The First 750 Words

The First 750 Blog Carnival

Joys of Weird

Joys of Weird by Peter Laurie


Non-Fiction – Humor


This book is a collection of humorous newspaper columns written over the past decade by the author.

The “Joys of Weird” is Peter Laurie’s hilarious take on all the wonderful absurdities of life including such subjects as how to cheat at Scrabble, the real story of what happened in the Garden of Eden, beware of feng shui, how to make lists that annoy your wife, how to buy coffins, the uniqueness of Barbadian directions that ensure you get lost and stay lost, why machines conspire against us, the inglorious certainties of golf, and how to stop your genetically modified food from biting you.

His subversive sense of humour combined with his infectious love of human absurdity proves that laughter is the best medicine whether you are stressed out by life or not.

The book contains over seventy columns grouped under the headings Venus and Mars: the Joys of Marriage; the Joys of Food and Drink; Stop the World I Want to Get Off; Family Matters; It Takes All Sorts; It’s Not Cricket (or Golf!); and Final Weird Thoughts.

Readers will enjoy Laurie’s self-deprecating humour and wry yet warm look at family life as he surveys the pitfalls and highlights of raising their only son (their continual male efforts at ganging up on the female are always hilariously doomed to failure).

Buy the book.


The trouble with gifts



My wife’s birthday was last month. I thought I’d surprise her by not giving her an appliance. The last couple of years I’d given her a wheelbarrow and a fire extinguisher.

Our ten-year old son has been privy to my gift plans over the years and I detected in him a certain disillusionment with our gifts. I hate to see disillusionment in one so young. So I decided this time I’d give her, from both of us, something personal: a pedicure kit.

He was not enthusiastic, “I’m not sure Mom’ll like it any more than our other gifts. How about some jewellery or stuff like that?”

“Hey, none of that language around here! What’s all this talk about jewellery?” I sputtered. “You’re being brainwashed. Besides, what’s not to like about a pedicure kit?”

I sat him down for one of our man-to-man talks. “Let me explain something to you, son. You’re too young to understand female psychology, but I’m an expert. You see, women are fascinated with their feet. You and I, we walk about outside barefoot and get cuts and bruises and dirty toenails and chiggers and we couldn’t care less.”

“What are chiggers, Dad?”

“I forget. You boys today don’t have fun outdoors. Anyway, women are different. Just look at the amount of time they spend shopping for shoes. The most uncomfortable shoes they can find. And look what those shoes do to their feet. Naturally, they lavish attention on their feet. So you see, Mom’ll go crazy when she gets the pedicure kit from us.”

“She’ll go crazy, but not the way you think, Dad,” he said gloomily.

I thought I’d take another tack. “Look, one of the things in the kit is a bottle of exfoliating foot scrub made from Tea Tree oil. And you know Mom’s crazy about Tea Tree oil.”

“What’s ‘exfoliating’ mean, Dad?”

“I don’t know! You think I know everything?” I shouted in exasperation, “but I do know that women love it. Trust me. Just say ‘exfoliating’ to a girl and watch her go all mushy.”

“I’ve never seen Mom go mushy.”

“That’s because your mother has developed a certain unjustified cynicism about the male of the species.”

“What does that mean, Dad?”

“Never mind, son. One of these days only too soon you will know what it means.”

Well, the big day came around and we gave her the pedicure set. She didn’t jump up and down, but she didn’t throw the kit at me. She thanked us and then said drily, “You left the price tag on.”

I had got it at the check-out counter at a Marshall’s store in Miami for, get this, $9.99! But wait! There’s more. Reduced from 19.99, further reduced from 39.99! And she says I’m not a wise shopper!

Buy the book.

BIO: Peter Laurie was born in 1944 in Barbados. Educated at the universities of Oxford, West Indies, and Toronto, he was a career diplomat for Barbados for thirty years. Last diplomatic assignment was ambassador to the United States, 1983-87.

Now retired and focused on writing. Has written short stories and four plays – two of them prize-winners. Two of his one-act plays, “Waiting and The Confession” have been self-published as a Kindle e-book.

He has written three illustrated children’s books featuring a cat called Mauby: “Mauby’s Big Adventure“, (2000), “Mauby’s Quest for the Magic Flower” (2001) and “Mauby and the Hurricane” (2007), all available on Amazon.

He has also written three books on Barbados:  “The Barbadian Rum Shop“, “Barbados: an Island Portrait” and “Barbados: Caribbean Street Food”, also available on Amazon (all published by Macmillan).

He also writes a fortnightly column in the Barbadian Sunday Sun newspaper.

He enjoys cycling, cooking, theology and jazz. Married with one son.

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