Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday Wa Pic - Unnecessary Products edition

Forget the food. This is what happens when cultural references go bad.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


I saw a child skipping recently, out of sheer contentment, and it struck me that adults do not really have an equivalent way of expressing joy, unless you count posting puppy videos on Facebook.

When did I stop skipping? At eight? Ten? Until what age can you skip un-ironically? My gut says 11, tops. My gut is quite the orator, actually. That's for another day, though.

Each year of childhood, something slips away forever—taking naps, skipping, using your thumbs and index fingers to pull your eyes closer to the corners of your mouth—actually that last one hangs on quite a ways into one's twenties, if social media is any indication.

For boys, crying after the third grade or so is met with mocking, as is, for girls, playing with boys without frequent eye-rolling.

Then, suddenly at about 12 or 13, nature says O.K., kids, instead of skipping un-ironically you will now want to ogle others your age up and down while imagining rescuing them from a burning building, resulting in extremely affectionate gratitude.

That's boys, at least. I do not know whether girls imagine rescuing boys, or if they while away their tween days imagining boys finally discovering deodorant.

When I saw the kid skipping I thought wow, children still skip? Then my next thought was, what else do they still do? I have it on good authority that they still sometimes play hide and seek, but only if their phone is charging.

I hear they still play "Marco Polo," except that nowadays the politically correct version is known as "Tenzing Norgay."

They do not play doctor, or kick the can or Tiddlywinks or Pick-Up-Stix or Memory. But sometimes they skip.

There is hope.

I wonder if skipping is genetic, if maybe nature developed skipping as a way to thwart the slow-to-medium predators. A child could not outrun a cheetah, but maybe he could out-skip a mildly preoccupied hyena.

I confess I had grown cynical about today's children, with their selfies and their Internet savvy. I did not think them capable of something so un-self-aware as skipping. There is no more carefree act. That is why even the wealthiest adult can't pull it off.

Of course, the boy I saw skipping was in a public library skipping over to a computer, where he then fired up a video game. But I guess five seconds of exercise is better than none, right?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Wa Pics - As Seen In England

 Plush Cornish pasties in Cornwall. "Eat us," you might imagine them saying, "we're jaunty."

 Enter confidently and when your hairdresser asks how you'd like it, say "Give me the balding windbag!"

 In Kew Gardens, they go one step beyond tree hugging.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Books with 'wife' in the title beat ones with 'husband' any day

After the success of "The Time Traveler's Wife" and "The Aviator's Wife," I am making sure that my first novel will have "wife" in the title.

Search Amazon for books with "wife" and you get over 50,000 results. Search for "husband" and it's less than half that. From this math arises such titles as "The Soldier's Wife," "The Thug's Wife" and "The Nazi Officer's Wife."

Rather than novels, "husband" titles tend to be self-help gems like "The Good Husband Guide" and "How To Be The Almost Perfect Husband."

These sell beautifully as well-meaning, horrific Christmas presents. No man has ever read one of those, but that crack in the garage wall isn't going to fill itself now, is it?

In contrast, who can resist "The Traitor's Wife" or "The Shape-Changer's Wife" or "The Millionaire's Pregnant Wife"? This last is not to be confused with "The Millionaire's Wife," who is evidently using birth control and probably selling fewer copies.

I am only using actual titles today, people.

They sell a book called "The Pastor's Wife," sure, but the wife-obsessed public today requires more sizzle for real sales. "The Runaway Pastor's Wife" exists to fill that need. Unfortunately, due to the poorly placed adjective, I am not sure if it is the pastor who has run away or his wife.

It is, frankly, killing me.

You can't just have a wife any more. Her spouse has to have a cool trade. Thus, "The Saddlemaker's Wife," "The Shoe-maker's Wife," "The Map-maker's Wife" and "The Chocolatier's Wife."

Because this is not a perfect world, these books do not comprise a quartet known as "The Real Housewives of the 16th Century."

This spousal requirement seems a bit old-fashioned. We don't get a woman CEO, we get "The CEO's Pregnant Wife." What can we suppose this pregnant wife is going to do? Maybe she is meeting the runaway pastor at the bus station. Maybe she is in cahoots with "The Earl's Inconvenient Wife." Maybe she is, in actuality, "The Rancher's Secret Wife."

I wonder what kind of conversation "The Donkey-driver's Wife" might have with "The Viscount's Counterfeit Wife." Probably nothing that the "The Duke's Willful Wife" hasn't heard before.

I do not yet know the plot of my first novel, but I do have the title. It will do gangbusters: "The Caramel Apple Salesman's Sticky Wife."

This baby is going to write itself.

. . .

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday Wa Pics - As Seen In England

 Oh. Whew! Exhibitions. Thank God. Had me going there for a minute.

 Buy us, don't buy us. Whatever.

"Don't judge our food by our wordplay."