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 GS Magazine - Dec. 2003/Jan. 2004 

Flashes of Insight
By Laurie Stewart

Life is Short But It's Wide (In the Southern State of Reality) is a lively collection of columns written by humorist Ann Ipock, which have appeared bi-weekly in The Georgetown Times. Ipock alleges that the oddest things happen to her (and her family) and then proceeds to offer proof. This book is bound to make readers smile and even laugh out loud as they recognize themselves time and again in her hilarious experiences.

One of my favorites is the chapter entitled, "Boats and Buckets, No Whales, Oh My." Here, she addresses the dangers of really getting to know a person when traveling with them, or the "way too much information" syndrome. I am sure we have all experienced this at one time or another. And then there are the unforeseen dangers of adventure travel, such as whale watching of the coast of Virginia -- a fun trip gone horribly wrong.

In "Cars Versus UFO's," Ann describes the highly unlikely “twilight zone” events that have happened to her while she was on some everyday errand in her car, with or without her apparent gem of a spouse, Russell. These incidents include getting an orange traffic cone stuck under her car while attempting to find a parking place. I won't reveal the rest of these mishaps, except to say that they are incredible.

Ann also has a new take on purse snatching. Think about it: who would want to see the contents of a woman's purse? Is it really worth the money? She presents an original view of "wild women" as she remembers the strength and determination of her ancestral women. There was nothing they could not or would not do, which did make them "wild" for their time.

At one point, Ann wonders what makes people animal lovers, since she is not one and speculates that the quality must be genetic. I'm inclined to agree, since I come from a family of animal nuts, and every other trait today seems to be laid at the feet of our genetic codes.

Another wonderment of Ann's is why some people grab life and live it to the fullest until the last moment of breath given them, while others fret and agonize over the smallest inconsequential nano-detail. Genes again?

There is one thing that Ann reveals about herself and her family that I find totally amazing (and which also must be genetic), and that is they love to go to the grocery store. I have never heard of such women before! Go figure...

If readers identify with nothing else, there is her Voice Mail Rage, which she dubs "Voice Misery," an excellent term for it. Who hasn't experienced the circular madness of going from one recorded voice to another, or, at the very worst, being forced to listen to something which somewhat resembles music while waiting to get in touch with a human being?

Readers of Life is Short, But It's Wide will have frequent flashes of self-recognition as well as things to ponder about the human condition. Ann is a free-spirited soul who gracefully portrays, with delicious insight, the humor to be found in everyday life. I only wish she had told us where they keep the miniature marshmallows.

    Ann Ipock   
    843.457.5406

    amipock@ec.rr.com

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