Friday, March 24, 2006

See, this is the kind of thing I'm trying to escape.

Yesterday I checked my email and found, along with the pleas from the widows of Nigerian politicians, offers from many, not-very-competitively priced on-line pharmacies, and penny stock offers, an email from a teacher at my child's school.

Which I'm going to cut and paste into a blog entry here so you can see why I think it's a GREAT IDEA to pack up the minivan and head to Walt Disney World for many days of sun and heavy drinking exciting chances to pose for photographs with Minnie Mouse.

But then my husband had to go and try to spoil it by saying "oh, but what if she find your blog?" So I figured I'd edit her email so as to avoid detection. To wit:

To: Mrs. Buxom
From: Mrs. Doofus
Date: Two days before Mrs. Buxom's vacation is supposed to start
Subject: More torturous bullshit to ruin your vacation, if not your entire life

Hi! The next worthless piece of shit we're making the kids all read together will be A Family Apart. I would like to send home a copy to listen to on tape and a book to follow along with. Your son, who heavily outweighs me in the brains department even though he is one-third my age, told me that you are going to Walt Disney World for spring break, so I am not sure if you will have time or would like to listen to this. I totally understand if it's not your idea of big fun to listen to this well-meaning yet basically idiotic tripe, but I thought it might be a great way for your amazingly intelligent son to get a head start and make the reading easier when he returns as he will already be a little familiar with the story. Please let me know if you are interested and would like a copy of the book on tape.

To: Mrs. Doofus
From: Mrs. Buxom
cc: Mr. Buxom
Date: Almost immediately upon receiving the above
Subject: Your brilliant idea to ruin my vacation

Well ... I don't know. Is it one of those stories where a blind kid and an illiterate aboriginal embark on a raft to hide from Nazis, or is it actually sort of fun? Because the tape player is in the car, and we'll all have to listen to it. And some of us are rather discerning critics of children's literature.

There's no emboldening in the text of my email because that is exactly what I said. See? I'm not exaggerating for humorous effect when I say I'm obnoxious.

Because I cc'd my husband and like me, he's a total geek, he did an Amazon search on the title in question.

To: My Darling Wife
From: That Stud Muffin She Married
Date: Almost immediately upon having received the above
Subject: Shyeah, right. As if!

This first book of the Orphan Train Quartet tells the story of Frances Mary, 13, eldest of the six Kelly children. Life in New York's grim 19th century slums consists of hardship for the poor but honest Kelly clan. When widowed Mrs. Kelly feels that she is no longer capable of providing for her children, she sends them west on the Orphan Train, to be adopted by farm families. Frances masquerades as a boy in order to be adopted with Petey, the brother she promised her mother she would protect. The practical difficulties Frances faces blah blah blah. Since Frances and Petey are adopted by a couple with strong abolitionist sympathies, it should come as no surprise that Frances, just days after her arrival on the farm, finds herself helping two runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad. Though the plot is predictable and sometimes overly sentimental, and the Kelly family lapses into stilted Irish syntax, the rapid succession of high-spirited adventures make for lively reading. Ages 10-up.

I was sure he was a joking. I mean, come on, right? Orphan trains and slums and runaway slaves? I figured he had found an on-line description and tinkered with it. But it turns out it wasn't a joke. They're really going to read this.

And what a sprightly little volume this must be. I mean, holy shit, when I was in fifth grade, we were all "wanh wanh" when some mean man whipped Black Beauty. But I guess the youth of today has progressed way past feeling sorry for maltreated animals; they want to feel sorry for all the ills of all the world. Either that or they're such hardened little shits that you have to have physical disabilities, racism, and Nazis, or don't even call it a children's book.

And if I didn't act fast, I'd have to listen to 17 hours of this drek on the drive to Orlando.

There are some sacrifices this mother is not willing to make. And I would rather send my son away on the orphan train to live with abolitionists and Nazi teetotalers than have to spend the 20+ hours of a drive to Orlando listening to that fucking book. (Although I'm sure I'd derive some amusement from listening to the "Irish" accents and the stilted syntax, faith and begorrah.)

From: Poppy Buxom
To: Mrs. Doofus
Date: Right the hell away
Subject: That clever idea you had to expose my entire family to a pile of stinking bat guano in the guise of children's literature

Um ... you know, the DVD player and the dumb-ass Wallace and Gromit DVD I bought for the ride are starting to look



excellent. So I think we'll watch that instead. OK? And maybe some Disney movies, too.

Have a great break!

p.s. Only kidding. We'll actually be watching Shoah, The Killing Fields, The Night Porter, and The Deerhunter. See you in April!


  1. I

    have a great trip...

  2. I hate school too. But not only right now.

  3. Hmmmmm, I never loved me the home schooling idea, but I better get crackin' on the research. We are entering public school this coming year, with swords drawn and reputation preceding.

    Have fun on your vacation. I'm jealous!

  4. Poppy,

    As grim as that book sounds, my son (one classroom down) is reading "Patty reed's Doll" a book about(NO I am NOT making this up) THE DONNOR PARTY.

    Where do they come up with these gems of literature??

  5. Wow!

    1- Fiddledeedee is alive!
    2- Do you know how expensive it's going to be to get all the damage these teachers have caused out of his brain? No wonder he was trying to shove NTS's pants full of snow. (We have pictures.)

    Break a leg!


  6. I wish we were in the same school district so we could join forces.

    Have a great vacation!

  7. I really think you need to throw Pulp Fiction in your dvd case, too!

    stupid teachers. have fun.

  8. Whatever happened to the classics? I mean, yeah, I don't even like most of those, but it's good to be able to say you've read them. Damn, I just realized that Orphan book was the first of four. Maybe by the end the orphans have kids and die, so the cycle can continue.

  9. I read this entry to Dr. B and he is STILL laughing.


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.