Sometimes in our lives; we all have pain; we all have sorrow. But, if we are wise; we know that there’s always tomorrow. Or maybe we need some advice. Unfortunately for most of us there is a lot of terrible advice out there. Comedian Mike Rainey noticed the vast amount of bad information available in the world and decided to dole out his own in his upcoming book Terrible Advice. We caught up with Mike to ask him a few questions about his credentials as an advisor.
WitOut: When and how did you discover that you would be an expert on giving out terrible advice?
Mike Rainey: I decided I wanted to dish out terrible advice after thumbing through some book on a shelf in Target whose focus was to instruct the reader on how to be happy 24/7. Aside from the absurd notion that a person should be happy all the time, the advice that the author was giving was utterly horrendous and under no circumstances could I envision their advice being able to improve someone’s life. The more I thought about it, the more I was amused by how you could sell these self-help books without needing to put any real substance on the pages. I can be an obnoxious pontificator so why shouldn’t I come up with as much terrible advice as possible and put it into book form to make some dough?
WO: How did you go about choosing what topics to give advice on?
MR: I would simply write about whatever topic popped into my head from the instant I decided when I wanted to write each day until the time I sat down at my desk. Topics range from buying a helper monkey to finding the right gal. Whatever felt funny to write is what I chose to write about. Plus, I have a paralyzing amount of failure in my background so I believed that I could offer impractical advice on literally anything.
WO: Who are your mentors in the field of terrible advice-giving?
MR: James Arthur Ray is a New York Times best-selling author and a total chimp who caused the death of two people and injured nineteen others in a sweat lodge ceremony gone awry. This is the same gentleman who authored a book entitled “The Science of Success.” So, yeah. He’s the Michael Jordan of terrible advice.
WO: What are some of your favorite bits of terrible advice you have ever received?
MR: I once read a book on business etiquette where the author instructed the reader to listen to clients and then respond by making “I” statements including personal information and incorporating the information that the client relayed. The purpose was to make the salesperson seem relatable. I was desperate for people to like me and I still have that struggle often so I started doing it. I still do it, but whenever I catch myself doing it, I stop immediately because I can only imagine how unbearable it is for whatever poor soul that has to listen to me. I was never a salesman and I never aspired to be one so I don’t know why the fuck I read that piece of shit in the first place. I guess I was so desperate to be liked that I was willing to try anything. I wasn’t far from doing pro bono snuff porn.
WO: What results would you expect someone to get if they followed all of the tips in your book religiously?
MR: If a reader follows the advice in this book, their life would gradually become a trainwreck. I would like to see at least one person follow this terrible advice verbatim. Maybe I’ll try to get ahold of one of those sweat lodge goofballs.
WO: Do you have any good advice you’d like to give?
MR: Be good to people and good things will come your way. Also, if you Google the words “child porn,” you probably won’t find what you’re looking for.
Mike Rainey is a stand-up comic and author from Philadelphia. He is also a cat lover, a great friend and opinionated asshole. His book, Terrible Advice, will be available on February 14 via download through Amazon.com ($5) or the print version ($10) can be purchased by contacting him via Facebook, Twitter, Email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or in person. Mike will be giving ten percent of all sales to St. Jude’s Pediatric Cancer Research Center.