I want to grow up to be Miranda. Not famous, but famously comfortable with being completely myself. Also, maybe a little more spontaneously fun.
Well hello to you, dear browser. Now I have your attention it would be rude if I didn’t tell you a little about my literary feast. So, here is the thing: is it just me or does anyone else find that adulthood offers no refuge from the unexpected horrors, peculiar lack of physical coordination and sometimes unexplained nudity, that accompanied childhood and adolescence?
Does everybody struggle with the hazards that accompany, say, sitting elegantly on a bar stool; using chopsticks; pretending to understand the bank crisis; pedicures – surely it’s plain wrong for a stranger to fondle your feet? Or is it just me?
I am proud to say I have a wealth of awkward experiences – from school days to life as an office temp – and here I offer my 18-year-old self (and I hope you too dear reader) some much needed caution and guidance on how to navigate life’s rocky path.
Because frankly where is the manual? The much needed manual to life. Well, fret not, for this is my attempt at one and let’s call it, because it’s fun, a Miran-ual. I thank you.
Miranda Hart made her mark appearing in shows including Smack the Pony, Absolutely Fabulous and Not Going Out. But when her sitcom Miranda burst on to our screens in 2009, her popularity rocketed. Miranda has since been crowned the Queen of Comedy at the British Comedy Awards and the hit series Miranda has won two further comedy awards, two RTS Awards, and been nominated for four BAFTAs. Miranda is currently filming a drama for BBC based on the bestselling memoir Call the Midwife. The third series of Miranda will air in autumn 2012. from Goodreads.
One of the highlights of this past year has been my discovery of laughter therapy. Laugh / laughter therapy is so simple on the surface but, when one is worried about the health and safety of the entire world, that surface is a tough nut to crack.
“Laughter therapy aims to get people laughing in both group and individual sessions and can help reduce stress, make people and employees happier and more committed, as well as improve their interpersonal skills.”from SkillsYouNeed.com
Miranda Hart cracked right through that tough nut for me. The last movie I saw in the theatre pre-Covid was Emma (delightful!) and Miranda played Miss Bates better than I could have ever imagined. This lead me to watching everything she has been in, and her comedy Miranda was, by far, the funniest thing I have seen in years. Once you get used to laughing out loud (even alone!) you really cannot stop and watching this show had me gasping for air. Is Miranda’s humor for you? Here is a Youtube video she made with her co-stars from Miranda that gives you a pretty decent idea of what to expect.
I was thrilled to find she has written several books. I worried, could her delightfully silly, and often physical, comedy possibly be as funny on paper?
I will admit that, at first, I had serious concerns about the format of the book. Many of the chapters are her discussing life with her 18 year old self. This little trick worked though as I got to see Miranda at 18 reminding Miranda at 38 about all of her unfortunate (and hilarious) choices. Her self-confidence isn’t internal, it is hard won and constantly tuned. That means I can do it too! Also, 18-year-old Miranda reminds 38-year-old-Miranda simultaneously of how far they have come as a person and the essence of who they are inside. I didn’t think it would work, but it did!
Would this book be as funny if you weren’t a fan of Miranda? Maybe not. I could hear Miranda talking to me through the pages. In her show she consistently breaks the fourth wall but in her book there are no walls – she is taking us all into her deepest confidence. And the book does meander. It reads more like a collection of essays than a sequentially chaptered book. While this is a standard set up for celebrity autobiographies and memoirs this book tone shifted from, “Being an adult is confusing sometimes right?” to “Be yourself whenever you can.” Since both themes appealed to me, I didn’t care but it did occasionally have the feel of two shorter books.
Format aside, the more important piece is that this book was extremely funny. The cover of this book gives a warning, “you will laugh out loud on public transport while reading this!” I have only been on the CTA once or twice in the last year but I absolutely sat inside my house and barked laughing. One time I went back and read a passage again out loud to no one and laughed so hard I was gasping. What could be better?
Tell me, please! What is the funniest book you have ever read?