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Book Review: Creepiosity – A Hilarious Guide to the Unintentionally Creepy by David Bickel

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Some people can’t get enough of the weird, the disgusting, and the downright repulsive. That’s why books like Creepiosity – A Hilarious Guide to the Unintentionally Creepy sell. Not only do readers get to laugh at some of the creepiest — yet in some eyes, quite normal — things in life, they also receive affirmation when they discover that someone else (an author, no less!) is totally grossed out by the same things they find revolting.

If you were compiling a book about some of the more repellent sights, would you think to include a plastic bandage (aka “Band-Aid”) or a bar of soap? What if the bandage was lying on the ground, pad side up with a smudge of what-must-be-blood staring you in the face? Or the bar of soap is encrusted with hairs (presumably from the nether regions) and other substances? Stomachs have been known to churn at the thought.

Creepiosity, the book, is offspring of Creepiosity, the website. A visit is rewarded with creepy photos, creepy videos, creepy polls, a blog, and essays by author and Creepiosity founder David Bickel. In addition to all the creepiness featured, visitors’ creepy opinions are solicited and links are provided to a number of sites from which the book can be ordered.

Measuring creepiness is pseudoscientific and, therefore, requires a Creepiosity Index. Sure enough, Bickel (and his associates) have developed a device to measure subjects’ reaction to the creepiness of various items and situations which is then translated to a scale of one to ten. Readers of Creepiosity will find that they disagree with a number of the ratings because of their own gut reactions to some of the photographs. That disagreement is subjective, unlike the objectivity required to compile the research behind Creepiosity.

So, besides plastic bandages and hairy soap, what might be considered creepy? “Clowns!,” you say? Well, of course clowns are creepy, even so-called “cute clowns.” But what about (this one’s always gotten me) “Animal Mascots Who Want You to Eat Their Kind”? There was a very popular restaurant in New Jersey with a neon sign that depicted a chicken jumping into a fryer and becoming a basket of fried chicken, as well as a steak house with a giant steer statue parked out front. Those items seemed in pretty poor “taste,” but don’t compare to barbecue restaurants (especially in the south) which are famous for their pig mascots. Drooling pigs clutching forks and knives, ready to dig in to some barbecued pork products should turn us into vegetarians, not people craving barbecue. For some reason, though, when I see a lobster on a sign (or bib), my appetite alarm goes off. That’s hypocrisy for you.

“Kiddie Beauty Pageants,” “Men with Vastly Unrealistic Dyed Hair,” winkers, Popeye, and petting zoos all have their place in Creepiosity¸ which includes their Index rating and a short description of exactly what it is that garnered their inclusion. There are enough unsettling items included that readers will find numbers of things they’d just rather not encounter, and be reminded of things that creep them out even though they never thought of them that way before (like the guy who holds a handshake just a little too long). If you’re wondering about author David Bickel’s creepiosity rating, remember he once spent 90 minutes with Michael Jackson.

Creepiosity is a great addition to the humor library, and a wonderful gift for that person you don’t quite like who has a sensitive stomach. Bottom Line: Would I buy Creepiosity? Yes, you already know I’m that twisted, why would you ask?

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