Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Super Happy Metal Fun Time!

I work in the editorial department of an online publishing company, and we get a lot of random stuff from PR agencies: books, CDs, press kits, product samples; we even got a bunch of cleaning products in a wooden coffin once, which was a little odd. Since our writers work off site we need to determine whether or not to send this barrage of material on to them; most of it goes on its merry way, but some things, especially the stuff that's misaddressed (sent to one of parenting writers, say, when it really should go to one of the home & garden writers), stay in the office and join our collections of Weird Desk Stuff. I'm the Metal Guy of the editorial department, so when the Heavy Metal Fun Time Activity Book by Aye Jay Morano came in, addressed to our classic rock writer, I snagged it and added it to my desk display, which includes, among other things, a model of this place, a signed print of this online comic, and a postcard promo of this album I picked up outside of an Opeth show in 2005.

Of course, I opened it first and delighted at cheekiness within. Besides an endorsement from Dio, who no doubt loves metal enough to laugh at the music and the culture at least once in a while, the Heavy Metal Fun Time Activity Book features an introduction by Andrew W. K. (he's metal now?) full of insipid thoughts about the nature of reality, and then the centerpiece: page after page of all of those pen-and-paper activities you did as a kid, all with a metal twist. There's a word seek with songs by Neurosis; a maze where you help the members of Spinal Tap get to the stage (get it?); two pages where you can color in the 1983 and 1989 versions of Metallica; etc., etc., etc. My favorite is the Death Metal Sudoku, where all of the pre-filled numbers are sixes.

For the retail price of about $10, the Heavy Metal Fun Time Activity Book doesn't price up to a car ride diversion like the books it's modeled upon, but that's not really the point. I don't want to fill out the activities in my copy; I just want to open it up every once in a while and smirk my way back into a good mood.

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