Amazon,com; $9.35There are so many things wrong with this, I don't know where to start -- yet I'm probably going to be first in line to buy the damn thing. Yes, it's a book based on a Twitter account, but unlike Stuff on My Cat and I Can Has Cheezburger?, this doesn't just spit out the original content -- it's a memoir, inspired by the hilarious tweets from Justin Halpern's cranky old dad, but going much deeper. So okay.
Here's the back story: Halpern, who studied TV and film production in college, was living in LA when his girlfriend up and dumped him.
With nowhere else to turn and no Felix Unger to fall back on, he moved home to San Diego to live with 73-year-old father (and his mom too, though she didn’t merit a Twitter account). With time on his hands and Twitter at his fingertips, he realized his dad's ridiculous pronouncements -- such as "Don't start a story with this is so funny. Be like saying My dick's huge before you screw. Even if you're right you sound like an asshole." -- were comedy gold. Within days of his first tweet, he was an Internet sensation, retweeted and posted everywhere.
When I first got hip to Halpern's Twitter account, I swore to anyone who would listen that it was funny as hell, but fake. There was no way that the father of a random 29-year-old guy would be this pithy and funny; it had to be one of those made-up accounts, like the ones people do about their pets or ersatz-celebrities talking crazy.
But as Halpern got his TV deal (same producers as Will & Grace), I waited for him to be outed as a fake … and he never was. He's as baffled as anyone by the way his account took off. Though for me, seeing that he has a writing background and can craft a story (even with only 140 characters), I'm more ready to accept that with the perfect storm of a hilariously inappropriate dad and storytelling experience, Halpern's the real deal. Never mind that my heart is broken by the fact that his dad will be played by William Shatner (real) and not Abe Vigoda (fake).
And the memoir is everything a tweet can't be: Funny, touching, and sometimes sad. "When I was little, I mostly felt terrified of him, so I couldn’t appreciate that I was dealing with the least passive-aggressive person on the planet," he says in the foreword. The chapters that follow are basically vignettes, stories of Justin dealing with family road trips, his dad's nude shotgun adventures, and … look, you're just going to have to go ahead and buy it and read it yourself.
If only so Halpern can move the fuck out of his dad's house already.