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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Desus & Mero are smarter and funnier than everyone writing books.”—Shea Serrano “I will never write anything as hilarious as they have. I give up.”—Malcolm Gladwell “These motherf***ers make me laugh until I choke.”—Jia Tolentino
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR
A wild, hilarious guide to life from the hosts of the hit late-night show Desus & Mero and the Bodega Boys podcast
Who could have predicted that, after a fateful meeting in a Bronx summer school in the 1990s, Desus & Mero would turn their friendship into an empire of talking to each other. And it’s no surprise—tuning in to them is like listening to the funniest, smartest people you know dissect a topic and then light it on fire. Now they’ve written the most essential guide to life of this century*, in which all the important questions are asked: How do I talk to my kids about drugs if I do them, too? What are the ethics of ghosting in a relationship? How do I bet on sports? How should I behave in jail? How much is too much to spend on sneakers? Is porn really that bad for me?
As they put it: “We want to share all we’ve learned, after years in the Bronx streets, with you: the people. So with a lifetime spent building up a plethora of information from trials and tribulations and a handful of misdemeanors, we decided to write this book—a sequel to the Bible, or maybe to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,depending on how big a nerd you are. Let this book be your North Star.”
Under the Cover
An excerpt from God-Level Knowledge Darts
HELLO ESTEEMED READER. I AM THE KID MERO. CONGRATULATIONS ON SELECTING SUCH AN IMPORTANT AND CULTURALLY RELEVANT BOOK.
TYPICALLY WHEN PEOPLE CALL SHIT “CULTURALLY RELEVANT” AND “IMPORTANT,” IT’S BECAUSE IT SUCKS. BUT THERE’S MAD WHITE GUILT ATTACHED TO TEARING DOWN A POC AUTHOR IN 2020, ESPECIALLY ONE LIKE ME THAT CHECKS MULTIPLE BOXES *USES #2 PENCIL TO FILL IN BLACK AND LATINO* SO I CAN FREELY SAY IT ABOUT MY OWN SHIT. THE F*** YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT? I AM POC (I PRONOUNCE IT LIKE 2PAC) AND THEREFORE BEYOND REBUKE.
FORTUNATELY FOR YOU, THIS BOOK REALLY IS F***ING PHENOMENAL AND WILL BE ON YOUR KIDS’ COLLEGE SYLLABUS FOR THE CLASS “IDENTIFYING WITH OTHERNESS IN CULTURE” IF THEY GO TO A VERY EXPENSIVE PRIVATE INSTITUTION.
PLEASE ENJOY THIS BOOK OVER AND OVER WHILE YOU COMMUTE TO WORK, TAKE A SHIT, TAKE A SHIT WHILE COMMUTING TO WORK. BRUH IF YOU SHIT ON NJ TRANSIT YOU ARE A SPECIAL TYPE OF SAVAGE. WHATEVER. I LOVE YOU. SOME OF THIS ADVICE IS GREAT AND SOME OF IT ABSOLUTELY F***IN SUCKS, WHICH, IN A WAY, MAKES THIS A CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-ADVENTURE BOOK. LOOK AT HOW DYNAMIC THE BRAND IS. I’M GONNA LET DESUS SAY SOMETHING HERE BECAUSE I’M GETTING ANXIETY WATCHING THIS BLUNT BURN IN THE ASHTRAY AND NOT INHALING ITS MAGICAL VAPORS. GO GET EM PAL.
As the child of a New York public branch librarian (go get em Mom!), a former employee of the New York Public Library myself (shouts to Nipple! That’s an inside joke, forget you read it), and an English major (shouts to my homie Jane Eyre), writing this book has been a lifelong aspiration.
Ideally this book will last forever, and in 2091 some very sad half-robot/half-human kids will read passages from it and say, “Wow, that’s what life was like before the ice caps melted and drowned half the population.” (This is said in a weird hybrid Chinese/Minecraft accent).
With this book, we want to give you our hard-won wisdom. Think of it as a fat sack of truth nuggets, a journey inside the minds of myself and Mero. While you probably know us from oh, I don’t know, creating some of the best television in the history of television (GAME OF THRONES WHO?) and perhaps the greatest and most entertaining and most problematic and damn it just the realest and most Bronx podcast ever, Bodega Boys, which is our life, blood, and soul, you’ve never known us like this. And if you don’t know us, welcome to the f***ing Bronx.
Mero has mad kids so this probably doesn’t feel like having a(nother) child to him, but to me, writing this book has been an amazing experience and feels like I just watched a baby come out a vagina (I’m wearing the traditional “I’m from the hood and this is my baby shower, I ain’t pull out in time” Burberry shirt as I write this). If nothing else, you should at least come away from this book with an arsenal of knowledge darts, like the price of a brick of coke (41K in NYC unless you got a connect or can speak Spanish).
So please sit back and enjoy. And keep a glass of water near you while you read because you’re going to laugh repeatedly and, sadly, many of you are single, so if you’re eating a meal while reading this or listening to the audiobook, there’s a good chance your food will go down the wrong pipe and you’ll start choking. Unfortunately, you curbed a potential boo a few months ago, probably for a silly reason like he/she used the wrong form of “there” in a text message and you were all, “Umm I have a degree, I’m not putting up with this,” and now you’re choking alone in your apartment. You try to yell, but between the food caught in your windpipe and the loud sound of the British cooking show playing in the background on Netflix, no one can hear your feeble attempts to scream for help. In a panic, you ram your stomach into the corner of a table to try to get your diaphragm to push up the food, but you’ve never done that before and oh shit that hurt and it didn’t help and oh my god, you’re really dying now, and as you see that white light and head to see your maker, your last conscious thought is a wondrous paradox, the realization that you’re dying from us, for us. You’re “dying for The Hive,” which is one of the top three highest honors one can achieve in this life. Much like a Viking funeral where the body is set on fire and pushed into the water to enter Valhalla, this is your greatest moment. So take that final breath, laugh a muffled, choking laugh, and as you pass out, let your final words be “The brand is brolic.”
Thank you for rocking with us.
Sincerely, Dark Desus
HELLO READER, IT’S MERO AGAIN, AKA THE PLANTAIN SUPERNOVA. AT THIS POINT, OR PROBABLY AFTER THE FIRST SENTENCE, YOU WERE LIKE, “WHY IS THIS IN ALL CAPS?” IT’S BECAUSE I ALMOST ALWAYS WRITE IN ALL CAPS. IF I’M DRIVING DOWN UNIVERSITY AND FIRING OFF A TEXT I MIGHT NOT USE CAPS, BUT EVERYTHING ELSE IS ON LOCK. IT COMES FROM MY GRAFFITI BACKGROUND, GROWING UP SEEING “BESTER” IN ALL CAPS AND THE SHIT LOOKED SUPER CLEAN AND STYLISH ALL UP AND DOWN TREMONT AVENUE IN THE BRONX. IT WAS SO GOOD AND SO UBIQUITOUS, I THOUGHT “BESTER” AND ITS VARIANTS (“BESTER TFT” & “BESTER OTB”) WERE PRODUCTS MADE BY A COMPANY CALLED BESTER. THAT’S WHAT DREW ME INTO GRAFFITI AND MADE ME WRITE IN A “DIFFERENT” WAY EVERY TIME I WROTE *ANYTHING.* THERE ARE ONLY SO MANY WAYS TO DO THAT WITHIN THE RIGID STRUCTURE OF COMPUTERS (ANNNAAARRCCHHHYY!!!) AND ALL CAPS IS ONE OF THEM.
ALSO IF YOU GIVE A SHIT ABOUT CAPS, I’M SORRY, BUT YOU’RE A HERB, MY GUY. DON’T GIVE ME THE “IT HURTS MY EYES” SHIT EITHER, ARE YOU A F***ING TODDLER? SOWWY WIDDO BABY EYEBAWS. OH YOU CONSIDER CAPS “YELLING”? YOU’RE KIDDING, RIGHT? HOW BORING ARE YOU? HAVE YOU EVER GOTTEN A BLOWJOB WITH THE LIGHTS ON BEFORE? HAVE YOU EVER BEEN FINGERED IN AN ELEVATOR, NOT KNOWING IF SOMEONE ELSE WAS GONNA GET ON, AND NOT GIVING A SHIT? ARE YOU SOME KIND OF F***IN DWEEB WHO’S NEVER GOTTEN YOUR ASS EATEN? IF YOU CARE ABOUT READING IN ALL CAPS AND CHOOSE TO BLOCK YOUR BLESSINGS, YOU ARE A COLOSSAL F***ING NERD WHO FOLLOWS “INTERNET ETIQUETTE” AND—HOLY SHIT I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT’S EVEN A THING. F***IN “INTERNET ETIQUETTE.” THE INTERNET IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE WILD WEST, BRUH. I KNOW THIS IS A BOOK AND NOT THE INTERNET BUT F*** OFF, IT’S ALL THE SAME NOW, IT’S 2020, DAWG. NOT READING MY SHIT BECAUSE IT’S IN ALL CAPS IS LIKE NOT HAVING AMAZING SPONTANEOUS SEX BECAUSE YOU’RE IN A DRESSING ROOM AT NEIMAN’S AND “THaT’s NoT ALLoWeD.”
Can I interject and thank all the “herbs” and “dweebs” who purchased and are reading this book? I feel like it might not be “best business practices” to insult you out the gate. I would low-key like to apologize for the number you’re about to do to both your brain and your eyeballs. After all of Mero’s capital letters, your perfect 20/20 vision will probably drop to something more like 900/300. But I’ve survived reading Mero this long, so I fully believe you can too, if you put your mind to it. It’s actually an important part of you figuring out how to read and imagine Mero talking to you. What he said is true, he’s not yelling . . . more like speaking at full volume while you’re riding in the quiet car with him.
Desus Nice and The Kid Mero are multitalented comedians, writers, and podcasters who currently co-host Showtime's first-ever late-night talk show, Desus & Mero, as well as the long-running Bodega Boys podcast.