Hear no evil

September 21, 2006 at 1:57 am (Uncategorized)

250px-huckfinncover.jpgI know that many of you are parents and you look after your children with the zeal of a mama bear mauling an encroaching tourist. At the risk of causing shrieks of protest, I would like to ask this: have some mothers and fathers out there lost their friggin minds? Have they grown up so far into the clouds that they have forgotten how many daily influences there are on a child’s life and how few of those influences can be controlled?

I rant, of course, about the belly aching over the book of schoolyard rhymes introduced recently to Maine schools. Some of those rhymes are so insidious (“pull down your pants and slide on the ice,”) that the children exposed to them will surely grown into a generation of flesh-eating, puppy-killing, drug-abusing bank-robbing psychos.

How we made it to our advanced ages without turning into consummate criminals is a marvel. After all, we had childhood ditties too, and many of them depicted violence.

“Glory, glory hallelujah. Teacher hit me with a ruler. Hid behind the door with a loaded .44, and the teacher don’t hit me no more.”

I mean, not only does the jingle promote murder, it’s a grammatical mess.

Ironically, this loud wailing over the awful language the kiddies are being subjected to comes during National Book Banning week. The parents who tell you it’s not okay to recite rhymes about sliding bear bottom on the ice will also assert that novels like “Huckleberry Finn” and “The Catcher in the Rye” are guidebooks to hell. What you have to wonder is whether this constant monitoring of a child’s day-to-day experiences will instill a healthy ignorance of all things vile? Or fear and naivetĂ© about the things they missed while their parents covered their eyes?

BANGOR, Maine (AP) – A book of rhymes handed out to kindergarten classes across Maine is being criticized by some parents as inappropriate.

“Schoolyard Rhymes” is a compilation of 50 verses included in bags given to 18,000 pupils through the Read With ME literacy project supported by Gov. John Baldacci and his wife Karen. Karen Baldacci, who is a former kindergarten teacher, spearheads Maine Reads, the nonprofit umbrella organization for Read With ME that is funded by Verizon, the Bangor Daily News reported. The group receives no state money.

A few of the rhymes have raised some eyebrows. For example, one says, “Ladies and gentlemen, Take my advice, Pull down your pants And slide on the ice.” Another one says, “Girls go to Mars to get candy bars. Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider.”

Erica Smith of Hampden, mother of a 5-year-old son who goes to the McGraw School, said the book is “completely inappropriate.”
“It’s rude. There are words in there that I don’t allow in my house,” said Smith, who complained to her son’s teacher as well as the school principal. She also called the governor’s office to voice her displeasure.

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65 Comments

  1. K2 said,

    Fuck the prudes.

  2. Linda said,

    I say let them read whatever they like. Too many kids are totally uninterested in reading, and if some of them pick this book up to look for the daring bits, so what? And if they (the kids) are dumb enough to try sliding bare bottom on ice, then it’s an easy, no-harm-done lesson that you can’t believe everything you read. Good to learn that early, right, mates?

  3. jarheaddoc said,

    I equate book banning with revisionist history. And I agree with K2.

  4. jarheaddoc said,

    The books need to be read in context, especially historically. Twain was controversial back in his day but he captured the way people were. the problem is that the PC crowd has determined that things like that need to be erased by collective memory instead of being used in the context of ‘those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’

  5. Gil said,

    Bunch of fucking PC Nazi’s with nothing better to do than tell you what is best for you. If you don’t want your kid to read and expand his mind then that’s fine. After all, someone needs to ask my kids “Would you like fries with that sir?”

  6. Gil said,

    And by the way, a great big “I told you so’ about eating spinach.
    That nasty stuff will kill you.

  7. Linda said,

    I think the spinach debacle is a big “I told you so” about agribusiness. We eat food from everywhere — who knows where that food has been? Support local producers as much as possible.

  8. Richie said,

    K2 Warning:
    This post is full of testosterone and there is no self-deprecation of any sort.
    If you read this you will take 5d6+3 damage; and will spend the next 3 rounds “stunned”; with loss of initiative in those rounds. Sorry ’bout that.

    K2: Lucid comment, there, fellow. Uh, don’t you have an appointment over at the democratic undergound dot com to discuss the Chavez speech ? Right. We won’t keep you. Bye.

    Anyways, interesting argument, Mark; but I think you’re wrong. First, this is being reported in the Sun Urinal citing an AP feed. How accurate was the initial investigation and reporting. How much of this was hacked by editors inbetween, and when it got here, how much was cut off the end or the middle to both make it fit the editorial ideology and column spacing ? I’m sure the article is NOT the complete story !

    Next, you cite the usual melange of childhood poetic japes as being no worse that the tripe being issued to Maine kids. The problem is, almost all of the stupid poems & stuff we knew as kids were home-made; passed on through an oral tradition from the 6th or 7th graders on down. This other stuff is printed and issued by the school system as being appropriate (or official, or whatever). Kids always love dumb stuff; but why does the school have to push it too ? How about the teacher who sent material home with kids, the material being printed in a font using silhouettes of people in sexual positions ? (Cute stuff for adults, but for kids ?)

    Keep in mind, somewhere in here this is our tax dollars at work. If they’re spending my money, then by God in Heaven, I want my moneys worth !! I mean, if they want to hand out humorous rhymes, one might think they could do better and get material that was truly funny ?

    I went to a Catholic School; talk about structure and strictness. Went to a public HS. Back in the last century, the public schools was almost as strict as the Catholic school. I’ve watched as schools changed, when my kids went to school. Ponder for a moment; where does your child spend upwards of 1 third of their day ? Right. Certainly not with parents or “good” influences ! Yet it has been proven that the impact parents have on their kids far outweighs these others in effect and importance.
    The problem is most parents don’t intereact well with their kids; either through commission or ommission.

    Now, a problem with all of this sort of thing is defining it. I’m sure most of you would not want books with explicit descriptions of homosexual activity being given to young kids; or some of the nastier Japanese anime manga being passed off as approrpiate reading. But you don’t mind crap as demonstrated in the monologue. OK. How do we define this ? How do we give it a definition that we can all agree on ?

    Right. We can’t. It’s like defining pornography; we can’t describe it, but we all know it when we see it. Well, if nothing else we should be looking at this and saying this is stupid-headed-ness & asking them WTF are they doing with our tax money, and couldn’t they come up with anything better than this ?

    At some point is time we DO have to become judgemental. At sometime we DO have to decide what is appropriate and what isn’t. And yes, we do tell kids we don’t want them reading certain stuff. Maybe you let your kids read Playboy, but I didn’t. Yah, I’m a prude. Now, I don’t care what adults read or do. If K2 wants to act out his fantasy as described in post #1; fine. He’ll suffer the consequences of his act(s) as he should ! But kids are a different thing. Medieval people saw kids as merely small, undeveloped adults. Many years later we have advanced beyond that; and we realize that there are so MANY influences pulling in every direction, we HAVE to take some sort of action if for no other reason than these are our kids ! I wouldn’t let my kids sit watching TV, mindlessly, for hours; and neither would you (I should hope). Why is this ? It’s because you know that that isn’t good for them. Same thing applies here. You have to be critical and judgemental, and some stuff, well, just isn’t useful.

  9. jarheaddoc said,

    Well, Richie, there are several issues here. However, the big one, if you ask me, is the attempt of some to restrict the rights of others. Hey, if it’s that offensive to you, then don’t read it.

    And the fact that National Book Banning Week exists just galls the piss out of me. The thrust of the First Amendment is to protect the rights to express opinions and avoid a state run media. Unfortunately, the people who beleive in banning books are just as entitled to their opinion as I am mine. I disagree with their opinion, however.

    The freedom of choice is a huge thing these days. Groups from the left, right, and middle are tugging at the heart strings of everyone by saying, “You’re ruining an entire generation of kids with (insert said activity here)!”

    In that same vein, isn’t an education supposed to promote the ability to think? Society would not advance if such books did not exist. How many public schools systems have taken The Bible out of the library? You can find examples of everything from slavery to homosexuality to murder and just about anything in between in there. What about the separation of church and state? Isn’t that conflict, a bible in a building funded by public funds? Aren’t Presidents of the United States sworn in with a Bible?

    Children/adolescents/young adults, whatever term you choose, are at a point in their lives when they are capable of understanding books such as Tom Sawyer and Catcher in the Rye. Jesus, I heard worse shit on the bus than I read in English class.

    If you don’t like it, don’t read it, but don’t try to restrict me in my choices. The freedom of speech is one of the things that has made this country strong and free. What’s next, if you muzzle me, taking away my guns, too?

  10. LaFlamme said,

    The little rhyme that seems to be causing the most grief is this:

    Ladies and gentlemen
    Take my advice
    Pull down your pants
    And slide on the ice.

    That’s it. This is why politicians, educators and outraged parents have to gather in emergency meetings to discuss the warping of our youth minds. Dr. Suess himself has been baudier than that at times. And how many millons of young parents fill their book shelves with Suess?

  11. Linda said,

    Richie, you mention “tax dollars” a couple of times. If it WERE tax dollars, I’d be thinking they could have maybe found something better. But it’s private money, and free reading material for kids, and I say they should go for it.

    I went to Catholic school too, long ago. We weren’t allowed to wear patent leather shoes, but the library was full of pretty gory martyr stories and Bible stories.

  12. LaFlamme said,

    Ah, hypocrisy. It’s okay for a lad to read about rape and murder and sacrificing babies as long as its in a religious context. Sliding bare-bottomed on the ice, though? Unacceptable! (I just can’t seem to get away from that particular rhyme as a source of all this yammering).

  13. LaFlamme said,

    Anyone ever read Shel Silverstein? Friggin brilliant. Like Suess with an edge. I’ve gotta dig out one of his books and list a few.

  14. AO said,

    That little rhyme was used by Sidney, in an episode of MASH.

  15. LaFlamme said,

    Yes! You’re right. Sidney Friedman, when he was trying to get everybody to loosen up. Good MASH trivia.

  16. AO said,

    Good show.

  17. LaFlamme said,

    Quick! Give me the home towns of Hawkeye Pierce, Radar O’Reilly and Col. Potter.

  18. AO said,

    Crabapple Cove, Maine is the only one I can remember.

  19. jarheaddoc said,

    Crab Apple Cove, ME, Ottumwa, Iowa, and wherever that old fart came into the world.

  20. jarheaddoc said,

    Hannibal, Missouri, didn’t even have to click on the site that came up on the google search

  21. jarheaddoc said,

    And why do you need this information, Grasshopper?

  22. LaFlamme said,

    Ah, just trivia. And now back to protecting the minds of the young through hypercensoring.

  23. jarheaddoc said,

    Butterworth, William E. – writer who co-wrote many of the “MASH Goes To…” books with Richard Hornberger (Hooker). He has also written many books under the pseudonym “W.E.B. Griffin.”

    Bet ya didn’t know that!

  24. LaFlamme said,

    Sure I did. Hornberger was a physician in Waterville.

  25. Richie said,

    JHD
    I never said anything about restricting freedom of choice. Read what ever you like; no problem by me. You’re right; if I don’t like something I don’t bother to read it. There is all sorts of material available that I find to be worthless; and while I might choose to not have it in my house, obviously many would choose otherwise.

    Issues concerning children are another issue all unto themselves. If there are 30 kids in a school class, you then have 60 parental opinions !! The opinons could be charted on a bell curve running the gamut from absolute opposition (of something) to total acceptance (of something). Scale it up to a whole grade class, or a whole school, or school system and you see how it gets right out of hand. You can’t run things with so many divergent opinions.

    Now, some stuff is easy. All 60 parents will agree that the math book that teaches that 1 + 1 =2 etc etc is OK. But; when we get into areas where things become more opinion than fact then opinions begin to diverge. When I was in school, “Manifest Destiny” was good, Washington was a hero and founder of our Nation, and you respected the President even when you din’t agree with him. Now days “Manifest Destiny” is in disrepurte and we’re being invaded by the Mexicans, Washington is treated as an oppressive slave holder, and we watch out President be insulted by tin-horn asshats & little or nothing is said about it !

    IMHO; you’re right that education is supposed to teach the ability to think, but only to a certain degree. The lower grades you have to teach basic facts. Not much room there for opinions; I mean, what does the average 4th grader think about these things ? Middle school is more important, but it’s High School where this becomes important.
    Factual material such as Physics never gets much of an argument unless demonstrably wrong. But when it comes to things perceived as pertaining to sexuality, or philosophy, things become difficult. In the end, I believe when people say they want kids to know how to think, they mean they want kids to think the way THEY think. I admit I wanted my kids thinking Conservatively; thus I went in that direction with them. always surprise their parents though; ex: my daughter is “moderate” and she married a Dean Democrat who happens to be a lobbyist for the Education Industry in Washington. Oh well. I still love her.

    LINDA: Merely because it’s free, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any good. How about if CAIR provided all sorts of material on Islam and why it is good and western civilisation is bad ? Or how about coloring books from Nambla ? Yes, I know I’m being a bit far fetched, but I just want to emphasize my point.

    Heh heh heh !! I remember stuff like that. The book you’re thinking of is “Do Shiny SHoes Reflect Up ?” I went to catholis school in Niagara Falls, NY. My wife is from Caribou Maine. A woman working in the office here is from Madawaska, about 10 years after our time. It’s fascinating, the commonality and uniformity of the catholic school education experience !! Miles and years apart, and yet so much in common ! We didn’t have much in the way of gory martyr stuff, though; and us boys were pretty bloody minded too ! I would respectfully submit that comparing the Bible to horny little catholic boys trying to do primitive up-skirts is not a fair comparison. We didn’t do much bible reading in catholic school. The nuns and priests told us everything we needed to know and that was good enough for us.

    Mark: I don’t think the argument is over the rhyme itself. I find it silly, but not particularly offensive. It’s easy to deal with with your kids; you sit there and read it with or to your kid; and afterwards ask “Geez, sliding on your naked bum; whaddya think would happen ?” Kid answers “You’d be cold ?” I answer “Why, you freeze it, kiddo ! That wouldn’t feel good now, eh ?” I would laugh and then move on. SO simple.

    The issue is serious, though. How much say can and should parents have over what goes on in school ? How much control ? For teens in HS this is serious ! Do you want them reading Karl Marx without any explanation or anything ? How about “Mein Kampf” ? Would I let my HS kid read it ? Yes, I’ve read it. It’s a turgid piece of crap, but I would make sure to explain to my kid what is wrong with the ideas presented there.
    Now, those were easy; I don’t think there’s anyone here who thinks the Communist Manifsto or Mein Kampf are good things. How about issues like “Heather has two mommies” ? OK. Polarising in the other direction. How about this one then: “The Rainbow Fish” ? Go read the reviews on Amazon if you aren’t familiar with this one.

    K2 is right; I do bloviate; I can’t help it. In conclusion; hw come kid lit can’t be more like “Dick and Jane” (and yes, I’m aware of the play on those names ha ha !) books ?
    No controversy there.

  26. jarheaddoc said,

    I meant the W.E.B. Griffith thing. I knew Hornberger was a doctor in Maine. Wasn’t he the original inspiration for the story because he was a surgeon in Korea?

    And old W.E.B has a line in one of his books, from the brotherhood of war series, that would set the PC’s asses on fire: a French officer describes himself and Craig Lowell as ‘swordsmen” when it comes to women. Oh, the horrors of men talking about conquests! It’s right up there with commercials about feminine hygiene products! You don’t see the ‘ban the fucking thing’ crowd howling about that, do you?

  27. Linda said,

    Revisionist literary criticism is almost as bad as revisionist history, jd. I spent my first pocket money on books that wouldn’t get published “as is” today. And if my grandkids wanted to read them, that’s fine, I’d just make sure to talk about it with them. As Richie says.

  28. jarheaddoc said,

    Richie, the people who are complaining about sliding naked on ice are also the ones promoting the things like “I have two dads/moms” and getting kids in the lower grades to question the values presented at home. I have no fear of homosexuals as long as they are not trying to promote a radical agenda that clearly states I am wrong for being heterosexual.

    I also have a problem with revisionist history, as you alluded to. You tell the victims of Nanking that Japan was only trying to protect a unique society and HAD to invade china and see what you get for a reaction.

    It used to be that wholesome family values were things like sliding on the ice with your pants down. Nowadays any kid who does that is a pervert and needs competent psychiatric care. Nowadays you can’t take a picture of your kid having a bath without someone crying exploitation and abuse.

    This whole issue of trying to get books banned is little more than trying to legislate morality, if you ask me. I can and will exert a considerable amount of control over my children’s lives until such time as they are adults and capable of making their own decisions. I can only hope that I raise good decision makers who are able to see the view points of others, even if they disagree with that viewpoint.

  29. Robert said,

    You know, I think we’re all getting crazy on one side of this or the other but all for the same reason..

    Why the hell did we not think of writing a book such as this? Take a bunch of childrens quotes, a few that might be risque and put them together and call yourself a published author. Talk about an easy way to make a buck, and quite frankly the more we take about it and scream the more idiots that will want to go out and buy it just to see what all the fuss is about.
    We’re just a bunch of jealous idiots!

  30. jarheaddoc said,

    And that’s the whole point of a lot of stuff, Linda, to be able to udnerstand it and conceptualize and contextualize things. I’ll offer another example of what was and what is: look at the movies that were made back in the 1940’s and how mysoginistic they are. Never happen in today’s mainstream society. That’s not necessarily revisionist, but more evolutionary, as women have gone from barefoot and pregnant to being CEO’s of major corporations.

  31. Linda said,

    When I said “revisionist literary criticism”, I meant slamming a book as non-PC when it really was appropriate for its time. You wouldn’t publish it today, but we ought to be able to read it and understand the context. Our understanding evolves. IF, that is, we are given a chance to read, discuss, consider, and assimilate.

  32. K2 said,

    Richie, I though you would appreciate my laconic post. Less is more.

    We now return to his regularly scheduled puppy slaughtering. . . .

    Oh, and Richie, you’re out of toner there, O Superfluous One.

  33. K2 said,

    Bush ain’t the ‘devil,’ either. He’s too fucking dumb to have been an archangel of the Lord, before Beelzebub’s falling out and all, you know.

  34. jarheaddoc said,

    We might not be in the same pew, but I think we’re in the same church, Linda. That’s what I meant about ‘what was and what is’

  35. Linda said,

    Right. More often than we care to admit, probably

  36. jarheaddoc said,

    That you and I agree?

  37. jarheaddoc said,

    I’m signing off for now, as I have to work tonight, but it’s been an interesting discussion

  38. Linda said,

    Dr. Seuss Bible
    Cast:
    Dave Foley– the cat in the hat
    Bruce McCulloch– prophet/pharaoh
    Kevin McDonald– prophet/pharaoh
    Mark McKinney — Sam Zittle
    Scott Thompson– Jesus
    Dave: And now . . . the Dr. Seuss Bible! “One day,” God said, “This is what I will do. I’ll send down my son, I’ll send him to you, to clear up this humpity bumpity hullabaloo. His name will be Christ and he’ll never wear shoes. And his pals will all call him the King of the Jews!”
    He didn’t come in a plane, he didn’t come in a jeep, he didn’t come in the pouch of a high-jumping vo veep. He road on the back of a black sasatoo – which is the blackiest creature you ever could view. He road to Jerusalem – home of the grumpity Jews – where false prophets were worshipped, some even in two’s. There was Murray von Muir and Genghis Vo Vooze – the one you could worship by taking a snooze.
    Christ spoke from a mound, which is a pile of ground and people gathered around without making a sound. Thus he spake . . . Sin in socks, socks full of sin. How do we quiet this Jehovity din? “Do unto others as they do unto you” That includes you young Timothy Foo!! (points to a little boy) One pharisee said to another he knew –
    Kevin: What shall we do with this upitty Jew?
    Bruce: We can wash him in wine and make him all clean and into Sam Zittle’s crucifixion machine!!!
    Dave: Twirl the gawhirl and release the gavlease and in go the nails as fast as you please. And it is said that he said as he bled –
    Scott: Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do, for they walk through this life in two crappity shoes.
    All: Do you?
    Dave: Amen! [closes the Bible, walks off with child]

  39. Linda said,

    Sorry I sent it too quick: that was the Dr Seuss Bible sketch from Kids In The Hall

  40. Richie said,

    Thanks for the low toner warning. I changed the cartridge and I’m all set.

  41. Richie said,

    Hey Linda, be careful. Your posting might cause rioting and make bad things happen.
    Oh, wait a minute, christians don’t do that sort of thing. Oh well . . .

  42. Daughtio said,

    HA! Forget the books I used to read when I was little, what about all the horror stories you told me? My favorite in particular… “long, black, slimey hair…” I’m not demented…………but I am just like you, so DOES that make me demented? haha.

  43. K2 said,

    Hey, what about the story where the kid eats his brother’s turtle, and is fed prune juice, so he can shit it out? Man, the title escapes me, but it’s a great children’s book.

  44. AO said,

    Boy, K2, that’s one I’ve NEVER heard of.

  45. LaFlamme said,

    What? I told such horrible stories to a child? That explains why your first words were “grave robbery.”

  46. K2 said,

    AO, I just googled the shit out of it, and can’t come up with the title. It’s a classic from the late ’70s, though, I swear. Something about Chocolate in the title? . . . Crap!

    Oh, Encyclopedia Brown rules. Put the quarter on the gasoline jug and tell him your case. He’s never lost.

  47. LaFlamme said,

    I just picked up an Encyclopedia Brown. Those suckers aren’t all that easy. Either that or I’m damn dumb.

  48. AO said,

    I Googled it too, K2. No luck.

  49. AO said,

    K2, If you ever do come up with the name, let me know. I’d love to read it.

    My favorite childrens books are, “Where The Wild Things Are” and, “The Giving Tree.” Maurice Sendak and Shel Silverstein. In, “Where The Wild Things Are”, Max say’s to his mother, “I’ll eat you up”. I wonder if the mother who’s having a problem with the “slide on the ice” verse has ever read “Where the Wild Things Are” to her child. And, if she has, I wonder if she has a problem with it.

  50. K2 said,

    ‘The very best of Encylcolpedia Brown. . . .’

    Remember the song? Anyone?

    How about the kid’s mystery books where you chose the ultimate ending by making certain decisions? If this, go to page 43. If that, go to page 61. Man, I loved that shit.

  51. Linda said,

    I never read those kids’ mysteries, K2, but when I was eleven I started reading mystery and detective books from the library. Kind of sleazy but I loved them. The librarian didn’t approve — “Does your mother know you read these?” One day I said, if they’re so bad, why do you have so many of them? and she sent me home with no books that day.

  52. LaFlamme said,

    Nice, uptight librarian. Probably needed her binding cracked.

  53. Linda said,

    She was a piece of work. She didn’t approve of anyone under 16 in the adult section.

  54. Mainetarr said,

    The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier, K2? Is that the banned book you are talking about?

  55. LaFlamme said,

    How to eat Fried Worms?

  56. AO said,

    I wanna see that movie. Anybody ever read “Holes”? Good book and, good flick. I know, sounds…pornographic! But, I took my son to see it.

  57. Dave said,

    Discliamer – I’m, too lazy to read all the comments.

    My comment. This is all to-do about nothing. Some narow-minded parent thinking that she can actually control the thoughts of her children goes beserk about a few silly rhymes in a book. Yikes. Hate to be living in her household.

  58. Linda said,

    Hi Dave, yeah, we had come to that conclusion but in a more longwinded fashion.

  59. K2 said,

    MT, no, I haven’t read that one. The book I’m referring to isn’t banned. It just escapes me.

    AO, I agree, ‘Where the wild things are’ is one of the all-time classics.

    LaFlamme, I do remember one Encyclopedia Brown where the solution to the mystery was totally non sequiter from the story. In other words, there was no soluton in the text, but then out of nonwhere, EB solves it. It was something about somebody’s stolen lox (yes, lox), and EB figures it was the boy drinking at the fountain, ’cause that Jew Fish (actually, there is a Jew Fish, but it ain’t lox) is satly shit. Problem is, the kid as the fountain was never in the story till EB gave the solution. I was a 10-year-old kid saying, ‘What the fuck, EB?’

    Susquehanna Valley High School’s librarian, Mrs. Hauley, in her stretched white tank top shirt, with her rotund arms and torso defying any and all body fat indexes, circa 1987: ‘Qwiiii . . . It Down. If . . . you . . . can’t . . . Qwiiiii . . . It Down, den . . . go . . . back . . . to . . . your . . . Studdee . . . hall.’

  60. LaFlamme said,

    Flamette again.

    The book you were talking about is either SuperFudge or Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing — good ol’ Judy Blume. (I LOVE kids lit, own a ton — including some Choose Your Own Adventure books I just picked up at a yard sale. And *I* found the Encyclopedia Brown for you, you big fat lying galoot!) =D

  61. Erica said,

    I am the mother featured in the story and the one that started the media on it. I just want to let everyone know that I am not a nazi, I am however a single mom that works 60 hours per week to surport my family. I started all of this due to the fact that the Governer of this state passed this paticular book to my 5 year old son. I believe that children hear enough on the playground that they don’t need to have it written down for them. I consider myself a pretty laid back mother but stupid,dumb and fat can do nothing but hurt other peoples feelings. My email address is esmith2337@yahoo.com if you would like more information…

  62. K2 said,

    Whoa, whoa, Flamette. Lying galoot? Was I wrong about EB and the lox thief? It has been 25 years or more since I read it. Was there a clue in the text?

    Yes, yes, Superfudge! That’s was it. His little brother ate his turtle. It all came out in the end, though. (Get it?)

    And Choose Your Own Adventures — I forgot that name too. I frickin’ loved those books as a kid.

    Good work, Literary Detective Flamette.

  63. K2 said,

    Erica, specifically, what did you find offensive in the book?

    PS — NEVER EVER put your e-mail address in a blog. You’re just asking for trouble.

  64. Flamette said,

    Thank you, thank you, I spent hours searching for the answer just for you, K2.

    But seriously. Did you think I was calling *you* the big fat lying galoot? I was referring to my dear hubby — who ALWAYS takes credit for what I do. Who do you think REALLY wrote The Pink Room? I’ll never tell….

  65. LaFlamme said,

    Hey! You only wrote the dirty parts!

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