Jackson Banks has compiled a humorous collection of short stories, which reads like a memoir written by a seemingly-cursed individual. He does state a good portion of the “I Put Pants on for This?” stories are fictional or embellished, but the feel is authentic. One story details the adventures a young child experienced as a military dependent in Guantanamo, Cuba, another chronicles being held a hostage in the Great White North of Canada due to the vagaries of air transportation. Family vacations do not escape his satirical treatment, whether white-water rafting to Outer Banks camping in the car due to all of the tents blowing away or being in a flood plain. The vagaries of hotel lodging, and those looking for love in the wrong places, are also explored in this short book.
I very much enjoyed Jackson Banks’ witty avuncular writing style which would be right at home being narrated by Garrison Keillor. “I Put Pants on for This?” is well-edited and I read it quickly, although interrupted many times by laughter. Anyone who has experienced the fecklessness of the travel and lodging industries can absolutely relate to the tribulations of his fictional self. A waiter who offers up a special, which they no longer have in stock, because it is their restaurant’s policy to recite a list of specials regardless of whether it can actually be ordered. It’s enough to turn a diner to drink, but funny when it happens to someone else. You too can enjoy the simple pleasures of schadenfreude by reading this delightful book.