* Introduction * Taking Pot Luck * Mood Piece * Mechanical Inclinations * Wood: You Can Count on It * Old Friend Guilt * Ditch Diving * Sixty-Four-Dollar Questions * Bad Signs * Command Performance * See and Be Seen * Taking Potluck * Off the Top of My Head * Shake What Thing? * Pet Peeves * Wait Divisions * Cleanliness vs. Godliness * Strangers in my Chairs * Symptoms of Fatherhood * Dadiholics Anonymous * A Housebuilders Guide to Homemaking * Dish Demeanor Small Comforts * Small Comfort * Gross Estimates * Senior Boom * Mental Safety * I Aim to Please * Miss America * Lost Mail * Chain Reactions * Burger Blues * A Year of Peace * Hard Comprisons Not Letting Go * Eulogy for an Ancient Eskimo * Ohlsen Mountain * State of Spring * Back to School * Last Dollar * Pretty As a Picture * Working Slobs * Orphans * Wow * Fathers Day * Not Letting Go
Tom Bodett was born in 1955 and grew up in Sturgis, Michigan. He has been a cannery worker, a logger, an independent building contractor, and a commentator on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." He is the author of a previous collection, As Far As You Can Go Without a Passport, and is the national media pitchman for Motel 6. He lives with his wife and son in Homer, Alaska, from where he hosted "The End of the Road Review," a nationally syndicated weekly radio variety show.
A writer for the Anchorage Daily News and a commentator on Alaska and National Public Radio, Bodett has two styles. He is a would-be humorist who evidently sees himself as a sort of sub-Arctic Andy Rooney, offering remarks on such topics as the perversity of mechanical devices, signs that order rational human beings not to do things they wouldn't think of doing and orphaned shopping carts that appear virtually anywhere. In these pieces, he is not especially original and only occasionally draws a chuckle of recognition. Then there is the sentimental observer of people and places. Bodett is genuinely touching when he describes his infant son and the joys of being a father, a boy waiting for his first school bus ride and the beauties of Alaska. (October 6)