01.15.10Cooking the Books.
In the episode, Manny Bianco (as in white), an accountant under a great deal of stress, who hates his job, accidentally swallows his copy of The Little Book of Calm during an unpleasant exchange with his supervisor. He bought the book for £2.50 (decimalized British currency) from Bernard Black, the putative proprietor of the Black Books establishment located in some London High St area.
Whilst Bernard searches for distractions from doing his accounts for the Inland Revenue menace, engaging Johovah’s Witnesses in philosophical discussion and folding a huge pile of socks, Manny, now in hospital, is being advised by an NHS doctor, played brilliantly by Martin Freeman, that his chances of survival were 30% which was consider quite good by current standards. He reinforces this prognosis by reading a passage from the The Little Book of Calm visible on an X-Ray of Manny’s abdominal area. The surgery scheduled for Manny is abruptly canceled when it’s discovered the book once lodged in him has disappeared without a trace, apart from an odd transformation in his disposition. The doctor surmised that the book must have been assimilated.
In hospital gown, robe, and sandals, Manny wanders the hospital and the streets quoting from the book at each stop he makes, where someone or something is in distress. In most cases, the stress is relieved. However, he ends up battered outside Black Books by skinheads loitering nearby who only became more agitated than they already were by his calming advice and responded with a predictable degree of disapprobation. The shock of the ASBO breach brought him round to his old self in quick order (or did it?).
This homily is delivered as a warning not only to CPSC but the general public at large, as well, of the dangers of tiny books. There is a very grave risk of some unsuspecting skinhead being turned into a hippie.
A few passages from the book:
Invest In a Fruit Bowl
The more beautiful your fruit bowl,
Eat more fruit, and you’ll feel more
Worry When the Time Comes
Most worries are future-based.
Concentrate on the present and
Sip A Peppermint
If you substitute a herbal tea such as
Start Ten Minutes Early
Start every journey ten minutes early.
Incidentally, The Little Book of Calm is also available in tablet form.