By Eline Pijl
Dropping your tray in Dining Hall, tripping at the entrance of Locke for everyone to see, or giving a presentation only to realise that your shirt is inside out. At some point during your UC career you will undoubtedly ask yourself: Is it just me? Luckily, British comedian Miranda Hart – patron saint of the tall and occasionally clumsy – wrote a manual (Miran-ual) on exactly these hazards.
As a book written by a celebrity, it is an oddity that this is not a book about her life story of going from posh, awkward, private-school girl to posh, awkward, successful comedian. Rather, it is an extensive commentary on potentially awkward situations. Big moments, she explains, she can handle. The births, the deaths, the anniversaries – everyone knows how to act when it comes to those. It’s the little, everyday moments in between which sneak up on you and hit you between the eyes. You have no idea how to cope, other than perhaps to trip and fall.
Through a series of chapters, ranging from beauty to work and from weddings to music, Miranda takes us through several clichés of life and situations she’s found herself in throughout the years. Often, the reader is accompanied by her younger self, which helps getting an idea of how her life has been. The lack of baby pictures is made up by her own illustrations of said difficult situations.
Those familiar with the slang of Hart’s comedy series Miranda will immediately recognize several aspects. The quirky adjectives directly addressing the reader (“My Dear Reader Chum”), lists with ten reasons to hate the spa or five favourite things about office life, and a ticking-box game. Many of the show’s jokes return in this book as well, so reading it without background information on Miranda or her show might take some getting used to. However, for those who adore her on screen, this book will have you laughing every other page. It won’t leave you with an answer, but with a new phrase that nicely sums it all up.