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The Dizzying Heights

29 October 2019 No Comment
‘The Dizzying Heights’
   by Phil Brown
How often do you laugh out loud? Not often I’ll bet. But we need to, it’s good for you, according to ‘Reader’s Digest’. That magazine’s ‘Laughter, The Best Medicine’ is famous.
There was also a bloke called Norman Cousins, an American political journalist, author and professor who famously cured himself of serious illness in the 1960s by taking vitamin C and laughing his head off while watching endless comedy shows. Cousins was portrayed by actor Ed Asner in a 1984 television movie, ‘Anatomy of an Illness’, which was based on Cousins’s 1979 book, ‘Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient: Reflections on Healing.’
You know how good it is to laugh. It makes you feel good, right?
In India they have those yogic laughter clubs and I believe they have started some  in Australia too. You know, you all get together in a park somewhere and do a bit of yoga and laugh yourselves silly while everyone looks at you like you are mad. Because you are.
I don’t laugh out loud that much but occasionally something really gets me. Often this occurs when I am watching ‘Seinfeld’. The other thing that will always make me laugh is the 1994 comedy classic ‘Dumb and Dumber’ starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. I watch it a couple of times a year and laugh like a drain. My favourite scene? Well that’s hard because there are so many but the one where the traffic cop takes a swig of a bottle of beer he thinks they have been drinking and finds it to be full of wee wee. They couldn’t stop to pee so they went in the bottle you understand. Hilarious. You can see how sophisticated my taste in comedy is.
I laughed out loud in the office the other day when I opened a letter. It was from Ian McFadyen, the writer and comedian of ‘The Comedy Company’ fame, who now lives on Brisbane’s outskirts. Remember when he used to do “David Rabbitborough”, a parodic impersonation of British naturalist David Attenborough? That was  very funny.
Ian has teamed up with my friend Ross Fitzgerald. Ross is an esteemed historian who also writes satires about a gross character named Grafton Everest and Ian teamed up with him on one of these novels in 2015. It was called ‘Going Out Backwards‘.
Now they have collaborated again on a new book, which is out this week. It’s called ‘The Dizzying Heights’ and is also published by Hybrid Publishers.
Ian dropped in a copy  to me the other day with a note that read: “Dear Phil, It is with much regret that I inform you that Ross and I have churned out another book in the dreaded Grafton Everest series. Rather uncharitably, he is anxious that you be among the first to suffer reading it. Accordingly, please find a copy, lukewarm off the press.”

I laughed and laughed at that and yes, that felt good. Maybe I should read the book?

BY PHIL BROWN
Arts Editor – The Courier-Mail
Brisbane News, October 30 – November 5, 2019, issue 1250.
Ross Fitzgerald & Ian McFadyen’s THE DIZZYING HEIGHTS is currently available from the publishers:  https://www.hybridpublishers.com.au/

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