Sunday, July 11, 2004

Pee your pants.

By Carl Sundberg
Pulse Columnist
April 08, 2004

From the first page, I was laughing out loud. Halfway through the book, I fell backwards and hit my head laughing so hard. By the time I finished the book, I think I wet myself and almost had a stroke.

The dangerously hysterical book I was reading is "My New Filing Technique is Unstoppable" by David Rees.

Rees' book is a collection of comics made up of clip art and simplistic, almost pathetic graphics of generic office workers dealing with the mundane tasks of mandatory team-spirit meetings, motto makers, quarterly estimate reports and ultimately, filing techniques. The characters in "Filing Technique" curse profusely, backstab, drink, cheat and sometimes even turn invisible to make their way through the day. If readers have worked in any office setting at all, they will relate to the absurdity of "Filing Technique." Even if you haven't, this book is one of the funniest you'll probably ever read.

The book has no laugh cues, no punchlines, no set-ups -- it just rolls. You determine what's funny and when you should laugh. And quite honestly, it's nearly impossible to go an entire page without spraying tea through your nose. (So, clearly, avoid tea while reading this book.)

What makes this collection so hilarious is partially the well-placed obscenity sprinkled throughout the book. But what really gets the reader is the unpredictable nature of the cursing. It would spoil the fun to describe these surprising moments too much, but I will say that one strip, in which a character goes into "triangle body mode," is what made me wet myself.

"Filing Technique" is written with a sarcasm that, like the title of the book, is unstoppable. It is raw, unforgiving and ferocious. It is guerrilla "Dilbert" and "Office Space" squared. It is a judo chop to the neck of large corporate business. It is a pirate flag for cubicle workers across the globe.

And ultimately, it is a hysterical commentary on what America has become: a miserable and soulsucking journey to thicken the bottom line. It is a dark truth brought into the light in a way that makes this reality almost tolerable. "Filing Technique" is the court jester mocking the king.

The author, David Rees, has made a name of himself with his cult-hit clip-art comics, starting with "Get Your War On," which now appears in every issue of Rolling Stone magazine. The original "Get Your War On" became a national bestseller,and all royalties made from this comic are donated to the Adopt-a-Minefield charity, which is a program of the United Nations that raises money to clear mines worldwide, helping landmine survivors and raising awareness of the landmine problem.

Rees' original version of "Filing Technique" was self-published with the help of a stapler and copy machine. The current version, available through Penguin publishers and Rees' Web site,, was completely rewritten and full of new material.

Hailing from Brooklyn, N.Y., Rees also plays in the band the Skeleton Killers and works occasional temp jobs.


Post a Comment

<< Home