If You Thought Goodnight Moon Was Twisted…


Unfortunately, there are very few readily available books on Erwin Rommel, my son’s assigned topic for 8th grade History. The “book” I ordered on Amazon came today, and it was a whopping 30 pages in large font, claiming to give his full history from birth to death.  Bullshit.  It’s being returned.

Me: “Will you look at this!?  How are they selling this as a ‘book’!?”

Xavier: “What is it?”

Me: “It’s what I bought for Liam to do his report!”

Xavier: “That’s way too small to be a book.”

Me: “It’s a pamphlet!”

Xavier: “It’s like a children’s book…but with Nazis.”

Note: Carry a random dollar amount of life insurance.

The Simpsons

The Simpsons

In preparing for next school year, it occurs to me that the only thing worse than reading these stories, is having to teach with them.  Kids, let me save you some time…

The Most Dangerous Game:  Oh, please…the most dangerous game is hunting an unarmed man across a private island?  Pffffft!  Everyone over the age of sixteen knows that the most dangerous game on Earth is playing “Just the Tip”.

The Metamorphosis: If you turn into a giant monster, your family will throw apples at you, wait for you to die, and then take a nice train ride in the country to celebrate.  It’s a pretty thin metaphor, teenagers…take note.

The Lottery: This story is actually ridiculously accurate, because, like Tessie, when you win the lottery, everyone you know is going to pelt you, only it will be with lawsuits and monetary requests, rather than stones.  And, yes, kids, it IS a little like the Hunger Games…only no one is remotely sexy, so the story is shorter to make up for it.

Flowers For Algernon: Oh, a depressive two-fer!?  We get to mourn an adorable animal AND a mentally disabled man?  Great.  Now, where did I put that katana and cyanide?  I know I put it somewhere.  Damn it.

The Monkey’s Paw: They wish for 200 pounds and the next day their son is killed, and they are given that exact amount of money, as a settlement.  Great, now I get to cringe every single time my kids throw a penny in a fountain.  Is anyone else concerned about what happened to the rest of the monkey?  I bet if you hadn’t chopped off his paw, he wouldn’t be such a dick.  Although, this story does have a zombie, and zombies are gold…just ask Hollywood.

The Gift of the Magi: Hey, guys, that watch is gone forever, but guess whose hair is going to grow back?  Yeah, that’s right…women are smarter when it comes to shopping retail.  Who’s naive now?


So, You Made Your Kid a Co-Dependent, Drug Addict With Literature!



The Giving Tree: Let’s call this book what it really is: A Manual For Codependency.  Seriously.  The tree gives and gives and gives to this kid, turning him into a little ingrate, and then, only at the END, when he’s used the tree up completely, and he has nothing left in his life, does the kid (now an old man, who has no other options) settle for sitting on the tree, and the tree is content with this.  Giving Tree…get thyself to a 12-step meeting.

Goodnight Moon:  And, dear, Lord, I know I’m burning the proverbial Mommy flag on this one, but I must.  As much as my kids loved this book, and as much as I liked reading it (okay, I admit, in part, because it was short), there is a bowl full of mush just laying around collecting botulism…a rodent in a the nursery spreading Hantavirus, and some creepy old women telling people to hush.  (Am I the only person who gets reminded of The Others when they read that page?)  This joint needs a housekeeper and an exorcism, STAT.

Dr. Seuss…all of them: Look, I love them, I do.  But, maybe fewer pages, Dr. Seuss?  Mommy needs to scramble to catch her only minutes of child-free time, before bed, and there’s a glass of wine and a TIVO of Gigalos calling her name. You’re forcing me to palm 5 pages at a time, like I’m Criss Friggin’ Angel, to fake my kids out that we’re done faster.

However, specifically, shall we cover…

Green Eggs and Ham: Yes, yes, we should all try new things, but the level of peer pressure that is given to eat some horrifying foodstuffs, makes your average cocaine dealer look reasonable.  Is it THAT much of a leap to see it as, “Would you snort it on a bass…would you snort it off a hooker’s ass?”  No, it really isn’t.  Furthermore, maaaaybe, in the short term, we shouldn’t be teaching our children that ‘taking a no’, isn’t an option, because, for today…it teaches them to nag and argue the hell out of everything they want…and tomorrow, it has darker implications.  Also…not all that great about respecting other cultures, Sam-I-Am.  Not a guy who’s down with anyone into Judaism or Islam, are you?  Sam-I-Am-A-Xenophobe, is more like it.

Are You My Mother: Seriously, where was this bitch.  The kid was on his own, from day one.  Where is CPS when you need them?  One-day-old and he’s hanging out on heavy machinery with predatory species.

The BFG: Yes, I’m happy that there is ONE big, friendly giant…but can we please revisit that huge part about children being EATEN by all the other giants?  “And all the other children were eaten in their beds, after their parents tucked them in for the night.” (closes book) “Well…good night sweetie…sweet dreams…don’t let the enormous giants bite…ha ha ha…no, seriously, good night.”  This book is the reason why children take Xanax and hate their parents.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie: Okay, I actually really like this one…it teaches kids the truth…that no good deed goes unpunished.