Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid

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9780143142553: Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid
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The four-time Emmy-nominated comic satirist of Rescue Me presents irreverent cultural observations about how society is taking itself too seriously, in an account that shares anecdotes from his Irish-Catholic upbringing, high-pressure family life, and work as a performing artist. Simultaneous.

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About the Author:

Denis Leary has appeared in more than thirty films, including the Oscar-nominated Wag the Dog, The Thomas Crowne Affair, and Ice Age, as well as the Christmas cult classic The Ref, and such indie favorites as Jesus’ Son and Suicide Kings. Leary was the co-creator, producer, and star of the critically acclaimed network comedy The Job. His one-man shows No Cure For Cancer and Lock ’n Load broke viewing records on HBO. Leary has also written for New York Magazine, GQ, Playboy, Esquire, and many other publications. He is the co-writer, creator, and star of the four-time Emmy and Golden Globe–nominated television series Rescue Me. He lives in Connecticut.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Put this book down.

Right now.

Do not buy it.

Stop reading.


Why are you still reading this?


I warned you.

Now I will beg you, beseech you—in short, do everything possible in the limited format of this medium to get you to buy any other book within reach right now (if this book was a gift and you are at home or on a plane or sitting in a hotel room somewhere I would suggest grabbing a newspaper or a magazine or even your laptop) because this book is going to piss you off.

If you are a woman, you soon will be livid.

If you are a man, you are going to be filled with a burning rage.

If you are a kid—meaning anyone under the age of eighteen—you will soon be filled with shock and awe.

Scratch that.

If you are under the age of twenty–five you will soon be filled with shock and awe.

If you are a fan of Oprah—good luck.

If you hate Oprah or Oprah tends to drive you insane—you too will need some assistance.

This is not a book for the faint of heart or the politically correct or the weak or the extreme right wing or the left of center leftist Democrat or nuns or any other members of any religion or New York Yankee fans.

I am warning you—I am not here to make you feel all warm and fuzzy or superior to anyone else or all soft and gooey inside. I am here to debunk and declassify and otherwise hold up a brutally honest mirror to our fat, ugly, lazy American selves.

I am here to explain how we can and must thin the herd and extricate the stupid and eradicate the obese and take Rush Limbaugh's head and make a bong out of it.

Senators, psychopaths, fence–sitters (all three of those may sometimes be the same person), celebrity assholes (hello), presidents, centerfielders, centerfolds—everyone is up for grabs here.

Because I'm sick of it all.

I'm sick of low self–esteem and fake fat–suit–wearing female talk–show hosts and extreme makeovers and Cats the Musical and cats in general and steroid–laden home–run hitters and Paris Hilton and Grey's Anatomy and Reese Witherspoon movies and Parks Hilton's himbo boyfriends and celebrity rehab and Dr. Phil and Terrell Owens and almost anyone else you can think of.

This country—including you and most of the people related to you by birth or marriage or both—is populated by beings who have been so blessed for so long that they have become almost completely immune to any interests other than their own.

Open ass—insert head.

THAT is the mantra with which most of America lives each and every day.

THAT'S what should be printed on the plaque beneath our beloved Statue of Liberty. Along with the following:

Welcome to America where I'M not fat, I'M not stupid, I'M not the problem—YOU are.

Americans have been so isolated geographically, financially and psychologically for so long that we don't even see reality in the mirror anymore. Everyone has bought so far into their own bullshit—backed up by other jerk–offs and human jack–o'–lanterns on TV that the truth has been distorted into a believable fantasy world: I can't be overweight, look at the tub–a–lard sitting next to me. The food I eat can't be bad for me 'cause the commercial on TV says it's actually healthy. I'm not addicted to these doctor–prescribed drugs, the drug company discovered a disease that I have and then invented these pills to cure me.

Responsibility, research and actual factual thinking have gone out the window. If most people in this country see something on TV it must be true/news/necessary/important. Therefore, when things go wrong—how can the innocent citizen/TV watcher be at fault?

I spill a vat–sized "cup" of morning coffee onto my giant cellulite–dimpled thighs at the take–out window and suffer third–degree burns because it was hot and I desperately needed to wash down the two–ton doughnut I just manhandled into my gaping mouth—do I blame myself and go on a diet and start working out?


I sue McDonald's because the take–out window kid who handed me the cup of joe—who's from Bumfuck, Mexico, and has been in this country all of eighteen weeks and only knows the English words "can I take your order, please," "would you like fries with that" and "go Yankees"—didn't warn me that the coffee was the same temperature as the air in the hut he grew up in was every single day of his childhood.

Open ass—insert head with flame–red tongue.

My kid is the size of an out–of–shape NFL offensive lineman, has what within two months might become a full–blown Fu Manchu mustache and is already smoking two packs a day and watching Internet porn even though SHE is only twelve years old.

Do I put her on a diet and make her start working out?

Fuck no.

I sue McDonald's because they make shitty, hormone–and–chemical filled food that she eats every single day three TIMES a day because I'm very very busy living my selfish extended adolescent life and don't have time to:

A. Cook her normal food.

B. Monitor her free time.

C. Stop smoking pot and drinking so her easiest sources of alcohol and marijuana dry up.

Open ass—insert thick, self–medicated head.

An out–of–shape and overweight guy in Denver, Colorado, claims he developed lung cancer because he ate microwave popcorn with artificial butter flavoring. He loved when he would pull the bag out of the microwave and tear open the top and it would go "WHOOF" and he would stick his face in and inhale the aroma. You can just hear him sucking in the sweet sweet smell of all that great fake butter, can't you? Just like Homer Simpson: Ooooh—buttery fake butter. After whiffing up the cloud of chemicals, this moron on a mission would proceed to scarf down the entire bag and then—that's right—start the whole process all over again. He admits to snorting and scarfing two bags a day so let's do the actual math and add the two more bags he won't admit to because he probably figures four bags a day would be really embarrassing so what we have here is a guy who ate and sniffed so much fake butter that he developed the same cancer that people who work in the plant where they manufacture the butter did—people who make thousands of bags of pretend popcorn every single day.

Should he blame himself for his lazy butter–assed slovenly ways?


The popcorn factory workers filed a dangerous workplace/permanent health damages lawsuit and he decided to ride their cancer coattails all the way to the bank.

Let's up his total to at least five bags a day. Whatever the actual number might be I'll guarantee you one thing right now—you don't wanna be THIS guy when you're sitting down in the lung cancer chemotherapy waiting room. 'Cause when the guy who worked in a coal mine for twenty–seven years or the fireman who spent decades pulling people out of asbestos–ridden burning bags asks how YOU got lung cancer the last word you wanna mention is "popcorn."

Open ass—insert fake butter bag.

And I don't wanna hear the words "misogyny," "racial profiling" or "politically incorrect."

I'm talking common goddam sense.

Misogynistic means you hate women—it doesn't mean you hate women because you are trying to tell them what they do not want to hear.

Like yes, your ass IS fat.

Or no—most heterosexual men do NOT find Renée Zellweger attractive.

AND—it's not possible that every single pair of shoes or every dress you decide to buy can be on sale. Maybe four hundred and seventy–nine dollars is the ACTUAL price and "marked down from seven hundred" is what they teach the salesclerk to tell you.

Danica Patrick—the much heralded and publicized and ostracized and cursed–about–by–men female race car driver finally won her first race in 2008. Legions of women all over the earth were quoted in happy, feminist quotes about female power and female challenges and equal rights and equal abilities. Danica cried as she accepted her trophy and was photographed in all of her glory and joy. But the picture that was most often seen the next day was Danica in a bikini. From her pages in Sports Illustrated's Annual Swimsuit Issue. In which she looked very very hot. Now—we can all agree or disagree that the picture and its placement and why she took it and are women objectified and blah blah sexist blah—but the truth is if you ask most men if they are attracted to a woman who can drive faster than them you will get either a no or a big fat maybe. But if you ask most men if they mind a woman who looks like Danica does in a bathing suit beating their brains out on the track? The answer is—not at all. Especially if she's WEARING the bikini while she drives. Hell—I'll sign up right now and ride shotgun. As a matter of fact—I wish there were a whole race of female race car drivers who drove like cheetahs on crack and looked fine in a swimsuit issue—I think the ratings would go through the roof.

But that will NEVER happen.

If you are a woman reading this, odds are Danica will win another few races but not you. Or your daughter. Danica is an anomaly. You and your daughter most likely are not. Even if you somehow managed to convince yourself that you were Danica Part Deux and passed every physical and mental challenge in your path and got sponsored and suited up and officially entered and placed on the track—you would never win a single IndyCar—EVER. Even if all the other male drivers were involved in an incredible crash that left them literally without the wherewithal to circle the track, you would be unable to maneuver around between all the burning and airborne debris fast enough to see the checkered flag.

Especially if you have or plan on having kids.


Because there's an instinct built into the female DNA—if a woman is still of natural child–bearing age—to protect herself and not risk the future of her children, whether they exist in egg or embryo or live germ–factory form. Potential kid, kid in the oven or kid running around. It's why most women don't wish to get into fistfights or shoot animals or fly airplanes into tall buildings—unless it's to protect or feed or avenge the lives of their own children. You wanna win the Daytona 500? We would have to strap your firstborn into the shotgun seat of a lead car driven by a crazed ex–boyfriend on a revenge ride from hell or your current lover while he was under chemical influence and give either of them a fifteen second head start and then and only then would you be headed for a victory lap. And the winner's circle celebration would probably involve breast instead of bottled milk.

It's absolutely commonsense fact: girls like to dance and boys like to hit. That's why girls become cheerleaders and boys become football players. Girls play mommy and boys pretend to kill each other. Girls like pretty clothes and boys like fire trucks.

For women, their list of hot men includes a dad who waits at the corner bus stop with his toddler son and places him on the bus with a kiss atop the head and waves goodbye as the bus drives away. This man could be thirty pounds overweight and wearing a goofy hat. Women will still find him sexy.

For men—a mom doing the same thing—placing her toddler on the bus with a loving kiss and a wave—would be just as hot and sexy. As long as she was built like Giselle Bundchen and wearing a leopard–print thong.

I know it's awful. I know it's incredibly simple and stupid and sad.

But it's true.

As a matter of fact—you could skip the kid and the bus and just have Thong Mom walk down the corner and stand there—same difference for straight men.

A recent online poll by Women's Day magazine came up with these results:

When asked which they would rather have—Jennifer Aniston's body or a million dollars—78 percent of the women chose the money.

If you had asked men—78 percent would have chosen Jennifer Aniston's body—as long as they could press it right up against their own.

As a matter of fact—if they had asked men—they would have found that most men WITH a million dollars would gladly give it up for the CHANCE to touch Jennifer Aniston's body. Or just see her naked.

Maybe that's the difference between men and women.

One of them, anyway. Here's another:

Ninety–four percent of the people in the country who visit, pay and place heavy stock in psychics and what they have to say are women. The other 6 percent? Gay men.

Women go to psychics to find out what the future might hold for them in terms of true love, their children, former lives they may have lived, where their dead father/boyfriend/best friend might be.

Straight men? If psychics are capable of seeing into the future—why the fuck can't they give us the score to next year's Super Bowl.

That's it for men. Very cut and dried, very black and white. We'll discuss that and many other issues between men and women between these covers.

By the way—bipolar? Bullshit. Every single woman I have every known has been bipolar for SOME part of her life—one week here, nine months there, ever since her mother stopped calling—something. When I was a kid, bipolar meant either the twin axis ends of the earth or maybe a bear who swung both ways. Now it's an excuse for every other girl whose hormones are conducting a human body remake of Raging Bull.

They didn't have bipolar when I was growing up. If they did—my mom would've been called TRIpolar. She could smack one kid with a wooden spoon, ask a second kid if she was retarded and give a third kid a sweet little kiss on the head—all within four and a half seconds. And ya know what? Each one of us almost always deserved what we had coming.

And that's another thing I don't wanna hear ever again—dysfunctional families. That one is officially off–limits. Done. Retired forever. Has anyone ever heard of a FUNCTIONAL family? Who? When? Where? The Jacksons? Nope. The Osmonds? Nope. I don't think so. You wanna know what a functional family is? One where no one ends up killing everyone else. You can't have four or five or fifteen people live together in one place WITHOUT war and envy and greed and anger and theft and every other available weapon.

You disagree?

Then you gotta be a chick.

Open vagina—insert head.

I told you this book was gonna tick you off. Let's face it—the raw truth hurts.

Like this fact: I don't know a living man on this planet who DOESN'T have attention deficit disorder or spends at least twelve hours of each day thinking about his penis.

I didn't know the guy personally but I would bet my left ball that even Jesus thought a lot about his johnson. Hey—he could probably make his do special tricks. If I was the Son of God, special dick tricks would probably be the second or third thing I'd be spending my time on after I found out about my secret identity.

That's a lie.

Who am I kidding? It'd be the first.

Here's another lively topic:

It says somewhere in the piece of paper that this country of ours was founded upon that all men are created equal.


All men are created equal as long as they don't wanna blow each other.

And then decide to keep on blowing each other long enough to fall in love.

And then suddenly express a desire to formalize that relationship ...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780452295643: Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0452295645 ISBN 13:  9780452295643
Publisher: Plume, 2009

9780670031603: Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid

Viking..., 2008

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Dr. Denis Leary
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