“Chicken Soup For Dummies” lets stupid people find balance in their lives

Ever felt down, in a funk, but had no idea what to do about it? Ever needed motivation but couldn’t think of the words that could get you off your duff? Ever felt the sinister urge to chuck it all and join an underground syndicate, feeling the rush of fear and adrenaline that takes you to a place in your heart so dark that you thought you would- wait, I’m copying out of my therapy journals again…

Those looking for self-help for the first time now have a book to help them help themselves: “Chicken Soup for Dummies” (Unpredictable Living Quarters Press, $17.95). “We’ve combined the powerful, life-affirming sentiment of the Chicken Soup books with the easy-to-use Dummies format,” says spokeswoman Jeannie Martinez. “It’s really a remarkable achievement.”

“The book is innovative in that it starts the self-help process at a very basic level,” says Dr. Louis Guillaume, a consultant for the project. “The section on self-improvement, for example, comes after the section called ‘Who am I?,’ where readers can distinguish themselves from friends, relatives or people they pretend to be in daydreams.”

The Chicken Soup/Dummies alliance came together thanks to legendary book publisher and dealmaker extraordinaire Aaron Irving. Says Jeannie Martinez: “Aaron notices that both series needed a boost. ‘Chicken Soup for Athiests’ wasn’t exactly flying off the shelves; same for ‘Crayons for Dummies.’ Putting them together was a great way to get both titles out of their rut.”

Irving originally wanted to publish through HDJ Publishing, an Appleton-based company known mostly for titles like “True Tales From a Women’s Prison” and “Strip-o-rama,” but the deal fell through when HDJ refused to publish the book without a license to publish “Lap-Dancing for Dummies.” Unpredictable Living Quarters picked up the book as a compromise and the deal was made.

Green Lake residents have rushed to get a hold of the new book in record numbers. Drunks, paranoiacs and derelicts have raced to local bookstores, though misers have signed up on the waiting list for the public library’s copy. Kleptomaniacs have stolen three copies from Andie’s Treasures card shop, while chronic overeaters simply bought chicken soup. “Still,” says Jeannie Martinez, “the response is overwhelming and positive, and let me tell you, I’m thrilled! I can finally pay off those bills! Take THAT, Anderson Collection Agency!”

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