Tag Archives: Wade Rouse

Of Mutts and Men

Dear lovers of dogs and appreciators of humorous prose (i.e. prospective buyers of Wade Rouse’s celebrated collection of dog essays, I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship):

I am a dog. Planet Mom’s dog to be exact. My name is Jack, although on occasion I’ve been referred to as Jackwagon, Jackass, Jackshit and even Jackcheese. Of course, my ridiculously small brain doesn’t allow me to process words in excess of one syllable, so I have yet to assign any real meaning to the aforementioned utterances; however I suspect they are largely derogatory in nature. Mostly because when Planet Mom uses them, she’s either a) gritting her teeth, b) hurling things at my wee head or c) shrieking in a belligerent manner while waving her arms about frantically—all of which I find inordinately amusing.

In any event, you may call me Jack or Mister Fuzzy Pants if you prefer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll come when you call. That’s just how it works. Dogs own people, which is the underlying message of Rouse’s new book released by Penguin Books just yesterday. Naturally, this makes me delirious with joy because finally, FINALLY, someone acknowledges the very real circumstance by which dog and human relationships are governed. In a word, this 255-page literary gem is pee worthy. God knows how I feel uniquely compelled to pee whenever anything really exciting happens—or perhaps run around in circles like a deranged squirrel. But I digress.

In sum, its pages are filled with cleverly written essays by some of the world’s most renowned humorists (i.e. Alice Bradley, Jen Lancaster, W. Bruce Cameron, Sarah Pekkanen, Jill Conner Browne, Jenny Gardiner, Jane Green, Alec Mapa, Stephanie Klein and lots, lots more). There’s also a riveting foreword by a dog named Chunk (read: Chelsea Handler) and an obscenely funny introductory tome by none other than Wade Rouse. No surprise there.

Thankfully, I was afforded an abundance of time to peruse said book, since I don’t actually have all that much to concern myself with anyway—aside from gnawing on Barbie dolls and plastic dinosaurs, devouring chew toys and cat poop at will, hauling dirty underwear and sweat socks into the kitchen with glee and, of course, whizzing indiscriminately. Oh, and let us not forget those daily strolls on my leash wherein I go apeshit for no apparent reason, unable to pull my sorry self from the depths of despair (i.e. my barking frenzies of indeterminate length and intensity involving joggers, people who smell funny and, occasionally, a freakishly large and decidedly hostile trashcan). It’s all so completely unnerving some days. Good thing I’ve had Wade Rouse’s new book to help me reconnect with my inner dog and get back to being a more loveable beast.

All things considered, I’d recommend Not the Biggest Bitch with every fiber of my neurotic little soul (read: all 14 pounds of cottony, touchably soft fluff).



P.S. Wade Rouse plans to donate 10% of the royalties he earns from sales of Not the Biggest Bitch to the Humane Society of the United States, which makes me smile with all my teeth (FYI: lots of dogs smile when they’re happy), not to be confused with the instance wherein I (remarkably, I might add) pooped a smile. I shit you not (see picture). Furthermore, such terrific news fills me with the irresistible desire to piddle upon this lovely floor yet again. An unavoidable circumstance of being a dog, methinks.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live (with Mister Jackwagon himself). Visit me there at www.facebook.com/NotesfromPlanetMom.

Copyright 2011 Melinda L. Wentzel


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Filed under Bookish Stuff, Doggie Diamonds, Vat of Complete Irreverence

It’s All Relative

Tomorrow is Reconciliation Day–a special square on the calendar set aside to celebrate the fine art of patching up relationships. A day to make amends and to rekindle the bonds we share with family and friends.

So it’s only fitting that you march to your local book store and pick up a copy of Wade Rouse’s latest memoir, It’s All Relative, a brazenly amusing collection of essays cleverly arranged around 34 holidays (some of which border on the bizarre) and, of course, family (which, for most of us, is DECIDEDLY bizarre). Indeed, an inspiring read just in time for this strange and wonderful holiday.

That said, Rouse has an uncanny knack for sharing that-which-is-obscenely-funny, deeply personal and refreshingly genuine all in the same breath. Time and again, he embraces irreverence, pokes fun at his beloved clan and sprinkles a wealth of self-deprecating humor on nearly every page.

I, for one, will never view Secretary’s Day in the same way, having read the 16-page romp in which Rouse masterfully recounts his very first JOB FROM HELL. Nor will I wander the aisles of Home Depot on or around Arbor Day without conjuring an image of the priceless tree-drama he described so well. Furthermore, I’m quite certain that I will develop a debilitating obsession with Pez dispensers in the very near future. Oy.

But woven deep within the fabric of his tales lies something far greater than his patented wit and delicious delivery–a profound and inordinately palpable sense of his humanness, his hopes and fears, loves and losses, joys and regrets. It’s all there in black and white, catching us unawares on the fringe of literary brilliance. Perhaps most notably, Rouse not only makes us laugh uproariously, he also tackles topics that are far-from-neat-and-tidy. Ones that break our hearts and make us think about what matters most–family.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live (enjoying It’s All Relative once more).

Copyright 2011 Melinda L. Wentzel

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Filed under Bookish Stuff, Normal is Relative, The Write Stuff