I Remember When You could Write a book That didn’t Only start Sentences With I Remember…
Hello fellow book nerds and freaks out there in the world. I read a lot of books and sometimes what I look for in a book is… shortness. I love epic reads and long books but on occasion I want a short, easy palate cleanser of a book to give me a brief fresh outlook on things. One that will revitalize me and energize me to read more books.
Well, I saw I Remember on my shelf and realized that it is only 167 pages and quite thin so I thought it might be a great match. Err…. noooooope. The entire book is made up of sentences by Joe Brainard that begin “I remember…”. Okay, sure, maybe you could make something interesting out of this. I feel like a lot of great stories might have begun with an author remembering something, I’m sure this applies to both fiction and non-fiction. Joe Brainard’s book is non-fiction and it is one of the dumbest reads I have ever read. While there are a few poignant passages that delve into love or sex or deep emotions there is a much larger amount of totally random bizarre thoughts that seem more at home on my blog than in a book.
Here’s a few actual quotes from the book.
- I remember pink dress shirts. And bola ties.
- I remember cherry Cokes.
- I remember cold turkey sandwiches.
- I remember that germs are everywhere!
- I remember sometimes blue underwear.
You know what? Everyone else remembers those things too! (Except for the blue underwear, in my experience underwear is either blue or it is not.) It gets weirder though.
- I remember that woman who was always opening refrigerators.
- I remember eating airplane glue off my fingers. (Yum-yum.)
- I remember never using shoehorns.
- I remember “Uranium”.
- I remember, in art movies, two nuns walking by.
Ok sure dude. I think you should have just written an interesting story about a woman who opens refrigerators looking for Uranium while you eat airplane glue off your fingers because you lost a shoehorn due to being distracted by two art-ish looking nuns walking by. That’s the kind of a story I can get behind.
But wait! This gets weirder. I’m not going to post the things that Joe Brainard remembered that were essentially racist or overtly sexual but those were definitely in the book. I am just gonna list more of the weird stuff.
- I remember when a kid told me that those sour clover-like leaves we used to eat (with little yellow flowers) tasted so sour because dogs peed on them. I remember that didn’t stop me from eating them.
- I remember Dorothy Collins’ teeth.
- I remember the clock from three to three-thirty.
- I remember (ugh) hound drops.
- I remember “7” and “14” and “13” and “21” and “69”
I admit I have no idea what a hound drop is, or why someone would eat leaves that dogs peed on or why one person’s teeth are so particularly memorable but I will say that you forgot most of the clock and how to count in order with all the numbers. I’m thinking you may want to have that checked out if that’s all you remember dude.
But I can’t end this post without my absolute favorite, weird line from this book. This is the only I remember worth it in the whole thing and it comes last.
- I remember a dream of meeting a man made out of a very soft yellow cheese and when I went to shake his hand I just pulled his whole arm off.
Me too, Joe Brainard, me too.
So, to summarize the whole entire book I must remember that famous quote from the classically bad film, Ghostbusters II. “Very good Louis. Short but pointless.” — Egon.