Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Barber's Conundrum

The Barber's Conundrum
"Observations from the Cheap Seats"
Author: John Hartnett
Publication Date: 2012

Idgie Says:
A gentle "newspaper columnist" selection of stories.  Nice mild humor and slice - of - life observations.  A slim book, easy to tote around and read a chapter at a time as each  is an individual story.

The chapter on getting a boy to do his homework had me in hysterics.  He was spot on with that observation. 

Book Description:
Early Bird Publishing has released its first book, a collection of humor essays by John Hartnett, The Barber's Conundrum and Other Stories: Observations on Life From the Cheap Seats.

Mr. Hartnett, a former joke writer and long time publishing executive, is the owner of Early Bird Publishing. He's also head of sales and marketing, new product development, editorial and public relations and when his kids are at school or hiding, shipping and receiving. Hartnett also writes the humor blog: The Monkey Bellhop (

The Barber's Conundrum and Other Stories is a collection of humor essays that address every day life including parenting (The School Project: An American Tragedy), relationships (How Bananas Almost Destroyed My Marriage), religion (If We're Late Again for Church, I Will Kill You), the media (There But for the Grace of God Goes the Weather Reporter), animals, specifically geese who tie up traffic by refusing to fly (Behold the Goose), the afterlife (An Unwanted Glimpse of the Afterlife), and other topics readily identifiable and relatable to anyone who doesn't employ and house a staff of servants that outnumber their immediate family by a ratio of 16:1.

“There's a lot of stress and sadness these days, and at the risk of sounding grandiose, I wrote this book with the sole intention of giving readers a little bit of a break -- stories and situations to identify with, feel good about and most importantly, laugh at,” said Mr. Hartnett, the guy from the second paragraph (see above). “Much of the humor is derived from real life situations, actual personal or quirky news events and is, for the most part, self deprecating, gentle in nature and not mean spirited, with the possible exception of my unwavering belief that the customer service industry has been taken over by people or things who formerly lived on other planets, or alternatively, weight bearing meteors or rocks.”
Mr. Hartnett was born in Jersey City, NJ, grew up in Cranford,NJ, and moved to Los Angeles in 1984 after graduating from Emerson College. He has worked in the restaurant, construction, entertainment and publishing industries as well as several others, which thankfully, have been suppressed from memory. He moved back to Cranford in 1997, where his parents still reside, and is married with three children. His first love has always been comedy and his second love is his wife, but sometimes the order is reversed depending on who's in the room with him.