The Holy Moly! Rules of Modern Life

Author: Holy Moly!
Friday Books
RRP 6.99
ISBN 0 954 83182 9
Available 21 October 2005

The Holy Moly! Rules of Modern Life is the ultimate guide to everything you ever wanted to know about - but were afraid to ask, explained through hilarious quotes and comic book style graphics...

For those of you not in the know, Holy Moly! is a satirical website... Actually, I say "satirical" but it's not at the cutting edge of satire. Sadly it tends to lean a little too heavily on swearing as a comedic crutch! But then, like #34 in this book ("Sarcasm may be the lowest form of wit... but it's still funny"), it may be the lowest, cheapest way of getting a laugh... but it still gets a laugh.

I do subscribe to their newsletter, and have for some time now as childish humour, in very small doses, is incredibly satisfying. But is a book in this style really worth spending your hard earned money on? The answer is yes. Without a doubt! I can't think of a better way to spend £7 than on this collection.

This is laugh out loud funny... wait a second. I usually avoid books that have that as a quote from a reviewer - it's usually a guarantee that the book won't even raise a smile. So the best way to test the theory is to see if you actually find the following amusing or not...

Beginning a sentence: "Now don't get angry..." will always have the reverse effect.

It is impossible to sing Copacabana without wiggling your shoulders.

Slapping your girlfriend in the face with your penis is not going to want her to have sex with you.

Try the above on your friends and family (well, maybe not the last one) and see if they actually respond in the appropriate way - they all did when I tried.

There are some minor problems with this collection though. The woman's magazine joke was mildly funny the first time, but by the third variation I was starting to nod off. But on the whole this is a first rate collection of rules that you really do need to know. For example: "Attention fat people! Diet Coke is not a magic potion" should be taught in schools.

It's also worth reading all that usually dull small print at the start of the book. While you might not give a fig about the address of the publisher, or that a catalogue record for the book is available from the British Library (I wonder how many requests the British Library gets each year to see catalogue records), there is an additional gag hidden away.

So who is Holy Moly! then? According to the book's press release he is a senior figure in the media but prefers to keep his identity secret. Hmmm, a media type who wishes to remain anonymous? Perhaps another rule that should have been added to the book is:

#160 - If you are the owner of a satirical website, don't give off the impression that you are actually someone influential in broadcasting (like Kevin Marsh or maybe Keith Chegwin). It won't, as you suspect, cause the media to spend years debating just which famous media celebrity you are. They will all suspect that the only contact you've ever had with the media industry was two weeks temping at the Daily Express - where you spent all day photocopying beauty and Christmas party articles and dreaming of the day when you could write your own column... that, or that you are Richard Littlejohn.

Anyway ignore all my waffling (I am just bitter, as it was me who was once a temp at the Daily Express). You only need to know one fact about this book. It is the only publication you should be asking for this Christmas.

Darren Rea

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