10 things you’ll learn from reading something to say

Something to Say: Stories to make you laugh awkwardly in public is frankie’s first-ever book, chock full of witty words and very nice illustrations, too. Here are some of the things you’ll learn, should you choose to snap up a copy. (It also makes a lovely gift for anyone in need of a good chuckle.)

1. Being intimate involves coming in close contact with the other party’s odours. “New relationships are fun and time-consuming and sometimes awkward. If you’re lucky, they also feature moments of magic, like when your partner winds down the car window and says, ‘You know that period in a relationship when nobody farts? Yup, that’s over.’” (Sam Prendergast)

2. Language is sexist. And odd. “When someone does something brave, we say they have ‘balls’, even though testicles don’t seem to do much except hang around, produce sperm and get squeezed out the side of briefs as a gross party trick.” (Benjamin Law)

3. Muslim singletons the world over are keeping 19th-century courtship rituals alive. “There are golden rules to be observed with doorknock appeals, particularly when he’s an import. His connections can’t be dubious, and he has to have a valid visa (no student ones, they’re easily revoked) and genuine career prospects. Most importantly, though, if the suitor comes in wearing shoes with tassels, a leather jacket circa 1982, and/or a moustache, run.” (Amal Awad)

4. Toilet door poetry tells you a lot about humanity. “My first memory of graffiti was in my hometown of Burnie where someone had spray-painted ‘BAD DUES’ on the swimming-pool wall. They were obviously such bad dudes that they didn’t need all the letters.” (Justin Healzewood)

5. Wheelchair users don’t mind if you ask them to go for a walk. “Seriously, there’s no need to avoid saying things like, ‘I must be running along,’ or, ‘Let’s go for a walk.’ Those kind of phrases are part of everyday language, and because we live in the real world too, we’re really not that sensitive. I have a blind friend who once told me that the most annoying thing that ever happens to her is people apologizing for asking her if she sees their point. Touché.” (Stella Young)

6. The sun has much to answer for. “Why do people go outside during the day? It is bright and you squint and you have to wear special glasses to basically convince your retinas it is night. Also the sun can cause CANCER. Can the moon do that? Can the other planets? No, they cannot. The sun loses, my friends. It loses every time.” (Rowena Grant-Frost)

7. Friends are very special, indeed. “You’re a mob, a team, a rag-tag six-headed bunch of bawdy barroom shriekers who would do just about anything for each other. No wait, revise that: who would do anything for each other. You answer 3am phone calls by saying, ‘OK, so where do you need me?’ You ditch promising poetry dates with doe-eyed baristas solely to lend ears of support during work meltdowns (and agree that Sandra from accounts, yes, is a heinous mollbag with a harelip).” (Marieke Hardy)

8. There ain’t nothing as nice as sleeping triple clean. “As any breathing adult knows, peaceful sleep is our peak human bliss. And if we manage to drift into it in a state of absolute hygiene, then we can lay claim to knowing supernatural pleasure. Even the cleanest and best laundress will rarely coordinate the feat of falling just-bathed into spotless sheets while wearing lemony-fresh jammies But when the planetary and washing circles align, it’s like a solar eclipse that plunges us into the best kind of darkness.” (Helen Razer)

9. The internet has ushered in a cult of cuteness. “Squeeing out over baby animals is the new drinking, and it’s even better because you don’t wake up with a hangover after spending six hours repeat-watching a 30-second clip of a kitten nibbling on a corn cob.” (Eleanor Robertson)

10. Household appliances won’t improve your life. “I used to live with a couple who had a mini doughnut maker. They were going through a particularly acrimonious divorce at the time. And I remember looking at their mini doughnut maker, still in its box, an artefact of their now defunct marriage. I wondered about the day they bought it; all the mini doughnut making dreams they had. At least one of them had plans for mini doughtnuts. A lot of mini doughtnuts. But I never found out who. Do you know why? Because no one every made mini doughtnuts in that house. Because it was bullshit.” (Mia Timpano)

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