder what could possibly
be said about that subject that would make the book the size of an
encyclopedia. Maybe when you open it up, it could have one word on
every page: DON'T! A word that even a complete idiot could
After seeing that the "French Cooking for Dummies" book contained
just as many pages as the computer programming books, I decided that
French cooking could be taken off my list of "Things to Do Before I
Die." Life is too short. Learning to program a computer never even
made it to my list.
I was looking for a book called "Rocket Science for Dummies,"
just in case I ever needed that information. Not surprisingly, they
didn't have one. Like I said, there are certain things that
"dummies" probably shouldn't mess with.
[Text from file received from Laura
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