Kelly Mahon obviously has a high tolerance for awkward interactions. In her new book, Race Me in a Lobster Suit, she collects emails from her unique project that exposes how far people will go to make some quick money. Mahon put up classified ads with outrageous requests for paid services and some of the responses she received led to longer conversations and intense negotiations. The acts that are agreed upon are at times simultaneously hilarious and depressing. Some examples of requests include: participating in the titular race, acting as a fake fiancé, taking part in a nightmare reenactment, and dressing up snakes for a fashion show. Those who agreed to participate generally had an openness to adventure and a good sense of humor. As Mahon increases the absurdity of the details involved in the activities, her respondents eventually realize it must be a joke or just stop responding. What is truly amazing (and alarming) is how long some people keep believing in the ruse, and how little compensation they demand given the tasks assigned. Readers will enjoy this short collection of experiments, especially those who approach Race Me in a Lobster Suit with an appreciation for the nonsensical.
Thanks to Quirk Books and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an objective review.