Guest blogger Danielle Marie Georgiou is a Dance Lecturer at the University of Texas at Arlington where she serves as the Assistant Director of the UT Arlington’s Dance Ensemble. She is also a member of Muscle Memory Dance Theatre – a modern dance collective.
I was recently sent a book to review. It came in the mail in a small manila envelope, no bigger than a playbill, simply labeled with my name and address. Curiously, I slowly loosened the glue securing the flap in place, tilted the package to release its contents and was immediately showered in a cascade of confetti. I knew from that moment that I was in for a treat!
Patrick Wensink’s hilarious collection of short stories Sex Dungeon For Sale! (Eraserhead Press) cleverly combines a sadistic sense of humor with the gut-wrenching recognition of reality. You have an overly optimistic Realtor who will do anything to sell a home that contains a dirty little secret. A kindergartner that is convinced he’s actually French. And the best book never written: Chicken Soup for the Kidnapper’s Soul.
Wensink’s dark humor, bizarre scenarios and quick wit are a perfect match for those who enjoy a trip through the absurd with the likes of Vonnegut, Robbins and, of course, Christopher Moore. His strange nuggets of deliciousness are the right size for the healthy appetites of our ADD generation.
I was reading Wensink’s collection of stories while traveling abroad and found myself laughing at the irreverence of our American culture. His look at consumerism in “Wash, Rinse, Repeat,” made me appreciate the two hours it takes my dishwasher to clean the food stains off my ceramic dishes. I went home and immediately thanked my Kenmore for doing a great job!
“Clean Bill of Health,” “Donor 322” and “Pandemic Jones” give a twisted look at our healthcare industry. Dear men over 45, Wensink wishes you a clean bill of health. “Donor 322” utilizes the anonymity of e-mail in a To Catch a Predator sort of way. Ever wonder what really goes on in pharmaceutical sales? “Pandemic Jones” might give you pause before you commit your body to science.
The title story, “Sex Dungeon For Sale!,” “My Son Thinks He’s French,” “Jesus Toast” and “The Many Lives of James Brown’s Capes” illustrate Wensink’s eye for the surreal, all while keeping at least one foot in the realm of the realist. He gives the reader a look into our world that makes us shudder with fear and laugh with pure joy.