Drawing mainly from her own experiences, from youth right through to Grandma-hood, and with her tongue lodged firmly in her cheek, Diana Estill provides guidance and advice on such wide-ranging topics as wedding anniversary gifts, handling jalapeno peppers, and football terminology for dummies. Interspersed with such ruminations are hilarious anecdotes such as the Christmas Monopoly game that did not become a 'family tradition,' and the testosterone-fuelled Texas Chain Saw Adventure. Refreshingly, political correctness is thrown out of the window. The foibles and peculiarities particular to the male and female varieties of our species are brilliantly portrayed. As a man, I heartily endorse her theories on the problems of mall navigation for men, and the ingenious solution of a male drop-off zone complete with vibrating chairs, televised sports, and attendant grannies missing their grown-up sons. Brilliant.
Unlike many humor writers, Estill does not usually laugh at other people. By and large, she pokes fun at herself, her husband, and her family, in an affectionate way that is very appealing. Occasionally, the tone becomes more reflective and serious, with a couple of particularly lyrical and touching accounts of her relationship with her father.
At a fundamental level, this is an account of ordinary incidents in the everyday lives of normal people, and this is what makes it so accessible. Painting such events in her whimsical and quirky manner, Diana Estill infuses them with a sense of outrageous craziness that helps one to chuckle at the annoyances of life. After a tiring, stressful day this is a great book to pick up.
Armchair Interviews says: This book is a reminder that laughter is indeed the best medicine.
-- This text refers to the paperback edition. --Armchairinterviews.com
Author Diana Estill writes as if we are heading off on an adventure, beginning with a drive on Grand Cayman Island. The idea grew from a humor column published in "Road and Travel Magazine," amusing Americans who have either contemplated or actually experienced driving a British car. Diana issues a reminder to fasten seat belts and hold on, for otherwise, you may get thrown into a serious state--and that is rarely a fun place to be.
The published humor columnist hails from Texas, so many of the experiences she writes about take place or have something to do with life as it is in Texas. For example, you will laugh and cry upon reading about seeding and cleaning jalapeno peppers for the salsa used so often in Tex-Mex cuisine. And I did not know the Blue Lacy, named for its gun metal color coat, is the official state dog breed of Texas until I read the chapter called "Designer Dogs." Diane's grandchildren have a Blue Lacy by the name of Tex who buries anything he cannot eat and brushes his own teeth.
Diana is a successful journalist and humor columnist, and this is quite evident after spending some time perusing her book. I predict you too will be tickled by some of Diana's work. Such common items as a digital camera, smoke alarms, and lost luggage will have you smiling. The sections on green lawn obsession, stretching a dollar, loudly snoring husbands, getting prepared for a possible disaster, and toilet repairs (better known at the Estill home as the Institute of Toiletology) will leave you with high spirits. I was particularly amused with the "Gender Benders" section and found myself laughing out loud when Diana described a trip she and her husband took to receive a full body massage, a gift given to them by their daughter. Diana and Jim now claim to suffer from Chronic Massage Phobia. It is hilarious!
I recommend "Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road" to any adult needing a quick pick-me-up or a good laugh, and that would include just about all of us at one time or another. Diane Estill's writing style reminds me of Erma Bombeck, for she finds something humorous in the most mundane of activities. What a talent!
-- This text refers to the paperback edition. --Readerviews.com