First, I have to say that I’m a fan of Jim Gaffigan, ever since his days on the Chicago-set show, My Boys. Second of all, I have to admit that I read this entire book in the bathroom. The book is perfectly set up to do that—written in small bursts that are easily read while . . . sitting in the bathroom. Finally, I don’t have five kids or any kids and I don’t live in New York and this book made me feel alternate waves of envy and relief about my childless, New York City-less state.
Basically, this is book of “bits” about Jim’s experiences becoming and being a father. As previously mentioned, he and his wife currently have five children and they live in a two-bedroom apartment in NYC. Yes, you do the math. The “bit” about how they have to put the kids to bed each night is like one of those logic problems from the SAT (Dan has to sit next to Jane and Sue, but he can’t sit next to Carl or . . . you get the idea).
Gaffigan manages to mix the right amount of snark and heart into these stories and most of them made me laugh out loud (yes, in the bathroom) at least once. Some of my favorites include the discussion of how naps are “pay day loans” or why parents give in to McDonalds. The chapter, “Are You Done Yet?” where he discusses the growing dismay of his friends and family as he and his wife exceed the normal couple allotment of two children is brilliant.
Though Gaffigan mines his home life for comic gold, some things are clear. He loves his wife, he loves his kids, and he loves his life—even though it is chaotic, sometimes impossible, and exhausting. This book made me wonder how much fun it would be to grow up in the Gaffigan household—I suspect that the next generation of standup comics is in the making.