How to have a good time
February 20, 2010
Dan Woods knows how to have a good time. He’s skied in a Speedo, gotten naked in bars (and kicked out of a few), and launched hideous plots to exact revenge on his bosses (burying rotting squid in a manager’s office plant, for example).
At some point, Woods decided that there are too many people out there who don’t know how to have a good time. A browse through the self-help section at a Border’s bookstore cemented his theory.
"There was not one book that told you how to embrace life and have a good time," he writes. It’s with that moment of realization that Woods begins his book, aptly titled, "How to Have a Good Time."
He says he wrote most of the book several years ago but only recently decided to take the plunge and self-publish his work. The book was officially released on Amazon.com just before Christmas.
"I’ve failed at most things I’ve tried in my life, but I’ve always succeeded in having fun, and now I’d like to share my secrets with you," he writes in the introduction.
Woods, who grew up in Massachusetts, moved to Park City in the mid-90s after spending several years working with investments and mutual funds. Once he rejected the corporate world, he found he had a lot more time to devote to having a good time.
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He currently lives in Park City and in the book, he rates it as the best ski town in the world, due to a.) its guy-to-girl ratio (translation: it’s not all dudes) and b.) the absence of hippies, who, he claims, typically populate ski towns.
"How to Have a Good Time" is basically Woods’ step-by-step guide to having fun. He provides 99 tips on how to have a good time, and backs each one up with a personal story to prove his point.
To get an idea of what constitutes Woods’ concept of fun, just scan the chapter names: "Run from a cab." "Run from the cops." "Challenge someone to a mustache contest." "Build a Tarzan swing." "Get a pair of cowboy boots."
Now, while these activities may not fit into everyone’s idea of a good time, Woods acknowledges that he has a target audience. "It’s for males ages 18 to 80," he says. "No, 18 to 100. I don’t want to limit anyone who’s between 80 and 100."
He says the stories about the craziest things he’s done stem from his college years, but he still does many of the things he writes about. "It’s all about relaxing and enjoying yourself," he says.
"It’s not all about doing stupid stuff," he adds. "There are some good morals. That’s what I point out to my mom, anyway." Examples of Woods’ tidbits of advice include: "Keep it simple" (see chapter 16), "Learn from others" (chapter 19) and "Buy real estate, don’t rent" (chapter 48).
In one sense, the book can even be considered educational the sense that people can learn from Woods’ mistakes. If you’ve ever wondered what happens when you drive over a golf course or take your shirt off in a nice restaurant, you can experience the consequences through Woods’ perspective.
He says he was inspired to write the book in a backwards way after reading Richard Carlson’s "Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff." He found that book unrealistic and pledged to pen a similar guide for "normal dudes."
Woods says he hopes to make "How to Have a Good Time" into a type of travel guide. He is currently contemplating the European version, although he says he needs to go back to Europe with having fun as the primary goal.
Meanwhile, he posts his latest adventures and shares his passion for beer and Scotch on the book’s blogsite, http://www.howtohaveagoodtime.com.
To read an excerpt from "How to Have a Good Time" or to purchase the book, go to http://www.amazon.com .