Leadership with heart, mind, and soul

Book Week 2010: Everday Absurdities by Tyler Stanton

Added on by Sam Davidson.

 Everyday Absurdities: Insights from the World's Most Trivial Man is hardly a trivial book. The author, Tyler Stanton, let his readers pick the subtitle. Someone willing to take that kind of risks is worth checking out, especially if you're up for some light-hearted fun. After all, Tyler's the same guy who let his blog readers pick a front licence plate for his car.

I'm fairly new to Tyler's writing, but when I found his blog, it quickly became a must-read. His "Weekly Six" makes my final mid-morning of the work week very enjoyable, and it's where I find most of the You Tube videos I mark as favorites.

Speaking of You Tube, Tyler starred in a video that now has more than 3,600,000 million views. If it were a country, it would be a little bigger than Moldova. Here it is:

The book contains a lot of what Tyler has written on his blog through the years, but it's hard to take a blog to the park or on a plane, which is why you should get a hard copy. In the book you'll find some of his hilarious series and suggestions, like "Public Restrooms for Beginners," birthday customs that need to be eliminated, and the secret code you can dial at any Wal-Mart to get on the PA system. This book can literally provide you with hours of fun.

After reading through Everyday Absurdities and laughing a lot, I asked Tyler a few questions. And he answered them.

Me: I can't help but notice the well-placed numbers on page 4. Now that you're a full time actor, what body part would you sell to be on an episode of LOST?

The World's Most Trivial Man: It's really weird you asked that. I was just thinking about that the other night during the part where Sawyer was all torn up and crying. I couldn't do that. Don't tell anyone, but I'm not really a good actor. I can do the comedy thing OK, but the other stuff scares me. All that to say, did you see Mac from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" show up on that episode? That's the kind of role I'd like. I'd sell my tonsils for that.

Me: You and I were in different fraternities in college. Does this review mean we can look past the social structures that were superficially created 10 years ago? And, how soon each semester did you use up your $100 food court credit on Chik-Fil-A?

The World's Most Trivial Man: Most definitely. But you should know, I no longer have any affiliation to my former fraternity...literally. My junior year I was "financially expelled" because I didn't want to pay dues anymore. They wouldn't let me go inactive, so I refused to pay, and they kicked me out. Like, national president kicked me out. So, when we lived next door to each other senior year, we actually could've been friends. And I never really considered that $100 actual money, so I was like the guy at the bar who buys a round for all his buddies. That hundred lasted a day-and-a-half, two days max.

Me: Towards the end of the book, you tell us not to be "that guy." Inevitably, unknowingly perhaps, we find ourselves as "that guy" at times. What steps does one take to repent of such behavior?

The World's Most Trivial Man: The most important thing is to admit, at least to yourself, that you are that guy. There's really nothing worse than when that guy doesn't know (or refuses to believe) he's that guy. Most of the things I make fun of in the book are things that I've done and, unfortunately, still do from time to time. I'm not proud of it, but there is a freeing feeling that comes with not taking yourself too seriously.

I think if you buy Tyler's book and read it, you'll laugh a lot, like I did. In fact, to prove it, I'm giving away a copy. Here's the deal:

Either in the comments below or on Twitter, tell me what infomercial product you've actually purchased. I'll pick one entry at random next week and you'll get a copy of Everday Absurdities. Enjoy.

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