A book for everyone who's ever cheated just a little bit at golf (I'm only moving the ball to where it should have landed) or gone to a party instead of visiting a sick friend (If I were in the hospital, I wouldn't want a bunch of people bothering me), Rationalizations to Live By offers dozens of perfect rationalizations for behavior that ranges from the selfish, thoughtless, and irresponsible to the boorish, self-destructive, and un-p.c. A group effort by four of the funniest people writing books today, it evokes both nervous laughter (for what we recognize in ourselves) and happy superiority (because we can't believe anyone could do that). For example:
Look how long the French live.
All of this shopping is good for the economy.
This doesn't really count as sex.
I'm earning frequent-flyer miles.
Video games are good for my kid's motor skills.
Picasso didn't do his best work until he was 70.
He'll just spend it on liquor.
I only smoke at parties.
And, of course, the universal: Everybody does it.