What if your favorite blog were turned into a book? You wouldn’t have to pull out your phone or laptop to search for something creative, inspirational or just funny. It would be a lot more convenient to glance at a book in your spare time and take in one or two simple stories.
Lance Manion didn’t write a novel. He spent five years blogging from his website, lancemanion.com, and finally decided to take all of those blog entries and compile them into an easy-to-read and entertaining paperback book.
The title is Merciful Flush, and it is a published compendium of blog entries. The book includes random, humorous and often bizarre short stories. Manion ties the knot between your favorite online blog and your favorite book with this hilarious read.
Each small story that makes up the book is filled with dark satirical humor, and the stories in Merciful Flush are morbidly addicting. Some will make you want to laugh out loud. While others will inspire you to do something creative, or think about things in a new way. One or two might even make you question your sanity (and your sense of humor).
Almost every story gives the reader a few ponder-worthy quotes. You may find yourself wondering if some stories make any sense at all. You may be puzzled by a story titled, “The Amazing Spider-Man,” which is composed of the one-ended dialogue between a man and a spider. By the end of the story, you may find yourself doubled over in laughter because the nature of the blog entry is so strange, but you will also have an appreciation of the book because you won’t find another like it.
So who is Lance Manion, and how much does his voice leak through in the text? In Manion’s words he looks, “exactly how you want him to look.” In essence, “Lance Manion,” does not exist. The name is simply an alias that he uses in order to keep the public from knowing who he really is.
He also prefers not to disclose any personal details about himself for two main reasons — his strong desire to draw out creativity in his fans and force them to imagine the facts that surround him, and his views on the limelight that surrounds celebrities.
“It’s a reaction to my deep-seated dislike to celebrities and the infatuation with the celebrity lifestyle,” Manion said, “and so even though I am completely unknown, I don’t think it’s relevant.”
Manion is quick on his feet, and knows exactly what to say to provoke laughter and shock from all who hear him speak or read his stories. He likes the aspect of shock-value, which is why many of his stories are unconventional and often morbid. Manion’s going is getting a reaction from people.
“I don’t mean to offend a single group of people,” Manion said. “I aim to offend everyone.”
Manion is certainly creative. His stories are not just for fun, though; he often puts emphasis on developing underlying meanings.
“I try to put a lot of subtext in the story,” Manion said. “I like to have at least two underlying themes going for each one.”
So will we ever hear Manion on campus? While he is not against publicly speaking, he is very skeptical about it.
“It’s not like I am a hunchback. I have nothing to hide,” Manion said. “I am just painfully sick of people selling themselves. If I come up, I’ll do a book signing, and a college radio interview.”
What Manion is against is being glorified. He is not interested in being a celebrity, and he does not worry about what anyone thinks. He just wants to inspire and entertain.