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Could you ever picture The Cat in The Hat eating tacos? How about The Lorax chowing down on a burrito?
Two members of the BuzzFeed staff, writer Jean-Luc Bouchard and artist Andrea Hickey, collaborated on a story called “Dr. Seuss Goes To Chipotle.” This Theodor Seuss Geisel-inspired piece was created “with heaps of love and respect for Dr. Seuss, as well as full-bellied appreciation for Chipotle.”
Here’s an excerpt: “I asked for one meat. And then? Why, for two! Ignoring the digestive impact I would rue. And that’s how I made-up a bowl of half-sneetch and a just-as-big ladle serving of beast.”
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Advance Reader Copy
, space travel
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This edition of the Picture Book Roundup features "jampires" (!), two Stanleys (one dog, one hamster), and a new Kadir Nelson book for which I can't find enough superlatives. Enjoy!
If you can't see the slideshow, I've included my reviews below. If You Plant a Seed
is a brilliantly written and exquisitely illustrated book about kindness. Sparse but meaningful text, combined with joyfully detailed illustrations of plants, birds, and animals. I love it!
- MacIntyre, Sarah and David O'Connell. 2015. Jampires. New York: David Fickling (Scholastic)
Who could be sucking all the jamminess out of the doughnuts? Jampires! Will Sam find jam? Will the Jampires find their nest? If you like funny, this is the best!
- Bee, William. 2015. Stanley the Farmer. New York: Peachtree.
Stanley is a hardworking hamster. Illustrations and text are bright and simple, making Stanley a perfect choice for very young listeners. Along the lines of Maisy, but with a crisper, cleaner interface. Nice size, sturdy construction.
The Wimbledons can't sleep. What IS all that noise? It's only Stanley, the dog. He's howling at the moon, fixing the oil tank, making catfish stew, ...? Hey, something's fishy here! Classic Jon Agee - droll humor at its best.
Review copies of Jampires
, Stanley the Farmer
, and It's Only Stanley
were provided by the publisher.
Janice Sage, the owner of Center Lovell Inn and Restaurant, is hosting an essay contest. This Maine-based innkeeper won this 12-acre property after participating in a similar competition back in 1993.
According to BuzzFeed, writers should send in a 200-word piece and a $125 entry fee. The submission should be postmarked by May 7th and must arrive at the Center Lovell Post Office by May 17th; Sage intends to announce the winner on May 21st. Follow this link to read all the rules.
Here’s more from The Portland Press Herald: “She hopes to receive 7,500 responses, or about $900,000, about what local real estate agents suggested as a listing price for the 210-year-old inn and two outbuildings overlooking Kezar Lake in Lovell. It is also an amount that would allow Sage to transition smoothly into retirement, her ultimate goal. She also hopes the novel approach will ensure that the inn will land in worthy hands.”
Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel recently held another book club gathering. Kimmel and the young members came together to discuss Simms Taback’s There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. This picture book won the Caldecott Honor back in 1998. The video embedded above has drawn more than 88,000 views—what do you think? (via ABC7news.com)
You may have heard of Katniss Everdeen and Tris Prior, but what about Valentine Neverwoods? This character stars in a parody story that is being published through the @DystopianYA Twitter page.
Less than one month after its debut, the eye-catching social media page has drawn more than 15,000 followers. Dana Schwartz, a writer and comedian, genuinely enjoys reading young adult dystopian novels. In an interview with BuzzFeed, she explained that she launched this hilarious social media account after realizing that many recent titles belonging to this genre feature similar attributes such as “trains, overly simplified first-person narration, and love triangles.”
Initially, Schwartz intended to write “a collection of random sentences and elements.” After receiving a plethora of positive responses from the Twittersphere, she wants “to try to add plot and tell something from start to finish.” Below, we’ve collected a selection of hilarious tweets in a Storify post embedded below—what do you think?
An anonymous group of New York City bibliophiles launched the “Hot Dudes Reading” Instagram account in early February. Less than one month after its debut, the eye-catching social media page has drawn more than 277,000 followers.
Thus far, 19 photos have been snapped from the subway. Some of the books being read by the subjects include John Green’s The Fault in our Stars, Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, & Steel, and Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl.
Here’s more from The Huffington Post: “The creators are a group of 20 and 30-something male and female New Yorkers who, as they told HuffPost, ‘appreciate men with good looks and good books.’ As the creators told HuffPost, ‘Reading is fundamentally hot, and who doesn’t like to fantasize a little bit about the sexy stranger we spot sitting across from us?’ We can’t argue with that.”
By: Karen Maxwell,
Blog: Write From Karen
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The doctor I work for actually showed me this video. We were coming back to Springfield after our out-of-town clinic last Friday and he, his PA and his nurse were talking about it. I mentioned not having seen it and Dr. M. pulled out his phone and showed me. (That sounds sort of dirty, lol).
What a cutie pie! Of course, after getting over the cuteness I would probably spank his little bottom but you have to admit, it’s pretty cute.
It won’t be so cute when he’s seven/eight though.
And you know he most likely picked up this “bargaining” power from the adults in his life. You can tell his mom is always saying, “Listen to me.”
This is a pretty terrible example to set for your child. Instead of teaching humility and responsibility, (“I’m sorry, mom. You’re right, I shouldn’t have tried to ask for cupcakes when you already told me I couldn’t have one”) it’s all about talking your way out of bad behavior.
Yes. Of course I realize he’s only three years old – you’re missing the point. Cute/funny aside, look at the big picture. What is this sort of behavior teaching him?
Kids are sponges. They react and learn from the people in their lives. Think about it.
Filed under: Funny
Written by: Litsa Trachatos
Illustrated by: Virginia Johnson
Published by: Groundwood Books
Published on: October 14, 2014
This is a great, silly picture book for preschoolers that introduces animals and grammar, all while giving the reader the giggles.
Trachatos comes up with some amazingly illogical scenarios, starting with "Don't start a food fight with an octopus." Not only does the reader then have to think about that animal (hints are given on the next page) but they also get to laugh about the situation which would never happen. This is a huge deal in the preschool world, and this has been the best read aloud I have had at my library sessions in the last couple of years.
Johnson's watercolour illustrations deserve mention as well. Watercolour is a perfect medium for non-threatening depictions of threatening situations (nobody wants to find a bear in their bed!) and the simple children's faces frame the reactions to the ridiculous very well.
Highly recommended for anyone with a preschooler.
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It Made Me Laugh
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By: Mark Myers,
I consider myself a war buff. I love reading historic accounts of combat. I don’t discriminate between time period or conflict. Because of the volume of material, I have probably spent more time delving into World War 2 than any other. When I was in the Army, I drove a beat up WW 2 era Deuce-and-a-half and always wondered about its history.
Historians argue about which battle is the greatest – Waterloo, Stalingrad, Hastings, Yorktown, Thermopylae, Guadalcanal, The Battle of the Bulge, the list goes on. Like everything else in life, no one can seem to agree. When compiling such a list, the qualifiers become important. Things such as lives lost, duration, strategies, and conditions all come into play when deciding which is supreme.
It’s not that I don’t have an opinion, I’ve got plenty of those. I just don’t like to argue in general. I get distracted or flustered and lose my place like when I drop my book and reread the same pages over and over again before I figure out where I left off. Only an argument is live, verbal combat. When I lose my place, I sit there open-mouthed wondering if I look as stupid as I feel. So like everyone else on the losing side, I hone in on one point and try to drive it home even if I am totally wrong and know it.
The Baltic Sea is in New Mexico. It isn’t? I will repeat that thirty-seven times, forcing you to get out your phone and Google it, which allows me time to escape the fracas unscathed. I’m gone, therefore I win.
This leads to my opinion of the greatest battle which I believe is a conflict going on today – right now! RIGHT NOW!
You might think I am waxing philosophically about a moral or ethical conflict for the hearts and minds of people. Think again, I’m nowhere near deep enough for that. No, I am talking about the Battle of the Christmas Tree going on in my den as I type.
This battle has two combatants: The cats vs. the presents. The cats investigated the tree the minute it arrived. They united their forces and conquered it quickly. It is now their territory and they are very protective of it. The two of them alternate on watch and have made a formidable occupation force. Their confidence never waned… until the presents arrived.
As presents do, they marched in slowly but steadily. They landed through the front door and also surprised the occupiers from the garage entrance. Strange men in brown uniforms delivered them, but some were brought in by the woman-thing who seems to be working for both sides. She pets and feeds the cats, yet adds to the stack of presents assaulting from every flank. She is a crafty sort. Worse yet, she puts little ribbons on top to lull the cats from their strategic high ground. They can’t avoid the ribbons, which are almost as alluring as the ornaments with bells.
I have no idea who will win this battle. Epic is too small a word for it. The cats seem to rule the night while the presents hold the day (sounds like a Billy Joel song). It is a seesaw affair likely only resolved by the Take the Tree to the Chipper Treaty.
That landmark agreement is coming soon. Until then, may peace reign in your home unlike mine – where it appears to be an elusive dream.
Filed under: It Made Me Laugh
Blog: A. PLAYWRIGHT'S RAMBLINGS
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, holiday story
, Rudolph the Reindeer
, Santa Claus
, The Visit - a Christmas tale
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Wrote this a while back but have done some editing and bringing it back being that it's almost Christmas.
Molly Rigby, 88, senior citizen David Grey, 20-something reporter Paul Seaton, camera man SETTING: Recreation hall of a senior's residence. A few seniors are dozing, some in wheelchairs, others are in regular chairs.
AT RISE: A reporter (DAVID) enters the room in preparation for an interview with MOLLY RIGBY, who claims to have communicated with whom she believes to be, Santa Claus
DAVID enters the room, taking notes and practicing his introduction "We're here at the Happy Hollows Seniors Home to interview resident, Molly Rigby, who claims to have been visited by old Saint Nick, himself. Come Christmas Eve, Molly has stated she will be leaving on an extended trip…” PAUL enters, holding a TV camera So…what’s the story, here? I mean, it’s Christmas Eve! Couldn’t this one have waited? Hey – it’s not my decision! The brass wants us to do a “feel-good” story and interview an old granny claiming to have met the real Santa Claus, Yeah and the tooth fairy is alive and well. Is she like…’all there’ if you get my drift?
Who knows. It's one of those seniors sleeping over there.
DAVID approaches the trio, gently shaking each woman. Um…’scuse me… Misses… Ladies…Hello? Molly? Which one of you is Molly? MOLLY stirs, sits upright Who wants to know? That a TV camera? You’re another one of those TV wisenheimer news guys! Take a hike! I’m sleeping
Really – this will only take a few minutes. The world wants – needs - to know if it’s true! Like I said – make like the wind and blow away MOLLY goes back to sleep. DAVID shakes her gently. Paul - this is the lucky lady we were discussing who’s met Santa I was having such a nice dream ‘til your friend here came along and popped it Meet Dave Grey, Molly, the reporter that's made WGMZ the number one station in the market I'm sure Molly doesn't care about those things You're like all the others. You think I’m a little ‘cuckoo’ in the ‘woo-coo.’ Well I’m not, you know! Oh ‘ye of little faith! If you’ll stand next to me right over here and we’ll do the interview…
I know what I saw and no one’s gonna tell me diff’rent. Now let me go back to sleep so’s I can be rested when he comes for me It’ll only take a few minutes and then we’ll be gone. Come on, Molly! It’s Christmas Eve! A time for miracles. Don’t you want to share your good luck with everyone? Think you're the first reporter to doubt me? I may be old and crotchety but I’m not crazy! Okay – go for it but only because you’ll be the last. Hey - watch where you put that microphone. We’ll do the interview and then we’ll be outta your hair. Really Better make it fast ‘cause I’m expecting my special visitor real soon now Guess a family member is taking you home, being that it's Christmas Eve? I suppose you could call him that being that we’re very close friends now. He’ll be coming for me in a big, big sleigh that flies faster than the speed of light. We’re gonna go up, up and fly high in the sky. Just him and me and … This special ‘friend’ of yours… would he, like… be dressed all in red with a long white beard and wearing black shiny boots and white gloves? Last time he was here, told me t’pack a couple of things for our long trip just the two of us is gonna take. and he'd be 'round to get me on Christmas Eve. Tonight is Christmas Eve, right?
This… friend of yours, would he…like…have big white wings and wear a halo or was he dressed in black and carry a big sickle… …don’t mind him. Thinks he’s funny. When did this… ‘friend’ first show up? Can we sit down? I wanna save my strength for tonight. Yeah - he first dropped in ‘bout a month ago. ‘Why me?’ I asked him. ‘Why not you’, he says. Can’t argue with that logic… How'd you know he was the real one? I mean, there are a lot of people claiming to be Santa this time of year …and y’know what else he said? ‘Molly - you never stopped believing in me.’ That’s what my friend told me., ‘Cause I believe! How do you get in touch with him? I don’t get in touch with him, silly! He sends me messages How’d I know you were gonna say that? Only I can receive his messages (points to head) – right here Oh fer… We’re wasting time. Let’s wrap up. You think I’m crazy and hear voices, don’t you? I know-what- I-know! Wanna hear how we became friends? Last Christmas Eve at this very time, I sent him a letter asking if I could go along t’help deliver toys? I mean, being that I’m 88 years of age, who knows if I’ll even be around next year so I told him in my letter that it was now or never This man…your friend answered your letter? Did it have a stamp and a post-mark? Always with the questions – and doubts. You young people can’t accept that people can be nice to each other for no reason. I didn’t bother checking for a post mark. I don’t hav’ta because - - I know. You believe. You have to admit that there are a lot of phonies running cons at this time of the year Oh ye of little faith, sonny boy! He never has asked me for anything. Not one cent! Wanna know how he introduced himself? By telephone and he asked you to make a donation to his toy campaign? Found him sitting on the end of my bed, watching Seinfeld re-runs and laughing his head off. That old fart has a good sense of humor, y’know! Suppose he has to what with all the doubters he meets. I mean - you can imagine how shocked I was t’see a stranger watchin’ TV in my room. ‘ He told you that he was Santa and you believed him? You sound like all the rest and they doubted me, too. Why wouldn’t I? You hav’ta understand that it's not everyone who gets a visit from Santa in person We almost finished, here? I’d like to make it home to open gifts with my kids Told me he was gonna take me away on his sleigh, t’stay with him...forever! Me! Molly Rigby, going t’ live with Santa Claus and his elves. I just couldn't believe it! Me neither. So, you took him up on his offer? Are you serious? Wouldn't everyone? Are you're telling me that you went for a ride with… …Santa Claus? You bet'cha your perfectly sprayed hair, I did And I suppose there were the reindeer parked on the roof, or maybe outside your bedroom window? How does an elderly lady – no disrespect intended – climb into a sleigh? I see you use a walker Somehow - and I don't know how he did it - I found myself floating in the air, right out of the window. It was one of those high tech sleighs with flashing lights… A…high…tech sleigh? Led by high tech reindeer too, I guess? Now that I think about it - their antlers did look like antennas…and the sleigh had colored flashing lights all around And was this…Santa… on the - small-ishside with a big head, large black eyes and grey-ish white skin color? Could be but then I'm color-blind. D’ya wanna meet him? Him – who? You mean, Santa? Why not? If nothing else it’ll make a good Christmas story and we can expose a holiday phony Now you hav’ta promise me that you won’t try recording us leaving. Santa doesn’t like publicity or anything. He’s a very simple, private man Yeah…course…no recording… Right Paul? Promise me you won’t! Y’a gotta promise! We’re leaving? I’m ready when you are To capture the moment that Molly, here, leaves the rest home for the North Pole
0 Comments on THE VISIT - a Christmas play-ette as of 12/23/2014 5:32:00 AM
Blog: A. PLAYWRIGHT'S RAMBLINGS
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At the Mall
, mall sales
, Mr. and Mrs. Everybody
, parking lot
, parking spot
, Scenes from Life: a short playette
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SCENES FROM LIFE: A SHORT PLAYETTE. AT THE MALL SCENE: PARKING LOT OF A LARGE, BUSY MALL. BEFORE CHRISTMAS. AT RISE: MR. AND MRS. EVERYBODY SEARCH FOR A PARKING PLACE Told you we should have left earlier. Now there’s wall-to-wall cars. We’re never going to find a spotMR. EVERYBODY Excuse me? Were you or were you not talking on the phone to Chloe for a good 45 minutes?MRS. EVERYBODY First of all – it wasn’t 45 minutes and second of all, we had important things to discussMR. EVERYBODY Like what? Which stores have the best prices?MRS. EVERYBODY So? Those are important things. Don’t you want me to save you money? Don’t you just love all the Christmas decorations?MR. EVERYBODY Come again? How do you figure that buying stuff saves me money? Well, take today for example. Everything in the mall, the entire mall mind you, is twenty-five percent off! This is a bigggg saving. If I hadn’t spoken to Chloe, I would never have know that. Listen – they’re playing Silver Bells over outdoor speakers. Don’cha just love that song? Puts you in a Christmas moodMR. EVERYBODY Would I be going round and round if I did? We’ve been going in circles for so long, I’m getting dizzy. You mean the “spend-spend-spend” songsMRS. EVERYBODY Try and get close to an entrance. You’re so cynicalMR. EVERYBODY You’re fussy where you want to park? Beggars can’t be choosersMRS. EVERYBODY Let me put it another way. Try not to park fifty feet away in no-mans-land. It’s cold out MR. EVERYBODY And let me make this perfectly clear. This car will turn in to wherever there’s an empty spaceMRS. EVERYBODY You could at make an effort to look MR. EVERYBODY And what am I doing now? As far as I can see, there are no empty parking spaces near a mall entrance, or anywhere else for that matter. Maybe we should just go home and forget about it…MRS. EVERYBODY Not! And miss the sale of the year? Okay. How about this. One more time around and then you can go park in Siberia like alwaysMR. EVERYBODY One more time …here we go again…MRS. EVERYBODY Stop! There’s a car pulling out. Quick – get over there or that guy is gonna grab it before usMR. EVERYBODY It’s in the next line over. I’ll have to drive around. I’ll never make it MRS. EVERYBODY Just put your foot on the gas and cut the car off!MR. EVERYBODY This is not the wild west and I have no intention of being part of a showdown. If we don’t get it – we don’t get itMRS. EVERYBODY Mr. Philosophical has spoken. Just…hurry! You’re not going fast enough! The other car is closing in from the other direction…MR. EVERYBODY You are obsessed and possessed – you do realize that, right?MRS. EVERYBODY We’re talking about a primo parking spot right near the front, no less! This is indeed our lucky day! You gotta be aggressive if you wanna grab a good place. Trust me. I know about these things.MR. EVERYBODY You and your knowledge of parking spaces wouldn’t happen to know anything about the nice scratch in the front right fender by any chance, would you? MRS. EVERYBODY I’m getting so forgetful these days. Y’see…last week, me and Chloe were here for the Fashion Flare Shop Going-Going-Gone Out of Business sale and there was a parking space and I was sure this car could fit but unfortunately, I misjudged the size of the spot against the size of the fender and like…the fender somehow ended up sliding against a cement pillar that was in my way. Why they put pillars in the middle of parking lots is a mystery, anyway. Hurry – that other car is getting ready to turn in!MR. EVERYBODY Perhaps it’s a plot by the mall to get drivers like you to scratch your fenders against them. They’re light standards, FYI. Oh well - guess it matches the scratch on the left fender… Uh-oh both our cars are there at the same time. I’ll let the other car park. Doesn’t mean that much to meMRS. EVERYBODY You’re just giving in? Hold your ground for a few minutes. Show the other car we mean business!MR. EVERYBODY We’ll go to the back of the parking lot. Plenty of space thereMRS. EVERYBODY MR. EVERYBODY What’s this world coming to? You’ll have to walk a few extra feet. I mean, really…MRS. EVERYBODY Open the window and let me speak to the driver and explain the situation. I’m sure he’ll understand and let us parkMR. EVERYBODY MRS. EVERYBODY (MRS. EVERYBODY opens the door and talks to the driver of the other car) MRS. EVERYBODY ‘Hello – it looks like we both want the same parking spot. Could I, as a fellow citizen of this planet, prevail upon you to allow us to have this precious parking spot? As you probably know, there is a twenty-five-percent off sale and I have been waiting to buy these divine shoes that have finally been reduced and gone on sale… What? Of course ... I see… Have a good day.’MRS. EVERYBODY (Cont’d.) Just drive. When something seems too good to be true, it usually isMR. EVERYBODY What happened to your convincing sales personality?MRS. EVERYBODY The woman sitting next to him has crutches. Broke her leg and ankle skiing so I couldn’t very well justify taking the spot given all the snow on the groundMR. EVERYBODY You're all heart. You do know what that means -MRS. EVERYBODY Siberia here we come… Know what? I got a great idea. Why don’t you leave me off in front of an entrance – any entrance - and park? Or better still, drive around for an hour or so and when I’m finished, I’ll call you on my cell phone and you can pick me up? Isn’t that a good idea? It’s a win-win for both of us. Right here will do…see you later…(MRS. EVERYBODY gets out of the car and heads for the mall entrance) MR. EVERYBODY (calling out of the car window) Wait a minute! Hello? You have my cell! You forgot yours at home!
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It Made Me Laugh
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By: Mark Myers,
I dislike parades. Not a little, a lot!
I don’t care about the pageantry or the spectacle. I just get bored. A.D.D.? Maybe. Every time I’m stuck watching them, I can’t find an ounce of enjoyment – I just think about two dozen other things I could be doing. This couldn’t be truer than when I’m at Disneyworld.
My kids, on the other hand, love parades. So when people start lining the streets, they want to stop riding roller coasters and wait. UGH…
Wait for what? Floats. No thank you! If a float doesn’t contain root beer and ice cream, I don’t want it.
I figure with half of the eligible riders standing along the parade route, the lines to the cool things are shorter. Not my family. We wait – and not for the good stuff.
A funny thing happened on our trip last week. We were headed to a ride at the back of the park while people were lining up for the parade. No one with me suggested we stop to watch (miracle), so I powered into the street. We must have been the last ones let out before they closed the rope because we found ourselves about 20 paces in front of the parade with all of its flags and music.
Maybe it was the fact that I was pushing my daughter’s wheelchair, or possibly because I looked so stately and official, but it became apparent that the spectators thought we were supposed to be the ones leading the parade. We all realized it at the same time as they clapped and waved at us.
My kids became confused.
They grouped together.
“Should we pull off and get out of the way?” they wondered.
The oldest asked, “What do we do?”
Of course they looked to me, the leader, the head honcho, the alpha male for direction and what did they find me doing?
With a dopey grin on my face, I waved back at all of my adoring fans.
When life puts you at the front of the parade, smile and wave!
The kids laughed at me, but it caught on. All of us began waving to the crowd.
You know what? Everyone waved back. The people didn’t think we looked out of place – they just waved at us. I wonder what they thought when the real parade came and they realized we didn’t belong. Oh well, we were gone by then. We walked over half of the parade route unencumbered by the bustling crowd until we got near the ride we wanted. Then we simply ducked into the masses and became one of them – anonymous once more.
I still hate parades… But for a moment, I was the grand marshal.
Filed under: It Made Me Laugh
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Advance Reader Copy
, space travel
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Below is my review of the audiobook Space Case
by Stuart Gibbs, read by Gibson Frazier, as it appeared in the December 2014, issue of School Library Journal
. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
GIBBS, Stuart. Space Case. 6 CDs. 6:28 hrs. S. & S. Audio.
2014. $29.99. ISBN 9781442376397. digital download.
Gr 3–7— The year is 2040. Dash, his sister, and their scientist parents are inaugural inhabitants of Moon Base Alpha (MBA), Earth's extraterrestrial colony. Housing only a few dozen people and governed by a strict commander, MBA is not exactly a barrel of laughs for a 12-year-old boy. However, when one of MBA's scientists dies suspiciously and a supply ship brings new residents (including a girl his age), life in space becomes much more intriguing. Though the story has many humorous moments—especially involving the insufferable wealthy space tourists—it also has some plausible science. Each chapter is preceded by a reading from "The Official Residents' Guide to Moon Base Alpha," NASA's part propaganda/part instruction manual, containing such riveting topics as "Exercise" and "Food." Narrator Gibson Frazier keeps the story moving at a good pace, conveying suspense without melodrama. Rather than create pitched character voices, he relies on intonation to differentiate among the large cast. His own voice is deep and clear but boyish enough to suit Dash. The narration flows smoothly, broken only by the humorously intended commercial quality of the "Official Resident's Guide." Space Case should appeal to a broad range of listeners but especially space enthusiasts.
Copyright © 2014 Library Journals, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc.
Reprinted with permission.
Barnett, Mac and Jory John. 2014. The Terrible Two. New York: Amulet.
Miles is moving away from his beloved home at the beach to Yawnee Valley, where the slogan is "Come Look at our Cows." Miles Murphy, the best-known prankster at his old school, will be attending the Yawnee Valley Science and Letters Academy,
Miles awoke with a sense of dread. He opened his eyes and stared at his blank ceiling. Last night he'd dreamed it had all been a dream, and now he wished he were still dreaming.
Miles shut his eyes tight. He tried to fall back asleep, but downstairs he could hear his mother shuffling around the kitchen, preparing breakfast. Breakfast smelled like eggs. And cows. Although that might have just been the cows.
Miles ate his eggs. They tasted like dread, although that might've just been the dread.
When he's paired up with the insufferable school helper, Niles Sparks, Miles thinks things can't get worse, but they do. Someone else in school is a prankster, and whoever it is, he's outpranking Miles.
What's the best part about pulling a great prank? Getting away with it, or getting credit for it? Miles is about to find out!
This illustrated novel is the first in a series that's sure to appeal to middle-grade jokers and pranksters. The writing style is conversationally funny with great black-and-white illustrations that add to the humor, A goofy, cud-chewing cow with a bell stands in a pasture adorning half of page one, which reads,
Welcome to Yawnee Valley, an idyllic place with rolling green hills that slope down to creeks, and cows as far as the eye can see. There's one now.The Terrible Two
has more than just humor. There are some intricate pranks woven into the plot, and there are well-developed characters in Miles, Niles, and Principal Barkin - all of whom are sure to reappear in future installments. It's got more text and fewer illustrations, but this series should be popular with Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Note:I have to add that this book had the best Advance Reader Copy promotion ever! I was totally pranked! I received a large box in the mail marked "Perishable." Inside was the big milk carton, and inside the milk carton was my copy of The Terrible Two, a coffee cup featuring cartoon images of the authors, and a signed certificate from The International Order of Disorder proclaiming the holder to be "a distinguished member of the International Order of Disorder." I will raffle this off to the members of my book club. Someone is going to be as happy as a cow in a cornfield!
Advance Reader Copy supplied (with coffee cup and milk carton) by the publisher.
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By: Mark Myers,
Running under a beautiful sunrise recently, I recalled a fond memory of my oldest daughter. When she was pint-sized, we figured out that she had never seen a sunrise. I know that sounds impossible, but our property lies in a valley where trees filter the sun until it is mid-morning and by then, the spectacular colors of dawn have faded away.
To remedy this, I woke her very early and the two of us went to the top of our street with lawn chairs to watch the sun peek over the horizon. It took three attempts to get a masterpiece. I remember seeing her tired, little face come alive in awe of the burst of reds and purples in the sky.
Don’t you love watching someone enjoy beauty, nature, or art for the first time?
This got me wondering, “What else have my kids missed?”
I know there are plenty of great movies my kids have never seen because I am not allowed to suggest films since The Great Jumanji Debacle of 2005. I built that one up to my family when they were far too young and I totally forgot some extremely spooky scenes. My third child didn’t sleep for weeks and still has nightmares about monkey boys attacking her.
Being a child of the 70’s, I have tried to share some good music with them. While I love AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, The Doobie Brothers, Van Halen and KISS, my kids weren’t fond of ringing hell’s bells and didn’t seem to want to rock and roll all night.
There were other good things from the seventies, though? I could share something else.
Awkwardly short gym shorts
Rotary phones without speed dial
Hair parted in the middle with wings
Car windows with cranks
Ice cream trucks
Black & White TV’s with 3 channels
I made a mental list of these things. Although each brings back some fond memories for me, most of them have been improved upon. My kids are experiencing better versions, which made my list no less nostalgic for me, but not full of things they are poorer for missing. Frustrated with my inability to come up with much, I settled on one thing that every child needs to experience and mine had missed – until now.
Mooning! They had never been mooned. Well, they hadn’t until I thought of it. I spent the better part of the rest of that Saturday surprising them all over the house. Full moons, partial moons, waning crescents. I got them over and over. I doubt my celestial display was as majestic as the sunrise my eldest enjoyed. They giggled at first, but soon tired of it, locked their doors, and left me alone to come up with something else to share. All I could think of was streaking, but felt like my wife would be vehemently opposed to that one.
So I think we are going to put the 70’s to rest around here and let my children’s vision recover. After all the mooning, number three is having Jumanji-like nightmares again.
Photo credit: “Red sunrise”. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -
Filed under: Dad stuff
Put some fear of the undead into your October reading!
McCreely, Havelock. 2014. My Zombie Hamster
. New York: Egmont.See below for print copy giveaway details.
Zombie Zappers and constant vigilence keep Matt and the residents of his community safe from "deadbeats" - the zombies that live outside the town's protective walls. So on Christmas Eve, December 24, Matt Hunter isn't thinking about zombies; he's thinking about the new video game he wants for Christmas. His mother, however, had a more educational, more nurturing idea. On December 25, Matt receives Snuffles the hamster—a dumb, boring, little pet. At least it was—until it died.
I'll say one thing for zombie hamsters. They don't move as slowly as their human counterparts. ...
Snuffles had curled up and was rolling down the stairs like a bouncing ball. I raced after him.
He bolted along the wall. Dad was carrying a huge pile of firewood inside so the front door was wide open. I tried to get ahead of Snuffles to slam it shut, but I tripped on one of the stupid throw rugs Mom insists on leaving everywhere and landed on my stomach.
I pushed myself to my knees just in time to see Snuffles dart through the door and out into the front yard.
Was it my imagination, or did I hear a little undead squeak of triumph as he did so?
In chapters titled with the days beginning on December 24, Matt chronicles all the events until everything comes to a head at the annual town pet show on Saturday, February 4.
Matt doesn't do it alone, however. He enlists the help of his friends,(excerpt from "Thursday, January 2")
I emailed Charlie and told her to come over. I couldn't keep it a secret any longer.
"So let me get this straight," she said after I'd explained it to her. "Your dad bought you a hamster from a sleazy store and now it's turned into a zombie?"
"And it's escaped?"
"And you called it Snuffles?" she asked, trying not to laugh.
"I didn't call it Snuffles! The name sort of came with the hamster. But now he's called —" I paused dramatically.— "Anti-Snuffles."
At 208 pages, this is a quick read, but despite the adorable cuteness of the cover, it's a suitable choice for older kids, too. My Zombie Hamster
should appeal to grades 3-7. McCreely does a great job of combining the fear factor with humor. Matt and his friends are believable middle-schoolers - a little bit snarky, funny, sure of themselves, and prone to making poor choices. This is the first in a series that should have wide appeal.
Want your own copy of My Zombie Hamster?
Check back tomorrow for an interview with Havelock McCreely
and a chance to win a print copy of My Zombie Hamster.
(digital review copy provided by the publisher)
With Halloween just around the corner, it's a good time for a zombie book - even better yet - a free
zombie book for a lucky winner. Even if you don't win the book, you can enjoy my interview with Havelock McCreely
, author of the very funny, My Zombie Hamster
Havelock McCreely was kind enough to answer three questions for me. Here goes ...
Three questions for Havelock McCreely, author of My Zombie Hamster
I’m shocked that MS Word will highlight McCreely as a misspelled word, but not Havelock. Do you need three syllables, or can you get it done in two?
HM: The name is Irish in origin, so the correct amount of syllables for authentic pronunciation is eight. (Or nine. It depends if you have all your own teeth or not.) But for our purposes, three will suffice.
I can find little about you on your “official” bio, other than “Teller of Tall Tales. Adventurer. Swordsman. Discoverer of the Fountain of Youth. Author of many great works, the latest of which is My Zombie Hamster.” Did your discovery of the Fountain of Youth pique your interest in longevity, thus inspiring your interest in zombies, or did another path bring you to zombies? I’ve drunk from your Fountain of Youth, by the way. It tastes terrible. One does wonder though, what would be the effect of the Fountain of Youth on a zombie?
HM: Many good questions there. My discovery of the fountain of youth is a story that would put Indiana Jones to shame. And perhaps it will one day be told. Many are the times I’ve thought about writing down my own adventures in a series of easy-to-read volumes aimed at the younger audience. Thrilling is not the word. Well, it’s one word. But there are many others. Exciting. Dangerous. Death-defying. Amazing. (For instance, there’s the time I took up with the traveling circus as they crossed the planes of Africa. This is where I saved one of my young protégés from a life of mind-numbing boredom cleaning up after hippogriffs. Then there’s the time I saved an entire city from the Witch King of Mallidar. And this is where I saved my second protégé. They booth accompanied me on my many adventures and were with me when I discovered the fabled city of Shangri-La (which lead directly to my discovery of the fountain of youth.) Perhaps someday these tales will be told.
As to the taste, yes, I agree. Like rusted metal filtered through an old sock in which cabbage has been boiled. It’s not pleasant.
Finally, as to my discovery of the fountain possibly inspiring my interest in zombies, yes. You are indeed correct. The fountain was guarded by a village of zombies who had all drunk from the fountain. It brought back their minds and consciousness (but did not repair their bodies.) That was where I got the idea of my little twist on zombies.
And of course, the most important question, what will Anti-Snuffles do next?
HM: Never fear, he will be back. I have recently put down my fountain pen and completed the second book in the series, Attack of the Zombie Clones. It features everything from the first book, but bigger, better, and undead-er.
Thanks for being a good sport, and best wishes to you for continued success with My Zombie Hamster
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By: Mark Myers,
Who would have thought a 5k race could nearly lead to an arrest? I guess if you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you’ve figured out I can blunder my way into anything.
So it was Sunday when I ran a 5k for a benefit. The issue was not the run, I breezed through that with a typical mediocre time. The problem was that my daughter was one of the benefactors of the event and we needed to stay a long time after. A run on humid day for one who sweats profusely can lead to smells that disgust even my dog. I needed a change of clothing before I could reenter society.
Unlike most of my life, I planned ahead and brought a few towels along with a change of clothes. The race was held in an upscale shopping center that didn’t seem to accommodate porta-potties or any other proper facilities for a sweaty runner to disrobe. I couldn’t traipse through a fine dining establishment, dripping along the way and my planning stopped just short of a reconnaissance walk to find a bathroom.
Here’s where things went awry – the only thing I could think of was the back seat of the mini-van. No problem, I had towels that could allow me to be properly covered the entire time. When I got in the backseat, I looked around and noted I was in full view of the patio of three crowded restaurants. Again, no problem, the windows are tinted.
My problem? The key fob. Some people butt-dial and make innocuous phone calls. Not me. No, that’s not nearly stupid enough. No, I butt-press both sliding doors to the van open while I’m well into the disrobed portion of the clothes change. Fortunately, my posterior wasn’t into multi-tasking and didn’t hit the panic button.
There I sat, wide-eyed under a towel wondering why my display coincided with the dismissal of church leaving a sea of blue-haired ladies waiting for tables at the nearby restaurants. Members of the local fire department, who were standing by in case of a race emergency, took note of me also and began speaking into their radios. The police couldn’t be far behind.
I fumbled for the elusive key fob, cursed myself for laying it on the seat, and closed the doors. In a matter of seconds, I threw on my new set of clothes and wound my way through the gaggle of old women with my head held high. During the rest of the afternoon, I kept a paranoid eye out for the long arm of the law that was sure to be clamped on my shoulder at any minute. But it never came. The firemen must have been phoning friends to laugh about my situation and not alerting the police.
In today’s day and age, these things aren’t ever over. Someone could have been fast on the draw with video and my hiney might be splattered on Youtube. Until then, let me give you some advice – if you are doing something dicey in your car, know where your key fob is at all times. Those things are evil!
Filed under: It Made Me Laugh
By: Paula Becker
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It’s been a while since I updated! Time to do so, and I’ll begin with a Halloween piece I worked on recently. The main piece and closeups are below. I can always add and tweak, but there is a time to call an illustration “Done!” Happy Halloween, everyone!
Angleberger, Tom. 2014. Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus. Recorded Books.
Sometimes you get lucky. I've had the opportunity to meet Tom Angleberger several times (including a Skype visit with my book club), I've had an enthusiastic group of Origami Yoda fans that frequent my library, and most recently, I won a copy of Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus from Recorded Books (more on that in a minute).
Since the first time I read and reviewed The Strange Case of Origami in 2010, I've been a fan, and so have legions of kids. In addition to the fact that Tom Angleberger's writing style is perceptive, relevant, and flat-out funny; he, himself, is a great part of his success. Just check his website, or his presence on Twitter (@origamiyoda). He is unfailingly polite, positive, and accessible. Kids love him and he loves them right back.
Back to Emperor Pickletine... so, I entered the Recorded Books contest because I hoped to win something for my book club members. With rare exception, after I've read them, I give away any book I receive gratis. Lucky me! Not only did I receive the audio book, I received an Emperor Pickletine standee, some origami paper, and the biggest hit of all - pickle stickers - and boy, did they stink!
I was a little unsure about an audio book version of an illustrated book, however. Would it be as good? How can a narrator explain a comic? Will kids like it?
I discovered that, yes, it is as good. The Origami Yoda books are written as "case files" with multiple students from McQuarrie Middle School contributing to each file. The audio book version enhances that format because there is a cast of narrators, making it easy to differentiate between the student contributors.
It's difficult to explain exactly how the printed illustrations from the book are narrated, because I don't have a transcript, but I can assure you that they retain their humor and flow easily into the narrative. I was pleasantly surprised by this.
Will kids like it? My book club meets next week, but I already have two kids who have let me know that they are already audio book fans. I'm sure they'll like it. I did.
In the final chapter, Origami Yoda (voiced by none other than Tom Angleberger himself!) is heard to say,
"The end this is not,"
however, this is
the end of the series. And yes, you will
find out if Origami Yoda is indeed real.
A fond farewell, Origami Yoda! You'll be sorely missed.
My reviews of other Tom Angleberger books:
Blog: Yesisedit's Weblog
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Just read a piece that Nia Vardalos is doing a movie sequel to "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". As much as I really enjoyed this film - I've seen it many times - my play, "A Wedding" which could be described as a Jewish equivalent, is as funny if not more. Here's a taste and scene out of the play to see what I'm talking about and see if you agree. It's part of one of my favorite scenes - but then they all are. Some of the formatting has been lost cut and pasting and transferring from Word.
THE SCENE: At the Greenberg house. The bride and groom's family are meeting for the first time for dinner. Lenor, mother of David, groom-to-be, is on the snobby side unlike his father Charles who is down to earth. Meanwhile, Sadie, mother of the bride, Rachel, is middle-class and in competition with Lenor while husband, Morty, is realistic and down-to-earth like Charles. Morty has done a lot more than taste the wine as his mother, Sylvia, arrives unannounced. The leg of a dining room chair is broken.
Excuse me people…what kind of person visits at this time of night? SADIE re-enters with her mother-in-law, SYLVIA
And here is the answer to that question
Ma? Whad'ya doing here? I fought you were shtaying wiv Elaine until shummer Can a mother visit her only son, without having to announce her arrival before? Maybe I should check into a hotel and come back tomorrow, since you have dinner guests. Are you drunk? My poor baby boy! See what living with you does to him, Sadie? The man has turned to liquor for escape. I warned you, Morty, what life would be like living with…her An excellent idea, Sylvia. Why don't you come back tomorrow…or maybe next month…next year? Never would even be better Don't talk shtupid! Shadie, put mom's shutecases in the rare shpoom. You've come jus' at the right time. You ate already? Your sister packed me a sandwich and fruit for the train but I finished that hours ago. Just make me some toast and a glass of tea and I'll go to my room until your company has left Nonshense! Rajel, go get a chair from the kitchen, for your…your… bubie. You heard our good news? Does anybody tell me anything? Who am I anyway? Just a sick, old woman shipped from place-to-place, because nobody has room for me. Why should anyone share their news with me? Our Rachel here is… em-em-gaged to be marry, ma! Uh-huh… So, you couldn't have picked up the phone to tell me, Sadie? You forgot my phone number, maybe? After all,…I'm onlythe grandmother. Why should you share a happy event with me? So, introduce me to your fiancey David, this is Grammy Sylvia, my best friend in the whole world! And what am I? Chopped liver? Sadie dear, look at yourself as the pickled herring: always a hors d'oeuvre but never the main course. How many times have I told you that she always liked me better than you? Come again? Morty – you better tell her… Now ma, you know you shouldn't tease Sabie like that. You shtill ‘aven't tol' us why you here Your sister, Elaine, went on a cruise so I landed up here on your doorstep. That cheapskate husband of hers didn't even pay for my fare. I tell you – nobody has respect for the aged anymore. In my days… Will you be honoring us with your presence for a long time, she asked, afraid of the answer? She jus' got here f-fur crying out loud. You-you can shtay for has l-long has you wan, ma
MORTY gets up to get another drink and SYLVIA
You want I should stand all night or maybe I should leave, better? I'm a weak, old woman…my legs don't hold me up any more. Oy! The pain! Starts in my big toe and travels all the way up my hip and stays there! Soon I'll need a wheelchair! Pain is my constant companion! Rushing over to pull chair away
Trust me ma, you don't wanna shit on that
Weak like a bull! Rachel honey, go get your grammy a chair from the kitchen. Morty sweetheart, you don't look comfortable. Wouldn't you prefer to drink…sit in your favorite armchair over there, so you can relax? But…I wanna be able to…to…talk wid eberyone…
I'm sure we can sacrifice your…witty observations of life, so that you can be comfortable!
MORTY staggers to the armchair
The truth is you really don't want me to join your dinner party, do you. Don't worry 'bout old Sylvia. She'll watch television upstairs, all alone in her room, listening to everyone laughing and having a good time. Excuse me, people, for bothering you…it's past my bed time…just get me a glass for my teeth, Sadie, and I'll get out of your way
You know you're alwaysh welcome and you'll shtay 'ere to celbrate wid ush! RACHEL enters with chair; MORTY follows her Places TV tray in front of MORTY MORTY Cont'd. Absolutely! There's nothing I love more than a visit from your mother. Almost as much as an appointment with the dentist. Set a place for your bubie, Rachel Attempts to sit in armchair but jerks to an standing position, waving arms as he speaks Shadie mape her besh dish tonight, ma. Roast ducky in orange sauce, wiv orange booze Duck? I couldn't possibly eat that! Too fat and it's bad for my cholester-ail Couldn't you gib her shomething else? MORTY teeters over to SADIE, tries to kiss her on the cheek but she pulls away
Oh something springs to mind alright, but I could get arrested for homicide
Moves a chair in back of SYLVIA, who sits down
I'm sure you could find something for grammy, mom, couldn't you?
I'll go check what I have in the fridge. How 'bout a cheese sandwich, ma? …Where's your manners! Don't be so rude Morty and introduce me to your guests MORTY is drinking another glass of liquor
Meet Dabid's parents, Lee-oree and Ch-Charmie Skybird
So, what do you think of my granddaughter? Is she not a beauty?
You have a lovely granddaughter, Sylvia. And what do you think of our David?
Seems like a nice catch but he makes a living for my Rachel? She's used to good things! He's a corporate lawyer with a very good practice He's a partner in the firm, maybe? I'm sure that will happen in the future. After all – he's got all the right ingredients – a good family background… Has my mother in law been telling you all the family secrets? Here's your cheese sandwich, ma, with low-fat dressing, just like you asked. Now close your mouth…and enjoy! So where's the lettuce? Salad greens are good for my constipation I'm definitely getting a migraine! Any particular kind…iceberg,romaine…bib…? Your wish is my command your majesty…I mean, Sylvia Rachel sweetheart, bring me my small suitcase. I have all my medication inside So what pills are you taking these days or do you have one of everything?
With all my conditions, they're so many. This is for my vangina and this is for…
…thank you for sharing, but I'm sure our guests aren't interested in all your pills I'll be at the wedding as long as my vangina doesn't act up but you never know How c-come n-n-nobody tol' me you 'ad am…vam-gi-na? I-I'm the son! Do you feel up to cutting us some more duck, dear?
MORTY stands up and teeters over to the table.
He grabs the carving fork, thrusts it in the
Morty…dearest, the duck is dead already! There's no reason to keep stabbing it!
LENOR takes her napkin and wipes her dress.
SADIE distributes plates of duck. When MORTY
takes his portion, he lifts the plate to his
lips and drinks; LENOR is horrified My Shabie makes the bes' gravy! You-you make dood guck, honey-bunny Did I mention I mixed up my medication and ended up in the hospital emergency room? I could'a died, y’know! Rachel dear, bring me my blood pressure thing-ie like a good girl No such luck - I mean, isn't it dangerous taking your own blood pressure? You could over pump and then… Why don't you let medo that for you?
MORTY puts on TV and an
ear-piercing screech comes from the TV.
Everyone jumps in response Look ad dat! My faborit all-time mooooomie is playing on our big screen TV too – Night of the Living Dead. Reminds me of our supper tonight…just a joke
Thank you for sharing, sweetheart…
Don'chu love zombies? They scare me shi-… - dearest, shouldn't you close the TV when we have guests? Why? We could all watch it togevver. Shabie – go make some popcorn for eberyone Let him watch his movie! It bothers you? You always were a fun killer I think you should close the TV – NOW – and we'll discuss this later, dearest? You start clearing the table, mom, and let me take care of grammy SADIE clears the table of dishes Morty dearest, be a darling and help me? MORTY gets up but loses his balance and falls backward on the broken chair, which collapses under his weight You gave him that chair on purpose, didn't you Sadie? Don't think I'm not on to you trying to collect on his insurance. Your wife wants to trade you in for a new model, Morty. Better leave now while you still can! Oh God! She's over-medicated herself again You could have married Roseanne Epstein and her family would have given you the world. She was crazy for you, Morty, and I hear she's divorced from her third husband. It's never to late to find real love You're such a kidder, grammy! She loves pretending to hate mom, don't you?
SYLVIA looks away and doesn't answer
(getting up from sitting on floor)
Shabie is my one and only true love! We m-may not be rich in dollars b-but my Sadie has a lot of sense. Get it? Dollars…cents…?
SADIE re-enters holding a cake with sparklers
Morty…sweetheart, why don't you give your mouth a rest…I mean, relax and watch your movie. You've had a long day but not half as long as this evening has been Wow! That's some cake! I bet it tastes as good as it looks You outdone myself, my sweet bon-bon! You baked this for us? It must have taken you hours It was just a little something I whipped up My Shadie is good at whipping things, aren't you my little pickle? Who wants coffee and who wants tea? Nothing for me since both keep me up at night
I know exactly where you're coming from Leoree. Drinking liquids before I go to bed makes me pee all night too! Sometimes I think I spend more time in the bathroom than I do in bed
Charles dear, we really must leave now. My migraine is getting quite intense
LENOR stands up
Sadie, it's been wonderful meeting you and Monty… We have to have a slice of this special cake Sadie made or she'll be insulted. Won't you Sadie? Just a little sliver…please? Remember your cholesterol, dear… …you too? What pill are you taking for that? Wanna see all mine? I'll take half of the sliver you gave Charles Now this is what I call a supper. Everything was perfect. Why don't share your recipes with Lenor? Anything is better than the grass we eat We really must leave dearest. I have a busy schedule tomorrow. Call me Sadie But… arem't… you… Lenor? If you…you wam me to call you Shabie, than Shabie it’ll be. I got a g-good idea! I'll call Shabie, Lemor, and Le-le-more, Shabie!
THE MYSTERY OF THE SOCKSSCENE: THE KITCEN OF MR. AND MRS. EVERYBODY. MRS. EVERYBODY IS LOADING THE DISHWASHERAT RISE: MR. EVERYBODY ENTERS THE KITCHEN CARRYING HIS SOCKSMR. EVERYBODY
What's wrong with these socks?MRS. EVERYBODY
Just a sec - I'm loading the dishwasher...this new dish set we bought is too large. Takes up too much space... MR. EVERYBODY
You had to have them, remember?MRS. EVERYBODY
Excuse me? May I remind you that you also were very anxious for me to get them 'cause they were on sale. Why are you holding two socks? Are you making hand puppets? 'Get...in...there...dishes...or...you're...gonna...feel...so...sorry...'MR. EVERYBODY
Like I said before, what's wrong with these socks?
Just another sec...let me start the dishwasher. Okay. Now you have my full attention. So I see two socks...navy blue to be exact. Look to be your size. I'll go out on a limb and say that they're yours Oh look! I made a play on words. Out on a limb...sock...leg... Get it?MR. EVERYBODY
You should get your own comedy show. Now take a good look at them. Come closer. What do you see now?MRS. EVERYBODY
What do I get if I give you the right answer?MR. EVERYBODY
Stop with the snarky remarks and look closely at themMRS. EVERYBODY
Here - hand them over. Okay. Like I said before, "a" pair of socks. Should I be look for something else? Are they socks from outer space?MR. EVERYBODY
Do you notice something...off, perhaps?MRS. EVERYBODY
Hmmm...can't say that I do... The left one is worn out a bit at the toe?MRS. EVERYBODY
(holding up a sock in each hand
Now what do you see?MRS. EVERYBODY
One sock in the left hand and another in the right. What's this big mystery?MR. EVERYBODY
How about the size of both of them?MRS. EVERYBODY
I dunno...you take a size 10 shoe. I'll go out on a limb here and say that those socks, those very socks are size 10. Can we stop playing quiz show and get to the heart - or toe in this case - of the sock issue?MR. EVERYBODY
You're right that these socks are navy blue but something is offMRS. EVERBODY
Of course! You're barefoot. Put them back on and the mystery is solved. MR. EVERYBODY
Getting closer to the point I'm trying to make. What do you think would happen if I put them back on?MRS. EVERYBODY
Your feet would be warm? I dunno!MR. EVERYBODY
Here - let me show you(MR. EVERYBODY puts socks on his feet)(Cont'd.)
Now what do you see?MRS EVERYBODY
Uh-huh...I see now... One of your legs has shrunk. That happens in old age. MR. EVERYBODY
Not! They do not match. Not partners. Single socks. Looking for mates. Get the picture?MRS. EVERYBODY
Now I see what this is all about. You know - your pant legs cover up the socks. Nobody knows and I can assure you I won't tellMR. EVERYBODY
That's not the point. Somewhere in the sock drawer...MRS. EVERYBODY
...or sock bag. There are a lot of single socks looking for a partner...MR. EVERYBODY
You mean, there could be a matching sock to this one? Last week I wore a black sock on the left foot and a blue one on the rightMRS. EVERYBODY
I'm sure nobody noticed. Did anyone say anything?MR. EVERYBODY
They were probably too polite to mention anything especially since I was wearing a grey suit at the time!MRS. EVERYBODY
These things do happen. You should check more carefully next tmeMR. EVERYBODY
"I" should check? MRS. EVERYBODY
Uh-oh! Darn dishwasher is acting up again. Sounds like somebody is playing a set of drums. When are you gonna call a repair guy? The neighbor upstairs is gonna complain again and there she goes, right on time! 'Okay Mrs. Bud-inski! I know!'
I better go upstairs and calm the poor woman down.MR. EVERYBODY
What about the sock situation?MRS. EVERYBODY
What about it? Why don't you go take a look in the sock bag in the cupboard and maybe you'll get lucky and find your sock's mate. Then they can live happily ever afterMR. EVERYBODY
The last time you went up to calm down Mrs. Bud-inkski, you disappeared for a couple of hoursMRS. EVERYBODY
Is it my fault she makes yummy strawberry cheese cake and buys off my silence? NEXT TIME: AT THE MALL: THE EVERYBODYS' LOOK FOR A PARKING SPOT
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ZOO DIARY –THANKSGIVING – TURKEY’s DILEMMASCENE: CITY ZOO Thanksgiving eve. The zoo denizens are upset with the zoo directorate having not been included in the Thanksgiving celebrationsOnce again, we’re not included in Thanksgiving festivities Did you really expect to? I mean, why should they? Who are we? Merely the tools in which they make money. That’s all - and how do they thank us? Closing the zoo for the day so we can’t even expect extra treats from visitors. This is so typically…human
SOUND: GOBBLE-GOBBLE… GOBBLE-GOBBLE….
Noise? What noise? Are my stripes straight? ‘You are magnificent… Those teeth…those sparkling eyes…’ Maybe if you’d get your face away from that mirror and stop admiring yourself… A person has to make sure that he looks good from every angle. Being the sole representative of the zebra specie in this zoo comes with a responsibility. A daily body examination is necessary to ensure that all my black stripes are evenly spaced on my perfectly white skin. ‘Yesssss! Perfection personified!’ Far be it to burst your bubble, Zeeb… …I am not zeeb - or zebby - or zeeby-baby. I’m a zebra. Z-E-B-R-A!RAT Gotcha Zebby-boy – like I was sayin’ – the way that I see it, the stripe on your upper right leg doesn’t well…match the left
What?! You must be mistaken. It’s not possible… How could this be? I just checked it not two minutes ago and it was perfectly aligned
(MANNY, the boa constrictor slithers in)
Manny – you’re out. Free. Did you eat lunch, yet? Yes Manny – I do hope they’ve fed you some nourishment. I mean, it’s important to keep up your strength. We don’t want you slithering around hungry looking for anybody, heh-heh… That’s the last thing we want…being that we’re your friends and all…that is to say, we don’t want you to experience hunger pangs… As I remember, I had a nibble a month ago. Sure is quiet around here. No humans to knock on the glass of my enclosure NOISE: GOBBLE-GOBBLE GOBBLE-GOBBLE… There it is again. Sounds familiar-like… (a turkey suddenly drops down from a tree) A tree chicken. Never knew chickens live in trees. I am a turkey who requires sanctuary …turkey…I am – um – an endangered specie. Yes – that’s it and am declaring myself on the extinct list thus requiring sanctuary You must be someone important judging by your extensive vocabulary. All cultured and important species have an extensive vocabulary – and a beautiful body, of course I am. In fact, I can state with absolute knowledge that I am number one on everyone’s hit list, today(slithering closer) Well I for one, believe you. You do look very appealing – in an endangered species way of course Wish we could help, turkey, but we live out in the open I could send a protest letter to the Zoos of America if that could assist you in any way(slithering almost directly in front of TURKEY) Well turkey – really feel for you, in the true sense of the word. I just happen to live inside in a huge glass enclosure that has lots of hiding places. Why don’t you come back to my pit and check things out? I live alone and there’s nobody to bother or see us That’s a very generous offer on your part – - Manny – TURKEY Manny Anything for a friend in need. (the two start to make their way to MANNY’s place) The farmer takes good care of me. You can see for yourself when we get back to your pit. Oh I intend to
(cont’d.) Did anyone ever tell you that you have a beautiful, full body. I bet under all those feathers, you have nice firm flesh
Later…when we’re alone…they’ll be plenty of hugging to go around…
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SCENE: CITY ZOO. DAWN'S EARLY LIGHTSome of the zoo denizens are gathering together in preparation for the daily opening of the zoo. A whistle breaks the morning silence. The whistle is repeated again and again. A boa constrictor (MR. SQUEEZE) slither's out from the shadows.MR. SQUEEZEHello? Anyone? RATOh fer… That wasn`t the signal! It was supposed to be a bird callMR. SQUEEZEI think not! As I recall during the last meeting, we took a vote and decided on a whistle.RATYou left before the meeting ended. Remember?MR. SQUEEZEPerhaps…my memory isn’t what it used to be. Um…Ratty dear – you do have a lovely body…so smooth….so tempting…not a blemish anywhere… I mean, you keep yourself in such good shape. Your tail is especially attractive as a nice, little snack… I mean to say, located right there on your backRAT(running his hands up and down his tail)You think so? I have been told that by many… Why are you staring at me like that?MR. SQUEEZEHow about a nice hug, from one friend-to-another?RATYou have had supper, right?MR. SQUEEZEIf you can call cat food supper. The financial cutbacks here at the zoo leave me hungry and wanting moreRAT(backing up)Where is everyone, anyway? MR. SQUEEZEIs there any more news about the zoo being on the verge of bankruptcy? What will happen to us? It’s getting to the point that everyone is looking very – um – appealing – in the looks sense of courseRATThere’s no limit to what changes they’ll make to save a buck. We’re at the top of the list for sure. (A shadow emerges into the zoo light)(cont'd.) RAT Well it’s about time!ZEBRAI was memorizing my lines my dear man. We must emote. We must open our mouths to properly enunciate the words like this: “loooo-loooo-loooo…la-la-la-la…Me-me-me…” That’s the secret in being an adept thespian, like me. I’ll be doing a solo in the show tonight so I have to be readyRATYou haven’t heard? The show is cancelledZEBRASay what?MR. SQUEEZEUm…zebra - has anybody told you that you have a striking body structure? Do you mind if I lick you a bit? I mean, to say of course, what makes you tick as an actor?ZEBRAWhy thank you! Appearance if very important for an actor, y’know! Body appeal and all…audiences expect it, unlike other animals who shall remain unmentionedRATLet's practice in case they want us to perform for the paying customers. Who has the script, anyway?MR. SQUEEZEThe cheetah was supposed to make copies for everyoneCHEETAH(bouncing out from behind a tree)Somebody talking about me? Cheetah’s my name and running is my gameZEBRAWhere are the scripts or did you use them to line your den, again? CHEETAHA cheetah needs to make renovations now and then! You are looking particularly delicious tonight, zebra baby…that is to say, very fat and luscious… Of course I mean to say, so masterful in a leadership kind of wayZEBRAYou forgot to take your appetite depressants again, didn’t you? Ohmygawd! Run and hide!CHEETAHHe’s at it again, accusing me that I’m off my meds! Anybody tell you you’re very appealing – in an intellectual sort of way, zebra? Why don’t we go back to my den and discuss it? I’d like to show you my etchings…ZEBRAOh you’d like that, wouldn’t you? Just like the last actor you invited up. All we found of him was a paper fragment with the word HELP! You disgusting beast!RATEnough! Everyone – back to your cages. It’s almost dawn and the visitors will soon be arriving. Does everyone know their parts?MR. SQUEEZEI lay around and look hungry. No problem there.ZEBRAI’m supposed to run back and forth and chew what is left of the one pathetic patch of grass. The ground is almost bare and my bones are beginning to stick outCHEETAHI like to suck bones… I mean, that is so sad!RATAnd we rats will be…rats. A few fights - a few deaths… Okay – places everyone. The zoo is openingCHEETAHMmmmmmm – that young visitor looks quite delicious…of course I’m referring to that cotton candy he’s eatingRATNow Cheetah, let’s not have a repeat of last week’s incident. Okay everyone – look cute! The paying customers are here! Places everyone! The show must go on!