"Adolf Hitler was not known for his skiing ability."
So opens Headless by Benjamin Weissman and it sets the tone perfectly. In this short story collection about skiing, excrement, sex, and maiming, Weissman surprises you into laughing at horrible things again and again. These short short stories (the longest story is thirteen pages, and most are no more than two) read like Russell Edson if he wrote short stories. They are a study in dark comedy. They would fit in nicely with McSweeney's Online Concern.
Weissman's prose is dry and wry. By maintaining a matter of fact tone about killing your mother ("Bloodthirsty Man"), flooding the toilet with a too large bowel movement ("The Fecality of it All"),(...)Weissman turns dark non sequitors into compelling-and damn funny-fictions. And no matter how outrageous the claim ("At first I was horrified when they drew swastikas on their foreheads, but then I remembered that all of their markers are water-based and non-toxic so there would be no side effects." "My Two Sons"), the tone is always one of calm distance, confidence in the ordinariness of the situation.
I laughed out loud when I started reading the book in the bookstore (and there I was standing with a book that had a bunny with a "circus-style organ between [his] legs" on the cover calling attention to myself), and I laughed at home as I sped through the book in almost one sitting. If you were disappointed that you finished Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans and have nothing left to brighten your day, than mope no longer, because Headless is for you (and the serial killer inside you, or the twelve-year old, or Aunt Marney's parrot, which she still suspects you of eating.)