Famous First Contact

Recently finished a Mel Brooks biography (Funny Man: Mel Brooks). Biographies (slash memoirs) make up a large portion of my reading…before Mel Brooks I finished a bio on Dr. Seuss (Becoming Dr. Seuss)…the next one on my desk is Norma Lear’s autobiography published in 2014.

Thing is unlike every other book I read I start with First Contact; not page 1. For Mel Brooks my First Contact was Spaceballs…amazing movie, right? It’s 1987 I have no idea what a Mel Brooks is or was or anything. I’m not even 15. So I opened the Mel Brooks bio to the Spaceballs pages and I start reading forward.

I get to the end of the book and then…then I flip to page 1 and read up to the Spaceballs section where I started.

This way the bio in a weird way somewhat mirrors my life with Mel Brooks. Somewhere along my path after Spaceballs I saw Blazing Saddles (hilarious!!) and Young Frankenstein (hey! I’m getting these jokes…I’m making pop culture connections!) and of course Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Dracula: Dead and Loving It (neither I’ve seen recently but I remember Dracula cracking me up back in the day.)

Often we don’t consume pop culture in a linear fashion; especially as we’re growing up. It’s all haphazard pop culture tapas until we develop a proper appetite. Pop Culture is a wonderful Choose Your Own Adventure book where you jump around a lot but thankfully never get impaled by stalagmites.

So yeah when I read bios I start with First Contact…read to the end of the book then start on page 1 at the beginning to understand how we got here.
I’m sharing because I recently said this out loud (like I’m doing here) and a couple of people found it…strange and weird.

While I don’t think it’s common I assume other people are doing this…are all you people reading biographies (slash memoirs) starting on page 1 and faithfully reading the pages in order as the writer and publisher have set out OR…are you starting with First Contact?


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