Thursday, 29 October 2009

Seasonal Suicide Notes: Roger Lewis

Gosh, this blog has performed more comebacks than any number of wrinkly pop stars or botoxed celebs. But here it is again, after a long hiatus resulting from my father's death last November which, as well as being sad, caused no end of medico-legal problems and my assumption of full-time care for my mother, a victim of Alzheimer's disease. After this long silence, I'll probably just be talking to myself but what the hell. I've had stupider conversations recently.

However, I've been considerably cheered up by the reviews of Seasonal Suicide Notes: My Life as it is Lived by Roger Lewis, an academic, journalist and sometime-notorious biographer. Here's one review that particularly creased me up and convinced me to buy at the earliest opportunity. Seasonal Suicide Notes looks like a book-length spoof of those smug, boastful round robin letters that plop dismayingly on your doormat every Christmas. Except that it isn't - the book is composed of genuine missives that the recipients persuaded Roger Lewis to publish: funny, vitriolic and oh-so-true to life as it's really lived. I was especially tickled by Mrs Lewis's experience in a TK Maxx changing room during a Two-Minutes' Silence.

A few Christmases ago, I got so irritated by these self-regarding incitements to envy that I composed a spoof round robin from Cuthbertson Acres. It was a catalogue of Dickensian misfortune which had us bankrupted in a scam moneymaking scheme and our offspring variously involved in drug-running/people-smuggling/unspeakable terrorist outrages, instead of becoming top lawyers/doctors/scientists/Booker-winning novelists. Sadly, I chickened out of sending it on the grounds that the recipients would either take offence at being sent up or, having no sense of the absurd, would have been only too willing to believe it.

And I wouldn't want that, would I?