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Ode to the Stuff in the Sink

by Andrew "telarium" Langley

In an effort to bring more culture to the LucasArts fan community, this will be Mixnmojo’s first ever book review. Now I know what you’re thinking. “Aren’t video games the only culture we need?” Well, frankly no. That’s why we at Mixnmojo strive to introduce our readers to the finer things in life such as the culinary wisdom found in Cooking With Spaff. In our first literary review, we’ll be taking a look at Ode to the Stuff in the Sink, a book of “guy poetry” written by Dave Grossman.

Now if you don’t know who Dave Grossman is, I have to wonder why you’re even reading this website in the first place. Dave was a writer/programmer for The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge. Following that, Dave and Tim Schafer became the writers/project leaders for Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle. Dave then realized that being a project leader wasn’t for him and decided to become a freelance writer instead. He has gone on to write various children's adventure games for Ron Gilbert like Pajama Sam, Freddie Fish, Moop and Dreadly, and Ollo.

Ode to the Stuff in the Sink marks Dave’s first book for adults. That doesn’t mean it’s all peep shows and dirty limericks (although that last part is debatable, depending on how you define “dirty”). In fact, subscribers to Dave’s Poem of the Week mailing list will already know what to expect in this new book. It’s a collection of humorous poetry exploring what it means to be stereotypical male. Like most stereotypes, there are several fundamental truths behind it. This can be immediately recognized in such titles as “Ode to a Pickup Truck”, “What’s That Smell?”, “Feet on the Table”, and last but not least, “Is That Your Shirt Or Did A Clown Throw Up On You?"

The verses are light, fun, and witty; everything you would expect from the co-writer of some of the most quirky adventure games ever made. For example, one poem describes the discovery of an ancient burrito buried deep inside a bachelor’s freezer. Naturally, instead of being thrown out, the burrito is just placed back to be rediscovered another day. Other poems examine the perils of dirty laundry, fast food, beer, hangovers, TV dinners, and the versatility of the modern microwave (sans hamsters). However, no book of guy poetry would be complete without a Three Stooges reference, noting that the poet is “having a Curly Howard day / And the world is full of Moe.”

In addition to the poems, the reader is also treated to illustrations by Dave himself. These drawings are very amusing and help to reinforce the humor behind the verses. The combination of the two actually reminded me of the demented works by Roald Dahl, particularly his book of poems entitled Revolting Rhymes.

I would recommend this book to all. Whether you’re a guy, know a guy, or know someone who knows a guy, there is much humor to be found here. However, if you’re not into the whole reading thing, you can still buy the book and subtly place it on your shelf. That way, when a woman (or man) comes to your home and sees the poems, they will think you’re a sensitive, well rounded, and introspective person. Everybody wins.

Ode to the Stuff in the Sink is only available through Dave’s website Phrenopolis.com at a low, low price of $9.

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