Authors: Mike Stangle
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To our brother, Sean.
For being our Cooper Manning and sitting this one out.
To our dad, JT Stangle.
You've already read too much. Go back to Bill O'Reilly books.
To our agent, Michelle.
Thanks for finding us, then making our lives
To our other agent, Cait.
For somehow amplifying all the stuff Michelle did for us.
To our editor, Jeremie.
For trying to read our “C-section” line aloud in a Simon & Schuster staff meeting. You sicko.
To our other editor, Kiele.
Thanks for still talking to us after you read our first draft. And for changing it.
To Jay Barbeau.
Everyone should look Jay up on Facebook and add him as a friend
Mike will drink a Zima on YouTube for every ten new friends he gets.
To the state of Colorado.
For legalizing grass just as we were about to finish this book, for the third time.
To 1996's “Dancing Baby” viral video.
For going viral first. Though considered adorable at the time, with today's advancements in 3D technology it would surely qualify as baby-porn. Ooga-Chaka!
To Pop Rocks and soda.
For taking internet virality and giving it an unwarranted bad-boy feel.
For basically being the best movie ever.
For pulling the ole'
“$1 DOLLAR, BOB!” on eBay. They never saw it coming.
To Dick Cheney.
Because we can say, “Hey man, at least we're not Dick Cheney” when people give us shit about this book, and they'll be all like “you're right.” Handshake.
To our friends, so many to name.
You're much funnier than we are. You had a part in any part of this book that makes our readers laugh. So, probably seven people have laughed because of you. Way to help us write a shitty book. Thanks for that.
It's difficult to write one book between two people, especially because Mike is borderline illiterate. Still, it's tricky to establish a single voice, and the reader can become confused as to who is talking when. Truth is, it's both of us talking, always, regardless of “whose story” it is. Every chapter is a collaboration between usâwritten, edited, re-edited, scrapped, started over, argued over, drunk over, and then, finally, shoved by both of us face-first through a plate glass window to the finish line (and always past our deadlines).
If that confuses you, we're sorry. Now you know how Mike feels all the time.
You look great today. Have you done something different with your hair? We love it! Not a lot of women can pull off that look. Good for you.
Mama, we've been asked to write a book and unfortunately, it's mostly the stuff we promised we'd never tell you. Likeâremember a few years back when you made us breakfast as we recapped that crazy Christmas party? You finally asked us to stop when Dave said, “You'd be surprised how realistic the vagina felt!” You laughed and you cried and you made us promise never to repeat that story in front of Dad. This book is like that, but
For as long as we can remember, you've led by example and taught us what is important to enjoy and what is important to forget. You taught us not to take ourselves too seriously. You taught us what pairs best with wine (more wine, so simple). Dad may think we're complete degenerates, and you might not always want to hear the details, but we know that deep down, you're glad we're having fun.
Come to think of it, just skip the damn book and let's go have some wine.
We love you,
Mike and Dave
Dave and Mike, after a very high Facetime brotherly catch-up/pump-up. December 18, 2013.
Oh man, first offâthe book cover reveals our full names, and when our dad reads what's in here, he is going to shit himself. He will actually shit, and if he is wearing pants at the time, he will shit
. He wants nothing to do with any of this “nonsense.” When he first heard we were writing a book, he requested final editorial approval on the entire thing. Oh hey Dad, are you NUTS? We aren't writing a book on conservative talk radio or upstate New York's best driving roads.
Republican. Robust mustache. Wise. Old. Duck farts. Disapproval. Tough love: John Stangle. You can't blame our dad for not being crazy about all of this. He's old-school. He is the face of old-school. You could even argue his appearance resembles that of an actual old school. It needs restoration, funding is tight, and it just wasn't designed to handle this many kids! Besides, his political beliefs don't allow room in the budget for excess government spending. Johnny could never have predicted that his future wife's wild side was genetic, destined to dominate his boring, by-the-book, law-abiding genes when drawing up the pundit squares for the Stangle kids. John Thomas Stangle (JT) was born in the same village in which he currently still resides, sixty-two years later. Yes, we're from a village. It's the same village where our entire family was born and raised. How many people do you know who grew up in a village, and aren't either an Eskimo or a Smurf? Well, now you know two, and you're about to meet a few more. The Village of Menands was founded in 1924, and as of the 2010 census, the population was just shy of four thousand people (we'll get there, just wait for 2020!). Our dad loves Menands; it's a part of everything that is JT Stangle. He even currently holds the title of “Village Clerk,” just so nothing goes on within village lines that he doesn't have some sort of scent of in that old hound dog nose of his. Old-school guys like our dad are often labeled as hard-asses. He is a hard-ass, but it's also important to know he is a really sweet fella. Like Jeff Bridges's character in
he is a likable, stand-up, grizzled old soul of a hard-ass whom you root for. That's our old man. No wonder he's been able to lock up a dime like our mom since '74.
Our mom, Denise, (Denny, to her friends) didn't grow up far from Menands. She was only a few towns away, actually. You know what's cool about our folks? They are high school sweethearts. From villages. I know! God, they're cute. They've been married forty years. Cheers, you two. They met when they were seventeen. Denny claims that my dad is the only guy she has banged throughout her entire life, but we don't buy it. Come on, Mom! If that's the case, you missed out, even for that day and age. In any case, we're happy to say that, somehow, JT and Denny are still smitten to this day. Denise is the very definition of “Forever Young.” Rod Stewart might have even written the song about her. Did he write that song? He certainly sang it; he sang the
out of it.
Denny encompasses so many incredibly admirable character traits, Mike and I would be lucky to inherit half of them between us. Denny is intrinsically kind, selfless, and caring. She is wildly patient, wise, and has seen it all. She is a great cook, makes a mean cocktail, and can even fix a zipper! She is like a professional mom, but being a friend is her passion. Denny is the complete package. If you didn't pick up on this already, Mike and I aren't ashamed to admit we're huge mama's boys. I'm proud of it. With a mama like this, who wouldn't be a mama's boy? Denny is the throbbing heart of our big old family.
And she raised four kids! Oh yeah, Mike and I aren't the only ones. Did we mention that? Two came before us; we're numbers three and four. If there are a couple of fractions somewhere out there in between us, JT, we won't hold it against you. The seventies were a wild time. The chronological leader of the pack is our brother Sean, age thirty-five. He's a real tool. Whether or not we actually believe that is known only to us. Sorry, Sean, when two brothers write a book without the remaining brother, they're compelled to take advantage of the opportunity and call the third brother a tool in print. Sean lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. The day after Sean graduated from college, his long-term girlfriend dumped him (ha!), so he packed up and moved out to Vegas with a few buddies on a whim. Power move. They all still live out there to this day. Sean has two degreesâone in mathematics and another in some sort of engineering. What's he do out there for a living? Oh, he's a bartender. In Vegas, he's a “mixologist,” if you ask him. He pours different combinations of liquor over ice and serves it to bachelor parties, businessmen, and entertainers until they work up the courage to go spend a night with hookers. But he is a damn fine mixologist. Sean knows more about booze and hospitality than anyone I've ever met.
For us, this is both a blessing and a curse. It takes a real sick son of a bitch to actually be able to
while living in Vegas. Think about that for a second. Most normal humans have a firm two-night, three-day limit in Vegas before they lose it. Personally, if I'm within Vegas city limits for more than thirty-six hours, I turn into Teen Wolf and start surfing tops of moving vans. Sean is different. I used to think he was the smart one, but that was just because Mike and I have been acting like idiots the last fifteen years. Our cat Sticky seemed smart compared to us, and he was literally diagnosed as “a retarded cat.” That's the vet's phrase, not ours.