Municipal Bondage

Henry Alford, Author
Henry Alford, Author Random House (NY) $18 (231p) ISBN 978-0-679-41509-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 231 pages - 978-1-57322-510-6
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Freelance writer Alford here gathers a mixed bag of his humor pieces--some of them original, others reprinted from Mademoiselle , the New York Observer and other publications--in which he places himself in a variety of everyman situations. As a job applicant at Macy's or a vendor at a street fair, he reports what develops, although not every situation turns out to be funny. Some of the best include ``Drive, He Said,'' a tale about Alford as the ``VIP driver'' for Governor Romer of Colorado during the 1992 Democratic National Convention in Manhattan, and ``Dread and Breakfast,'' a diary he kept as a guest at various New York City ``Bed and Breakfast'' apartments. But there are also ``In Search of . . . Nubbins ,'' a tedious tract on the creation and marketing of Nubbins, a snack of chocolate encased in French bread, and ``You'll Never Groom Dogs in This Town Again!,'' about jobs few would think to apply for. There are 33 ponderings entitled ``What If'' (i.e., ``What If the Pope Were a Dog'') which are uniformly unfunny. Alford is a humorist with punch who would have benefited from a more careful selection of his material. Author tour. (Mar.)
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