2012 welcomed me with a rip-snortin' head cold. Couldn't stay tucked in bed, either, as I needed to travel home from Alberta on New Year's Day. Fortunately for me, I have my own personal and handsome professional driver who agreed to marry me back in 1977. For that, he gets the privilege of toting my sorry carcass around without benefit of a chauffeur's paycheque.
Even when healthy, I'm typically a useless lump on the passenger seat. I'm either sleeping, engrossed in a book, or grumbling about how uncomfortable I am. I figure if people were meant to travel, we'd have been given wings. Or first class airline tickets.
So you can imagine what a peach I was on this particular travel day with the addition of a brutal virus. You'd be right, too, except I'd been given a gift while we visited family and friends over the holidays. Phil Callaway is a prolific humour writer and speaker who lives in Three Hills, Alberta. I was given an autographed copy of his latest book, To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man's Year of (Almost) Living Truthfully Could Change Your life. No Lie.
It seems Phil's editor at Multnomah Books dared him to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth for an entire year, then write a book about his experience. Now, if presented with the challenge of telling the truth for a year in a public forum, I wouldn't exactly jump at the chance, would you? Which begs the question, why not? Are we habitual liars? If not, it should be easy. Right?
Intrigued, I offered to start reading the book aloud as soon as the sun came up, about an hour after our departure. I didn't think I'd last very long, given the stuffed up sinuses and all. But we found it so delightful, I kept going...and going...and we were disappointed when we ran out of daylight around 5:00 and had to put the book away. I have since finished reading it and my driver is working on it. Not while driving.
Phil Callaway makes his living as a humourist. Everyone knows what makes humour funny is usually exaggeration. Exaggeration might be 97% truth. It might even be 99% truth. But it is not whole truth. This presented a dilemma. But as Phil discovers, we humans are so adept at presenting ourselves in untruthful ways, we fool even ourselves. The stories he shares, presented in journal form, are hilariously entertaining and refreshingly, painfully honest. I can relate to this guy.
One of the more benign and funny adventures was when an elderly man calls him one Sunday evening to apologize for his extreme anger after Phil cut him off in the church parking lot that morning. The problem was, Phil was out of town when the infraction occurred. He explains this to the man, but the man insists, "No, it was you, I know your car." In the end, Phil told what he hopes is a guileless lie, forgiving the man for his angry outburst. (He never says whether he also apologized for cutting the guy off.)
I highly recommend this book for its thought-provoking self-disclosure, heartwarming tales, and sheer entertainment value.
It will not, however, cure your cold.
Click on the picture for more info or to orders your copy.