Tattoo a banana, and other life-changing suggestions |

Tattoo a banana, and other life-changing suggestions

Lydia Chagolla
Provided to the Tribune

“This Book Will Change Your Life” by Benrik

Does your life feel empty? Are you tired of the same old thing every day? Do you need a kick in the pants to get you moving in a new direction? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then I suggest picking up a copy of “This Book Will Change Your Life” by Benrik.

Benrik are Ben Carey and Henrik Delehag. They met while working at a top advertising firm in London. According to their agent, “They were responsible for a campaign for Hula Hoops Shoks featuring electric eels coming out of toilets, which hit the tabloids after being banned when kids all over Britain became too scared to go to the loo.” They left advertising in 2003 to start Benrik Limited, “the first openly evil global corporation, aiming to violate ethical standards wherever possible and introduce a welcome element of branded anarchy into our predictable lives.” This mission statement will definitely give you a better picture of the wonders that await you in “This Book Will Change Your Life.”

Don’t think of it as a self-help manual. On the contrary, much of its advice could land you in the hospital or jail. It contains 365 days worth of instructions for “hysterical living” that range from moving and innocuous to humorously stupid to possibly dangerous, but all written in good fun and with a flair for the sarcastic.

“This Book” was originally recommended to me by a customer at the bookstore who insisted it was one of the funniest things she had ever read. I ordered a copy and, after flipping through it, decided that I would take some of Benrik’s advice. They recommend that you start from the beginning of the book and work your way through it day by day. Being the adventurous person that I sometimes am, I decided to skip around a bit and see which tasks struck my fancy.

The instructions for day 114 were simple enough: tattoo a banana by scraping its skin away and letting the exposed areas turn black, then display proudly on your windowsill. I couldn’t see how this would change my life in any way, but I realized something after I was finished – this is a great way to keep your roommate/relatives/friends from eating your bananas. How many times had I gone to the kitchen in the morning to prepare my breakfast only to discover that someone had eaten my last banana? So many people will avoid a black-skinned banana on looks alone, even if the inside is perfectly fine. And, if you tattoo your name on your bananas, then the treacherous fruit thief can never utter the typical excuse of “I thought it was mine.” Yes! By following the advice of Benrik, I will never lose another banana again. Thank you, Benrik.

I am usually busy and don’t always have time to follow the book’s counsel, but there are many things that a person on the go can do. On Day 42 I was told to walk barefoot on grass for a relaxing, soothing treat. Day 50 says “Make People Notice You Today” and lists suggestions on how to do this, such as walking sideways like a crab or gluing a spatula to your arm. Day 161 suggests that you compose a poem and display it in a public place to brighten someone’s day.

If I were you I would avoid certain days, such as when the book asks that you take a vacation to France and start a fight in public or stage a crime in front of a security camera to see if anyone comes to the rescue. Do not follow the advice on Day 276, which says to go to the zoo and feed the animals because, contrary to Benrik’s beliefs, bald eagles do not enjoy ice cream in the wild and could become seriously ill if it is fed to them.

There is a day put aside to pick up trash, start an urban myth and put flowers on an old, unattended grave. On Day 256 I am planning on destroying photos of myself that make me look ugly. I have already completed Day 226 and done something radical with my hair. Stop by Neighbors Bookstore sometime and check it out while I ring up your copy of “This Book Will Change Your Life.”

– Lydia Chagolla is a sales associate at Neighbors Bookstore.

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