I Have Fun Ev­ery­where I Go: Sav­age Tales of Pot, Porn, Punk Rock, Pro Wrestling, Talk­ing Apes, Evil Bosses, Dirty Blues, Amer­i­can He­roes, and the Most No­to­ri­ous Mag­a­zines in the World

by Mike Edi­son, Faber and Faber Inc., 338 pages

Pasatiempo - - Book Reviews -

Mike Edi­son is like a char­ac­ter in a noir film. He’s walked the dirty streets of a lot of dirty towns, meet­ing a lot of dirty peo­ple along the way. And he’s had an ab­so­lute blast the whole time— mak­ing a ca­reer out of liv­ing.

I Have Fun Ev­ery­where I Go is a spir­ited romp through the cul­tural in­testines of ur­ban­ism. As you may de­duce by the ti­tle, this 2008 mem­oir— now avail­able in pa­per­back— is a joy ride into the fun part of hell, where it’s never too hot and en­chant­ing devils greet you at ev­ery stop. In the first chap­ter alone, our hero tries LSD, gets into a wrestling match, has a drug dealer stick a shot­gun in his face, and lands his first writ­ing gig for Wrestling’s Main Event mag­a­zine. By chap­ter two he’s writ­ing porno­graphic nov­els at the rate of one a week — in­clud­ing one, Mandy’s Shame, that I’m pretty sure I read!

Edi­son is a New York-based writer, ed­i­tor, and mu­si­cian whose ré­sumé in­cludes edit­ing stints at pot mag­a­zines ( High Times), porn mag­a­zines ( Cheri and Screw), and, in a more tame vein, bev­er­age mag­a­zines ( Soft Drinks & Beer). He’s also played var­i­ous in­stru­ments in var­i­ous bands, in­clud­ing the Raunch Hands and the Edi­son Rocket Train. On a less se­ri­ous artis­tic note, he did com­edy acts and mu­sic shtick that in­spired au­di­ence mem­bers to throw bot­tles at the stage.

Read­ing this mem­oir is like hear­ing your fa­vorite racon­teur let loose with a few decades’ worth of ou­tra­geous sto­ries. What’s great is, when Edi­son is re­call­ing events that hap­pened to him when he was 14, his voice is like he’s 14, and so on and so on. You see the writer ma­ture as he faces love, loss, de­pres­sion, and var­i­ous creative bat­tles in the work­place. He’s a worker bee, and he learns as he goes along, fig­ur­ing out how to han­dle all as­pects of pro­duc­ing a mag­a­zine. He be­friends dope­heads and cen­ter­fold girls and makes en­e­mies of the pow­er­ful in pub­lish­ing and pol­i­tics. Maybe he crosses lines when it comes to free speech, but he makes a pow­er­ful ar­gu­ment that to pro­tect that right means to ex­er­cise it, re­gard­less of how oth­ers re­spond.

The peo­ple he meets are gen­er­ally lik­able crack­pots of the first or­der. To Edi­son’s credit, he paints a bal­anced por­trait of every­one, find­ing the good in the bad and the bad in the good. He’s great with per­sonal de­scrip­tion, not­ing that while Bobo the Porn-Writ­ing Clown was not a real clown, he dressed like one: “He in­sisted on wear­ing OshKosh B’gosh over­alls, in­ap­pro­pri­ate for any­one past pu­berty who doesn’t spend his morn­ings squeez­ing the milk out of cow tits. That his shoes did not ex­plode was an un­for­tu­nate over­sight.” And he has an eye for the ironic and the ab­surd, re­call­ing how the boss of High Times for­bade pot smok­ing in the of­fice, even though the mag­a­zine pub­lished a reg­u­lar Trans-High Mar­ket Quo­ta­tions sec­tion (“LSD— Fresh from the lab, $2-$4/tab.”).

— Robert Nott

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