If asked, R. Scott Murphy would describe his collection titled Fun Stories Greatest Hits as fitting in the following genres: Humor and Entertainment, Parenting and Family Humor, Happiness, Romantic Comedy, Feel Good Essays, Parodies, and Word Play & Satire. The description covers a lot of territories, but Murphy uses forty stories to do it. The humor is self-deprecating, but also inclusive as Murphy posits the existence of communities such as Fun Stories Nation and MentalKickBall which include the readers and the author as the combination attempts to make sense of the ridiculousness we see around us every day.
The author describes how he achieved long-lasting fame as he sought the least amount of fame possible (chapter 2). Murphy’s career as an engineer or car designer went downhill at the same time as his progress as a cub scout dropout (chapter 3). Prizes and awards are given to people for winning. But losing has its advantages in Gatorade for the Soul (chapter 5). There is a way to properly butter popcorn and there is a different type of etiquette required when meeting someone urinating against a building (chapters 6 and 7).
An early employment mentor of Murphy’s is Beer Man. Don’t follow his example; his actions were not the kind of example that should be followed by any worker (chapter 12). Chapter Nineteen provides alerts as to what a reader should do if they ever receive or feel threatened by Bobbleheads. Grocery Store Math is one of my favorites. I will always think of this story when I am trying to exceed the 15-item limit in the cash-only checkout line.
Starting around Chapter fifteen, several of the chapters become almost listicles. There is a list of states where different types of Girl Scout Cookies can be obtained. Shamefully Suggestive City Names (chapter 21) is a collection of lists, amusing, but I am not a fan of lists. Chapter Twenty-two does the same thing with the names of bands.
For those who study economics and worry about their financial well being, the example of a couple of entrepreneurs in Chapter 30, Sixth Grade Economics, will give readers hope. Forward copies of this story as an attachment to an email to bankers and financial “experts” everywhere. While considering emails, check out Funny Sales E-mails (chapter 32). Eye-catching subject lines in e-mails can be fun.
There is romance. Imagine starting a romance in the fourth grade, progressing through several stages and finally breaking up, all without speaking a word to each other (chapter 25). Readers of rom-com won’t want to miss this.
There is a great bonus read at the end of this novel. Read at your own risk. It will change your behavior in restaurants towards waitresses. You can only send back the food so many times without consequences. I give this novel five Amazon stars based on originality of observations about the mundane. Even though I don’t like lists, these presentations are funny. The novel is available on Kindle Unlimited as a free read and that is the way I read it.