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Breathe: A Guy's Guide to Pregnancy Paperback – 16 Sep 2002

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (16 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743219708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743219709
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,113,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Mason Brown is a managing editor at NationalLampoon.com. He is also the author of the bestselling business humor book Who Cut the Cheese? He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, his three-year-old son, "the boy,"and a one-year-old daughter, "the girl."

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One: On Deciding to Become a Father

Unlike marriage, fatherhood is not something to be entered into lightly or unadvisedly. You must understand the full range of responsibilities and duties it entails. Having a baby is a full-time job. You've got to feed it, clothe it, shelter it. I mean, man, that's a lot of hassle.

So before you embark on fatherhood, make a list of reasons why you want to have a child. Compare your reasons with the following list:


  • You and your wife have discussed having a family, and the time just seems "right."
  • You love the idea of fatherhood, with all the joys and responsibilities it entails.
  • You want to teach, love, and nurture a precious, tiny human.


  • You hated your dad, and you want to take it out on someone.
  • Just to see if your boys can swim.
  • To win a bet.
  • You think it will make you look more mature.
  • Everybody else is doing it.

Still think you're ready? Many high schools require their sex-ed students to care for a plastic doll for two weeks in order to help illustrate the full-time nature of parenting. Why don't you try it? If your "test" baby looks like this, then maybe you should hold off on having children -- at least for a little while.

If, however, you passed the baby doll test (or, more likely, figured, "Who the hell has time to drag around a stupid plastic doll?" and decided not to bother), you might still want to test your "Fatherhood Aptitude" by taking the following test.

Use a number 2 pencil. 30 minutes

The Fatherhood Aptitude Test

Multiple Choice

1. The best way to calm a crying baby is to:
a. hand him off to mommy.

b. gently rock him up and down.

c. slap him silly.

2. An appropriate baby-sitter is:
a. one of our relatives.

b. a trusted teenage daughter of a friendly neighbor.

c. an English au pair.

3. Which of the following is an acceptable toy for a baby?
a. A large doll with plastic crinkle-paper stuffing.

b. A large, hard, plastic teething ring.

c. A large, plastic dry-cleaning bag.

4. Which of the following best describes your reasons for wanting to become a father?
a. I love kids.

b. I feel the time is right to have a family.

c. I enjoy playing with my Tamogotchi hatch-an-egg video game.

5. Why do you think you'd make a good father?
a. I'm so hopelessly, deliriously in love with my wife, that my happiness can't help but rub off on our child.

b. I look forward to imparting all of my skills to a future generation.

c. I just finished reading Earl Woods' book Training a Tiger. I'm ready to get started immediately.

6. Your wife wants to start trying to have a baby. She's charted her temperature, and knows that she's been ovulating on a twenty-nine-day cycle. If today is March 10, and her temperature last peaked five days ago, when is the best time to try to conceive?
a. April 4.

b. April 5.

c. Right now. Continue trying until my Viagra runs out.

7. Baby : Beer ::
a. Square Pegs : Round Holes

b. Checks : Stripes

c. Who the hell let the baby near my beer? That's my beer, dammit!

8. You hope that your first child is:
a. a Girl.

b. a Boy.

c. other.

9. The young father picked up his newborn baby with ______ in his eyes and gently _______.
a. love...sang a lullaby.

b. joy...Cooed nonsense syllables.

c. horror...dropped it.

10. By the end of its second month, a baby should be able to:
a. smile.

b. respond to a bell in some way, such as startling, crying, or quieting.

c. read.

11. goo goo : ga ga ::
a. boo boo : ba ba

b. Milli : Vanilli

c. Shut : Up

12. Four babies are getting weighed in the maternity ward. Your baby, R, weighs more than V. T weighs less than R. S weighs more than V but less than T. Which of the following is the correct lineup of babies from smallest to biggest?
a. V, S, T, R.

b. Cannot be determined from the information given.

c. Which one is mine, again?

True or False?

1. Babies can eat Doritos.

2. Babies can be left unattended if you are pretty darn sure you will return by the end of the hour.

3. Babies can't scream very loudly since they just have tiny, little baby lungs.

4. Once you have a baby, you will have more free time since there will be extra hands around the house.

5. Baby fat insulates babies from all but the coldest arctic conditions.

6. You will still be able to golf on weekends after the baby is born.

7. Most pregnant women look like Hunter Tylo.

8. I plan on videotaping the birth and then showing it to friends.

9. I was born a rambling man.

10. Someday, I would like to appear on the Jerry Springer Show.

11. Lamaze breathing techniques could also be useful when I'm on the can.

12. Whenever you mention that you'd like to have a large family of, say, five kids, your wife anxiously eyes the bathtub.

Short Essay:

What does commitment mean to you?


If you have finished before the time allotted, you may go over any questions in this section. Then place your answer sheet facedown in front of you with your pencil on top. Do not go on to any additional sections. Do not run screaming out the door to a seedy singles bar for casual, anonymous sexual encounters.


If you answered any of the questions, you pass. And if by some miracle of nature you actually tried to write an essay, then you've got definite fatherhood potential (unless you wrote "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" over and over again, in which case don't go on any vacations in the north woods with your family).

Note: If you answered "c" to any of the multiple choice questions, or "True" to any of the True/False questions, then beware! You are a moron. Of course, that alone does not disqualify you from fatherhood in any way.

Text copyright © 2002 by Mason Brown

Inside This Book

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Unlike marriage, fatherhood is not something to be entered into lightly or unadvisedly. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a great book this is. It was so refreshing when we were expecting our first child to find such an irreverant book about the subject of pregnany and childbirth. You should be warned about two things, if thinking of buying this book:

1) It's not in any way a useful guide to pregnancy - it's pure comedy.
2) It's pretty obscene (and funny).

So if you're looking for an antidote to all the pregnancy guides and a bit of light relief while waiting for that baby to emerge, this is the book for you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x925bcee8) out of 5 stars 23 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x925d5948) out of 5 stars Hilarious, a work of comic genius 3 April 2003
By Irv Fisher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As the author of another pregnancy book for men, "My Boys Can Swim," I'm always curious when new books in this genre come out. I picked this one up, and I must say that I laughed and laughed, and then laughed some more at the material in this book. It is well written and just plain fun to read. Plaudits to the illustrator as well, who was equally as funny and creative.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94683b88) out of 5 stars hilarious 22 Feb. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
a funny laugh out loud book that is in no way helpful to the expectant father or mother, but it's not supposed to be. it's a gag filled, witty little telling about the pitfals of pregnancy when you're the guy-no helpful hints, no useful mantras which is what makes this book unique. Instead of going for the deepak chopra, new age metaphysical spin to fatherhood and pregnancy this books takes the unique, twisted, SNL-the great years, Second City approach. A great gift for any expectant dad!!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93c4d5c4) out of 5 stars For people with a sense of humor, this is a great book... 6 Jun. 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I found this book hilarious. I read some of the other reviews, and frankly found them to miss the point entirely. It's as if they went to see "Edward Scissorhands" and complained about it because it was too much of a fairytale and didn't address the realities of adoption!
I also find it short-sighted for someone to say this book is full of locker room humor. Clearly, these folks didn't actually read the book. Very little of what is in it could be found in a locker room. However, I can see how people without a sense of humor might be confused. This is no "oh, aren't babies cute, let's learn how they work" kind of book. It's more "damn, babies are hard to raise, but this stuff is funny because I was thinking exactly that".
The bottom line is, if you've had a child and you're a man, you'll enjoy this book. To me, it's more Lewis Black than Adam Corolla, if that helps anyone.
If you're looking for a book that will actually teach you important things about pregnancy, this is probably not your book. If you're looking for something to read when you can't sleep and it's your wife's turn to feed the baby at 3 a.m., then this is your book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x925d5c24) out of 5 stars Hilarious Perspective! 8 Sept. 2002
By Clara M. Fuller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a true guide for any man coping with pregnancy. However, it is a funny, sarcastic view of the entire experience! I can imagine guys sitting around drinking a couple of beers discussing their wives and pregnancy and it would sound like the comments in this book. From establishing paternity to making financial adjustments to picking out names, this book is filled with one laugh after another. I laughed till I cried reading this book as did my husband and several friends of ours! For those people who are realists about the trials and tribulations of pregnancy and children, this book is a great laugh. For people who are too serious and looking for serious advice, find another book. This is for those who can see the humor in reality and need to laugh at even the serious things in life to maintain their sanity.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x926af4ec) out of 5 stars Oh Lawdy this one funny book. 6 Jun. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Who is this Mason Brown and why has the reading public been denied his genius until now? I got this book as a gift after my wife and I announced our pregancy, and I have been yucking it up ever since. Your wife probably has a copy of THE GIRLFRIENDS GUIDE TO PREGNANCY, well, this is the man's version, and without all the boring biology stuff -- it's like reading one of those National Lampoon magazines from back in the 70s - back when P.J. O'Rourke wasn't taking himself quite so seriously. Ha Ha Ho Ho is all I have to say.
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