Eagle County author/humorist Allen Smith’s ‘Monkey in a Pink Canoe’ wins another humor award
EAGLE COUNTY — Allen Smith is officially funny.
The local author and humorist’s latest book, “Monkey in a Pink Canoe,” won second place in the humor category from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.
“The Christmas shopping season in upon us, and books make great gifts!” Smith said.
It’s an international contest. Someone in Dubai won an award, but not for humor because … well, Dubai isn’t all that funny.
You get a banquet and a nice award, which looks good on your mantle and your resume.
The CIPA judges are a tough crows for humorists.
“I won second place for humor and there was no first place,” Smith said. “They didn’t give any humor awards for three or four years.”
Smith has also won awards for “Monkey in a Pink Canoe” from America’s Funniest Humor, and Funny Times has published a couple of his pieces. Funny Times has also published other funny people, such as Dave Barry, Andy Horowitz, Chris Hume and Bruce Cameron.
However, none of those people have been booted off ww.match.com three times.
Like most humorists, he’s at his best when serious topics cry out to be lampooned.
“Monkey in a Pink Canoe,” therefore is a book for our time.
CANOE FULL OF FUN
In his latest tour de force, Smith takes a hilarious look at the stuff of life: dating, sex, technology, entertainment, health and fitness, bank robbery and money, ex-girlfriends, getting beat on “The Dating Game” by a serial killer and online dating.
“There’s a lot to laugh about in life,” Smith said.
Things like Chinese finger puzzles, which are like life.
For those who misspent their childhoods, Chinese finger puzzles are those things you stuck on your fingers when you were a child, and still might if you come across one. The harder you pull, the tighter the contraption holds you.
“We all have these things in our lives that are so serious. The more seriously we take them, the worse they become,” Smith said. “The harder you pull and the more invested you are in your problems, the tighter they grab you.”
“We take common daily occurrences and they end up being funny,” Smith said.
“Monkey in a Pink Canoe” is Smith’s third book, a collection of columns and essays he wrote and published. He compiled them into a manuscript and turned it over to Relentlessly Creative Books, which compiled them into a book.
Most of this stuff happened to him, some happened to people he knows and some of it he just made up. The trick is that you can’t tell the difference, and they’re all funny.
Let’s start with the title piece, “Monkey In A Pink Canoe.” It’s about a life long bachelor who gets cornered by a 6-year-old nephew who wants his uncle to explain the facts of life.
Instead of the clinical terms for human anatomy, the uncle uses slang, such as “monkey,” “pink canoe” and even “bald-headed yogurt slinger.”
During the talk, the uncle touches on just about everything you can imagine and maybe a couple things you haven’t.
He wrote, “With Rentals Like These Who Needs Friends,” after he lost his job, his home and his girlfriend.
“Even the cat left,” Smith said, laughing.
He was bummed for a while, as anyone would be, then started to see the humor in it. He stumbled onto a website, http://www.rentafriend.com, which is a real thing. You can rent friends for all sorts of social occasions.
Any story about online dating is an immediate hit, Smith said, and “My Sizzling Russian Bride” is one such story. Among other things, it’s a compilation of his ex-girlfriends’ worst traits.
“You Can’t Compete With a Serial Killer” really happened. Smith was recruited to play “The Dating Game,” the old TV game show. He lost and went home, but 6 weeks later, he learned that they had recruited a convicted serial killer, who won.
“The Mother of All Boredom” is a first person account of working at a bank and finding ways to entertain himself, stuff like comparing the number of hairs on each arm.
“Stranded in Purgatory” and the follow-up piece is about a guy who’s reincarnated as a chicken in a commercial poultry farm.
“It’s a series of short essays that are easy to read. There’s something in it for everyone,” Smith said. “Sometimes I look at it and wonder, ‘How did I come up with that?!”
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and email@example.com.
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A Nov. 30 to Governor Polis and the Eagle County Commissioners from Beaver Creek Resorts Company – as well as the towns of Vail, Avon, Eagle and Minturn – requests a variance program which would allow businesses to remain open.