Newbie with Skiver's Guide

Bodil Gram bodil at
Tue Dec 14 16:12:41 EST 1999

I know people sometimes have a hard time staying awake all the way through
a long letter, and since I fear this one may get longish, I had better sum
up the two important items in advance:

1)   I have a copy of The Skiver's Guide, more of that later.

2)   My primary e-mail address is so thoroughly protected against
unsolicited spam adds, that I often fail to receive legitimate letters sent
to me. I have another e-address which works like a charm, but I always make
sure to write it in such a way that it cannot be "harvested" by any of
those awful spam programs, if a letter later lands on a web site.  If you
remove the empty spaces, my good e-address can be seen here:

          bodil  @

And no, Bodil is not a male name here in Denmark.

And now for the more wordy, gushy part:

You people have no idea how happy I am that I found you last week! Since
then I have been lurking while reading through the archives. It is
wonderful to have found people who not only share my taste for DWJ but also
like so many other books I have been reading behind the backs of friends
and family for years.

Very few DWJ books have been translated into Danish. I accidentally picked
up an English-language copy of Charmed Life in my early twenties and then
kept on ordering all the rest of the books as soon as the news of their
publication reached me. I just realised: from now on I shall never again
need to worry about not hearing of a DWJ book before it is too late to
order it. (big sigh of relief)

Anyway, back to The Skiver's Guide: Philip just asked for a copy of it, and
I had already previously noticed that it seemed to be the most frequenly
desired book in the archives.

I am a firm believer in letting an author get Her dues, so if the book is
in print anywhere, please forget about the dastardly and wicked proposal I
am about to make now: offering to send photocopies free of any charge.

I get the impression there are quite a number of list members in the US and
Down Under. If many of you people want a copy, my bank might end up hating
me, and to avoid that, we may possibly need to organise local centres of
distribution in those countries, just like the Americans did with the tapes
of Archer's Goon some months ago.

It is a very slim paperback which should not be impossible to copy and send
to a few people - and for that very same reason I am certain you will want
to buy your own very cheap copy if it ever gets re-printed, making sure DWJ
gets Hers. ;-)

To ensure that nobody ends up with copies they are not interested in after
all, I should also warn you that The Skiver's Guide is not like any of
DWJ's other books: it is a children's book, a tounge-in-cheek
"non-fictional" guide to worming your way out of ever doing any chores,
either at home or at school. In a very systematic way you are introduced to
the Golden Rules of skiving, you are told all you will ever need to know
about Excuses, and you are allowed to understand the secret dymanics of
family life. There are pieces of advice if you are a younger sibling -
which are extra hillarious when compared to the somewhat different advice
given to older siblings.

The greatest skiver in any family is of course the father: there is no way
you can make him do any of your chores. Instead you ought to observe and
learn just how he does it.  Mothers, however, are a different story. They
are not easy to manipulate, but they come in two basic models: log mothers
and stork mothers, and I do not want to spoil every single part of the
little book by also telling you more about them. The explanation for these
two categories of mothers is the one single item from the book which most
consistently makes me chortle in all sorts of inappropriate places even
now, at least a decade after reading the book for the first time. In fact,
I am doing it right now.  :-)))))))

Could we have a brief list discussion about this ?   (I would not like to
be thrown off the list if you all think I am a terrible crook, so I need to
hear some representative opinions first.)

Friendly greetings, as we say here,

Bodil Gram,  Aabent Universitet i Koebenhavn
e-mail:  gram at
(if you letter gets caught by the anti-spam guard program,
 try writing to:  bodil  @   without the empty spaces)

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