How to Tell If Your Boyfriend Is the Antichrist" by Patricia Carlin; Quirk Books ($12.95)
"How to Tell If Your Boyfriend Is the Antichrist" is a flippant ladies' guide to boyfriends. It's one of those small books on display beside the checkout that catch your attention, are perused and prompt comments like "I know this guy!"
It should never been taken seriously.
Patricia Carlin has compiled a list of 73 different examples of men, indexed their traits, and provided descriptions - some clever, some offensive - as to whether their girlfriends should keep him or ditch him.
"How to tell if your boyfriend is a slacker" - "Goes on for hours about the relative merits of (video game) Halo versus Halo 2" and "Has never filed a tax return." Recommendation? "If you want to (break up,) you'll have to do it yourself, because he'll never get around to it."
Linked by cross-references, you find under "How to tell if your boyfriend is a serial killer," a link to "Hit man, p. 67," and "Trying to Kill You, pg. 67." In this day of Internet cross-marketing, there is even a Web site www.antichristboyfriend.com.
If you're easily offended by jokes about "Star Trek," male anatomy, sex, body odor and bathroom jokes, avoid this book.
"How to tell if your boyfriend is possessed by demons" - "Sometimes you feel like you don't know him at all." "(Has) terrible acid reflux." Red-eye episodes not limited to photographs." Recommendation? "You don't have to break up - you just have to find a good exorcist to tackle this problem. And under no circumstances should you attempt to perform the exorcism yourself - expelling demons is not like fixing a leaky faucet."
However, after you finish the first bottle of wine or box of chocolate truffles, and are in a confessional mood, you can start comparing notes with your girlfriends on which of your former or current boyfriends most resembles The Antichrist - defined by "being self-conscious about his cloven hooves," and "never saying `God bless you' when you sneeze" but wants your soul for the eternal flames and damnation.
The book's recommendation? "Break up now."