100 Ways to Waste My Life

Now this is just stupid. But I kind of wanted to save it somewhere as well. It started as a Facebook thread, and then it turned into a bit of an obsession: remove one letter from the name of a book and create an entirely new story. By the time everyone else had dropped out, I couldn’t stop. I got to 72 and decided I needed to push on for the full 100. So here are mine. (There were others that friends had come up with, some of them better than the ones below, but I don’t have intellectual property for them…)

Google was not used for any of these.

1. Cath 22 – enjoys reading, long walks on the beach, gsoh, seeks same.
2. The Unbearable Lightness of Bing – a tale of two search engines.
3. Three Men in a Boa – fabulous drag reworking of the old classic.
4. Rime and Punishment – a tale of naked winter swimming competitions.
5. Lord of the Lies – Boris Johnson autobiography.
6. The Big Seep – a noir detective is too busy to get his roof fixed.
7. The Bile – old testament as retold by the daily mail.
8. War of the Wolds – the southern counties turn on each other.
9. Rainspotting – a chronicle of life every single day in Manchester.
10. David Copperfiel – young hero becomes dirty old man and gets himself added to the register.
11. (This is a family blog so I’m going to need you to work this out in your head): The Count of Monte Cristo – suffice to say, he wasn’t a very nice man…
12. Brideshed Revisited – a tale of the most disappointing honeymoon ever.
13. Rendezvous with Ram – niche shepherd sci-fi series.
14. The Tim Machine – a factory that turns out a load of boring, and faintly homophobic Lib Dem leaders.
15. The Price of Tides – a study of coastline erosion.
16. The Lion, the Itch, and the Wardrobe – study of big cats and their house dust allergies.
17. Anne of Green Gales – orphaned girl gets weird stomach bug.
18. The God of Mall Things – history of a deity who presides over coffee shops and designer handbags.
19. The Huger Games – bigger than the last ones.
20. The Life of I – Rastafarian autobiography.
21. The Udda of Suburbia – a cow’s life in Chiswick.
22. The Color Purple – stupid American spelling of The Colour Purple.
23. 2001: A Pace Odyssey – endless social media updates of a bloke’s running times around the park.
24. The Hunt for Ed October – talent search for a suitable model for an Ed Sheeran lookalike calendar.
25. The Naked and the Dad – traumatic coming of age story about broken locks on bathroom doors.
26. Casio Royale – story of an electro-pop secret agent.
27. The Maltese Falco – Mediterranean tribute act who has a surprise hit with his version of Rock Me Amadeus.
28. Middlemach – a fighter pilot can’t quite reach the sound barrier.
29. A Christmas Carl – tedious holiday filled with Jungian psychoanalysis.
30. Mr Bum – Roger Hargreaves tackles negative perceptions of American homelessness.
31. Little Omen – a group of girls in civil war America see a black cat.
32. Rome and Juliette – tedious chick lit travelogue.
33. Fall of the Hose of Usher – how are they gonna water the garden now?
34. How to Win Fiends and Influence People – same book, same horrible people.
35. The Road to Wigan Pie – it’s what it’s really famous for after all.
36. Right Lights, Big City – local council invests in energy saving bulbs for its street lamps.
37. The Moostone – chilling Victorian ghost story about a haunted cowshed.
38. Ven Cowgirls Get the Blues – but only a subset of them are cowgirls, some have the blues, some are quite chirpy.
39. The Woman in Whit – a ghost that’s a bit narky cos she’s had no chocolate during lent.
40. Far from the Madding Crow – just shut that goddamn bird up will you?
41. The Canterbury Ales – bunch of CAMRA aficionados can’t be bothered to leave their hometown.
42. Treasure Islad – Yorkshire version of a pirating classic.
43. The Invisible Ma – tale of an underappreciated mother.
44. The Hose of Mirth – woman wears humourous tights.
45. The Aster and Margarita – a couple just enjoy cocktails on their patio.
46. Portrait of the Artist as a Yong Man – weirdly misspelled Irish/North Korean fusion novel.
47. Lack Beauty – a tale of everyday ugly folk.
48. The Anarchist Cokbook – early political grindr prototype.
49. The Nam of the Rose – a study of PTSD following the flower wars.
50. Infinite Jes – superfan wins a lifetime supply of Jes(s) Glynne music. Gets bored in ten minutes.
51. Anima Farm – Carl Jung’s at it again, psychoanalysing chickens.
52. Of Mice and Me – a musophobiac memoir.
53. Owl – book of ornithologically themed beat poetry.
54. One with the Wind – the tale of a hopeless flatulist.
55. The Secret Gent – football hooligan spends his evenings in disguise opening doors for people and helping women put their coats on.
56. The Dharma Bus – a bit like the vengabus but a bit more jazzy and hip in true Kerouac style.
57. The Horn Birds – same book, no discernable difference whatsoever.
58. Lowers in the Attic – a tale of one removal man and his trusty winch.
59. Jas – a German shark hunter who just can’t say nein.
60. The Tale of Peter Rabbi – a study of riverbank multiculturalism.
61. The Good Solder – not that crappy stuff that doesn’t bond your electrical components properly.
62. Plant of the Apes – scientific study of banana tree deforestation.
63. The Kool-Aid Aid Test – attempt to see if juice makers have been conning us with half measures.
64. Good as God – Joseph Heller develops a bit of a complex.
65. The Itches of Eastwick – story set on flying ant day.
66. A Heartbreaking Wok of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers gets right into Asian cooking.
67. Cod Comfort Farm – tale of a refuge for traumatised fish.
68. The Cartaker – Harold Pinter’s confessions of being a joyrider.
69. Mosquito Coat – Lady Gaga goes a bit far at London fashion week.
70. Inker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – a tale of espionage in the tattoo community.
71. Ianhoe – little known tale about the younger brother of the famous knight.
72. Do Quixote – Tarantinoesque reboot where the old knight has a contract put out on him.
73. Canery Row – depression era factory workers attempt an ambitious, slightly illiterate, budgerigar
74. Eat of Eden – family restaurant saga where apple pie is off the menu.
75. A Brief History of Tim – really boring character study of an astro-physicist.
76. Fie Easy Pieces – what I thought when I read it: ‘easy’ my arse.
77. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Tone – young wizard spends 300 pages worrying about whether someone was once a bit arsey with him.
78. Fatland – two dimensional classic given the ultra 3D makeover.
79. Song of the Silent Sow – Selby Jr. goes all avant-garde down the farm.
80. Das Bot – German epic about automated Twitter accounts.
81. The Tibetan Book of the Dad – father’s day best seller in east Asia for 1000 years running.
82. Song of Sloman – tale of a bloke who comes last in every marathon.
83. Fifty Shades of Rey – young female Jedi spots a career opportunity in Death Star interior decorating.
84. Hostwritten – David Mitchell gets his mate to throw a party and knock out a novel for him while he’s at it.
85. Exing the Cherry – Jeanette Winterson cuts all ties in her relationship with fruit.
86. The Man in the High Caste – tale of upper class Indian privilege.
87. White Fan – Jack London exposé of the KKK.
88. Jud the Obscure – a biography of Jud(d) Nelson’s career post Breakfast Club.
89. Fatherlad – one man’s struggle to become a good dad and wanting to be out on the lash all the time.
90. I Fidelity – reworking of I, Claudius set in a small London record shop.
91. The Stanic Verses – poetry collection from Croatian football legend Mario Stanić.
92. Same – Salman Rushdie gets a bit predictable.
93. Bout Last Night – comedy play about a missed boxing match.
94. The Olden Notebook – some old tat Doris Lessing had lying about.
95. The Otter’s Club – inside a secret water vole society.
96. The Asp Factory – a boy can’t find any insects, so non venonmous snakes will have to do.
97. How Late it Was, Ow Late – bloke gets hit over the head by his wife for rolling in from the pub after 2.
98. Am on Rye – Bukowski goes gluten free.
99. Diary of a Wimpy Id – notes from Freud’s subconscious.
100. Goodnight Miser Tom – yer tight bastard.



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