Tag Archives: Spring
I’m up in Kansas City today for the ABA Winter Institute. I’ll be schmoozing with independent book store folks trying to get them excited about Odd Squad. I’m pretty sure bribery is a bad idea, but maybe I can offer to decorate some kid’s rooms or family rooms or just paint the house.
Whatever it takes.
Whatever it takes.
Warning: Meandering Discourse Ahead
It’s been a very mild winter this year across most of the U.S. Here in Austin, I don’t think it got below 30 even once. We usually have a few nights in the teens each winter, but not this year. It did finally rain. Our pond is about 75% full after going completely dry last year. And since I can’t get anyone to fix my riding mower for another week, I’ve got a lawn of four feet high weeds. I mean wild flowers.
Actually, it doesn’t look too bad. My closest neighbor is about a quarter mile away. It’s not like a HAVE to mow it.
I’ll think about it after a few more pizza rolls.
A squirrel with a branch growing out of his head. A talking flower. Photosynthesis. Puppies. Rainbows. Bolivia. And to top it all: the economic theory of comparative advantage.
You gotta admit… not a lot of comic strips would even attempt to toss that concept salad into something remotely coherent.
Over the Hedge: We throw EVERYTHING at the wall until something sticks.
I was on the chess team in 8th grade. This was at all hispanic Bel Air Jr. High School in El Paso, TX. I was the only anglo kid. They called me Miguel Frito.
Let’s make a list. White kid. Thick glasses. Three hundred hispanic kids. Middle School. Puberty. Band Nerd. Chess Club. Desperate need to blend into the background. Impossible to blend into the background. You couldn’t create a better recipe for life long dependence on therapy if you tried.
I remember being driven to the first day of classes and the radio was playing Three Dog Night’s, “Black and White”.
The ink is black, the page is white
Together we learn to read and write
A child is black, a child is white
The whole world looks upon the sight, a beautiful sight
Uh-huh. Skinny white kid caught in gang crossfire. Details at ten.
I was terrified.
But it turned out to be a great year. The hispanic kids seemed to appreciate the irony of a majority kid at a minority school and instead of ostracizing me, they embraced me. I was actually popular. Girls talked to me. They thought the Chess Boy was cool.
And the next year we moved across the freeway and I went to all white Eastwood High School. And I was not popular. And girls did not talk to me.
And the Chess Boy was no longer cool.
I had blended in.
I use puns all the time. But I’m not proud of it. Puns are the laziest form of comedy. But they’re reliable. Like a John Williams score in a Spielberg movie (laid on like butter on a butter croissant), puns bypass the thinking parts of the brain and go straight for the gut. You laugh, but then you’re brain catches up and says, “Why am I laughing at a simple letter substitution that retains the sound of a word, but changes it’s meaning in a mildly surprising way?” Brains can be very wordy.
It’s a forced laugh. And as any Tea Bagger will tell you, shoving comedy down our throats is just one more banana peel pratfall down the slippery slope to being body-snatched by Sweden. First puns, then forced blondenization and then we’ll all be ending every sentence like a question? And…
…I’m pretty sure puns were born in Kenya.