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Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit: And Other Country Sayings, Say-Sos, Hoots and Hollers by Allan Zullo and Gene Cheek (Andrews McMeel Publishing)
This pocket-sized collection of more than 200 quaint country colloquialisms is… well, exactly that. If that sounds like something you want to add to your coffee table and/or toilet tank, by all means. But to me, this extremely quick read feels more like a Jeff Foxworthy “You might be a redneck if…” joke than it does words of wisdom. If you feel the need to add Southern-fried one-liners like “I feel finer than a frog’s hair split four ways and sanded twice” to your library, this book is screaming your name. Unfortunately, all I see is a thin gimmick stretched out over 200 pages.

“Must Read After My Death” (Gigantic Pictures)
In the 1960s, Allis and Charley were living what appeared to be a charmed, all-American lifestyle with their four children in the suburbs of Hartford, Connecticut. Charley’s job took him to Australia four months out of every year, and the family decided to stay in touch with each other through Dictaphone audio recordings. As years passed, they continued using the Dictaphone to document their lives together. Unfortunately, Charley’s flagrant infidelity had cracked the family’s very foundation and, after seeing numerous psychologists and psychiatrists, their lives soon began to spiral out of control. Amazingly, they documented the destruction and devastation along the way. In 2001, Allis passed away leaving a garden shed filled with photographs, journals, home movies, and all of the Dictaphone recordings. Included with the family archive was a simple request from Allis: “Must read after my death.” Allis’ grandson, director Morgan Dews, did just that, and has edited all of the footage, photos and audio files down into this highly disturbing documentary about the rarely seen dark side of middle class America. What’s most impressive about the film is that it is entirely comprised of those found elements. There are no follow-up interviews, no background narrations… nothing; just the sounds and images of a family from four decades ago. Haunting and revealing, “Must Read After My Death” shines a spotlight on all of the dirty little secrets most families hope to keep hidden. Dews, on the other hand, has decided to broadcast it.

The book isn’t always better than the movie,


Old Poop!