A handy how-to-clean handbook for mature audiences only, My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbags And Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha by Jolie Kerr is a breathless romp through cleanliness, which in this book is not next to godliness, but often a consequence of raunchiness. Kerr, a self-described “Clean Person,” dispenses plenty of solid — and fairly green — cleaning tips, many of them with a DIY feel, mixed in with saucy and hilarious descriptions of disasters reported to her on her website. She even has handy charts for dealing with laundry, bugs and floors.
As an adviser, Kerr is relentless: perky, encouraging, and wildly skilled at attacking the odiferous ooze of modern life. The index alone gives you a feel for the trendiness factor: beard trimmers, page 115; carpeting, removing bon-water stains from, page 219-20 (!); boy smell, 221-22. You will learn how and with what to hit a stain caused by protein, ink, or, naturally, vomit. One recommended cleaning session involves Bad Air Sponges, spritzing cigarette-smoke-smelling couches with vodka, and rinsing everything, including the walls, with vinegar. Not for the faint of heart or those who dislike breathless interjections, exclamation points and frank discussions of bodily fluids on MANY surfaces. Imagine a “Girls” episode where everybody cleans their apartments and confesses one-too-many allnighters, blackout binges and embarassing moments, and you’ve got the idea.
A wonderful gift for the college graduate in your family (TMI for your dewy-eyed college freshman, who would only goggle at the situations described and want to try everything IMMEDIATELY upon gaining the freedom of dorm life), but don’t give it to your mom unless she liked reading the Penthouse Letters to the Editor.
Find Mel on Twitter at TheDailyBard@365shakespeare.