Book Review – Notes of a Tourist on Planet Earth by J.D. Smith

J.D. Smith, world traveler and award-winning writer, entertains readers with an outsider’s view of people, places, and life on Planet Earth. He reminds us that there is a funny side to the most obvious things we take for granted, but have never found humor in them before. We learn new and different acceptable names for food, marketing slogans, movies, and bands, as well as names that were rejected for ice cream and cigar brands. He writes about politics and elections where words count and suggests changing the Count your Vote slogan to Count your Goat. Based on his theory, goats as a group actually resemble America since they are white, black, brown, and other combinations. In fact, he says, goats and people all want the same things, food, water, and freedom. J.D. Smith provides answers to many questions you never asked; admittedly some are absurd and quirky but always amusing.

Who would ever think of ethanol as a person, consider the possibility of other origins for greenhouse gases, or recognize the real significance of the hoodie phenomenon. Did you know, for example, that a new method of measurement based on Joe Mantegna from “Criminal Minds” could replace the conventional metric system? Who would consider meeting a dominatrix at any time, or even want to experience the complete humiliation that follows? Yet, have you ever wondered or laughed at the mysterious, usually foreign names given to these unsavory people such as Brunhilde, Dominique, and Natasha. Why, you may ask, are none of them named Amy, Betsy, Ruth, or Gail? Then, you will find information on how to be a male flower girl, what to expect from a management counseling session, and how to write fan mail to a Michelin tire.

Are you aware that dogs suffer from insomnia? According to the author, they do, but you can’t let dogs that don’t sleep just lie there. He suggests some solutions for this ailment such as after midnight snacks, better television programming, or a ruff love session with a romp outdoors. Watching the dog for hours on end may be the only answer, however.

At one time or another, we have all experienced the frustrations of airline travel, which Smith explores in depth and offers a new name, Cramped Cabin and Crying Babies Airline. He explains that because it is actually a mutual money making agreement among CEOs, high-ranking government officials, and celebrities, you should have no high expectations. If you are assigned seats with the ordinary people in the economy section, you are unofficially designated an “untouchable.” Remember that service and comfort are reserved for first class, which you probably can’t afford unless of course you’re a celebrity. According to Smith, “being a celebrity means never having to say you’re sorry. Being anyone else means apologizing for the fact that you’re not a celebrity.”

His off-the-wall approach to termination of life, which most of us don’t want to or ever think about, can make the inevitable a little less troublesome than before. You have the option for nice accommodations at the Bath and Blade Suicide Suites Hotel where you will receive personal attention. The hotel has 24-hour concierge service to assist you with their extensive knowledge of places to go such as clubs, bars, and restaurants. Perhaps you are a guest who has never called an escort service – well that too can be arranged. If you like to gamble, the hotel shuttles will take you to the Native American casinos on reservations nearby where you can spend a little of your savings or throw it all away like high rollers do. Of course, you certainly can’t predict the length of your stay, but the hotel will accept an early departure with no refunds.

This is a very unusual book, written in a refreshing, unconventional style with common, familiar language, a lot of metaphors, and considerable satirical wit. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and read it in one sitting. Every page of clever, creative writing by J.D. Smith is guaranteed to make you laugh. The book will be appreciated by anyone who may have forgotten what it is to laugh at the ordinary, unavoidable events in life. It may have been a while since you found anything funny in everyday happenings, but you will discover that some people are indeed comical as they go about their daily routine. The variety in the author’s collection of prose, poetry, and personal observations gives readers an opportunity to escape the mundane and at times boring experiences that frequently occur in their lives. It is quite possible that you will gain a whole new perspective after reading this entertaining book and discover that Planet Earth can be an amusing place after all.

Cassowary Press (publishing arm of Cassowary Creative)
First Edition Paperback: 2013
Amazon $9.93
U.S. $10.29
$9.30 NOOK Book – e-book

Sharon L Slayton
May 2013

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