Prank the Monkey
Since I've spent this week recovering from surgery, I'm not doing much but -
* enjoy the pain-numbing narcotics giving me Twilight Zone-like glimpses into life (I've had some doozies),
* channel-jump on the TV,
* write a blog post here,
* peck away at a few e-mails, and/or
* read books.
Ah. Reading books. My favorite addiction.
Right now I am surrounded by maybe 150 books. I feel safely walled in from the world. Out of all of these paper bricks of wisdom, one of them has stood out above all the rest.
The book Prank the Monkey by Sir John Hargrave is causing me to need more pain medicine. Every time I read it I start laughing, which causes my stomach to tighten, which causes me to grimace. It's a love-hate thing. Laughter is good. Pain is bad. The balance is sweet.
Hargrave's book is well written, lively, fun and insightful. He's a very human prankster who dares to poke holes at society's weak spots by pulling fairly mild hoaxes.
His targets are the biggies who get too big to remember being small: Wal-Mart, Starbucks, celebrities, and of course government.
The book is subtitled "The ZUG Book of Pranks." It's based on a site I'm now getting to know over at http://www.zug.com/
Since I'm a disciple of P.T. Barnum, and of course wrote a book about Barnum and other hoaxers in There's A Customer Born Every Minute, I love this book. It's in the spirit of Alan Abel and the audacious people who aren't afraid to show us our vulnerabilities in a playful way.
One of the things I love about Hargrave's book is his humanness. He admits to being nervous when he pulls pranks.
I know the feeling.
When I hired Alan Abel to pull The Great Lotto Hoax (soon to be a movie) to help promote my book, The Attractor Factor, last February, I had several sweaty, sleepless nights full of fear. What if this doesn't work? What if it back-fires? What if -- fill in the bank with any fear you like.
Hargrave is afraid, too, but believes in his mission and goes forth, anyway.
I'm glad he did and does.
Except for convulsions of belly-laughter while reading Prank the Monkey -- which in my case is uncomfortable -- it's a healing book.
PS - Mark your calendar: Oprah will air her special on The Secret movie this coming Thursday, Feb. 8 th. I'm not on it - I was on my back in a hospital when it was filmed - but my friends Jack Canfield and James Ray are. Watch it. I bet this show sends the message of The Secret across the planet in a way never seen before. Tell friends. Tune in. Note: This is not a prank.
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