"For years, people have asked me why my newspaper columns aren't syndicated like Barry's, and I always tell the truth: Dave Barry is a once-in-a-lifetime talent who has honed his craft over many, many decades and who is also rumored to have an outstanding collection of photographs of newspaper syndicate executives committing unspeakable acts with farm animals. What? What'd I say?"
I'm always happy to find more Southern humor, and this lady is a hoot. I had a great time reading aloud various pieces from the book to anyone in my vicinity, whether they wanted to hear them or not :)
Anyhoo, the author tends to cover either popular culture or the total weirdness that is child rearing. The latter entries tickled me more than the former (maybe those don't hold up quite as well a few years later?), but hoo boy, hilarious.
Time to quote!
Situation #1: Celia wants to get some fake guns for her daughter's cowgirl costume:
He looked at me with disdain. "We don't carry guns here."
"No, of course you don't," I said. "I want a toy guy. I'm sure y'all have those here at We Be Toys, don't you?"
"No guns!" he kind of shrieked. The princess and I looked at each other, puzzled.
I tried logic. "But you've got machetes, tanks, and missile launchers right here," I said. "What's the big deal?"
"Okay," I said, using my best hostage-negotiator-calm voice. "I get the whole guns-kill-people thing, but what do you think is on the front of that huge green regulation army tank on the shelf behind you? Are those babies going to fire chocolate frosting onto the enemy? I think not."
After talking about how HER field trips were to local prisons and the dookie factory...
Indeed, it was the zoo. This would be safe and fun, I thought. Animals frolicking--what could go wrong?
Well, for starters, the baboon, who was frankly obsessed with amorous activities that didn't require a partner.
"What's he doing?" a few of the kids asked.
My husband, who was the only man who had come along to chaperone, decided he would deal with this question, and deal with it he did.
"That's just the traditional baboon way of waving hello," he said, sounding remarkably poised and knowledgeable.
"Oh," a little boy in the class said. "Should we wave back?"
"Oh, God no."
Next up: the "desert habitat" where an ancient camel proceeded to amuse the children by leaning down to eat his own shit. Without even moving his legs, the giraffe savored every bite as if it were the Christmas ham.
"Oooh, icky gross! I think I'm gonna hurl!"
"It's just nature," said one of the kids, trying to comfort my husband.
THAT'S JUST AWESOME.
Okay, how stupid do you have to be to go ahead and marry a man who just dumped you for a mannequin? But this is ballet, friends, and it's all part of the damn magic.
I don't "get" ballet. Take Giselle, for instance. In this one, a simple peasant girl named, well, Giselle, falls in love with a nobleman in disguise. When she finds out who he really is, and that he's bethrothed to another, she has, like, a giant hissy fit and dances herself to death. Literally! Of course, because it's ballet, nothing is as it seemes, and Giselle's love survives being buried. Unfortunately, she nevre manages to shake the Evil Queen. (Ballet is real big on Evil Queens.) She goes back to the grave, and her true love grives for her forever and ever. This doesn't exactly put us all in the mood for pie now, does it?
I love that last line.