Sunday, April 19, 2009

Butter must be charming; margarine more so. (It's The TBOE Roundup!)

It's Sunday morning, and I'm spending it, I imagine, doing what almost everybody does with their Sunday mornings: Musing about poetry, writing about sociopathic guys being hunted by other sociopathic guys, and provoking violent physical reactions in people simply by mentioning breakfast food.

Let me hasten to add that I'm not using "sociopathic" in that paragraph in any sort of clinical sense. I mean it in the same sense that everyone uses words like that: the "I'm going to use a big word and hope my readers think I'm intellectual and junk" sense.

In other "intellectual and junk" updates, it's time for some more of my favorite comments, including another one that was left on my old "Best of" Blog, the one I no longer post to. Reading "The Best Book I Think Of When I Think Of The Words 'The Best Book,' " Dorie LaRue writes:

I connected with everything you wrote, except I've always loathed The Great Gatsby, and me, an English teacher. Personally I would not want to hang out with any of those people in the novel. I know I was supposed to see their superficiality as entertaining, but why read that if you gots Flannery o'Connor, if you gots Ralph Ellison, gots Thomas Mann, gots Updike, Paul Theroux, Edna O'Brien.

Especially do I agree for your reasons that people don't read, and add one more: digital natives expect instant entertainment...I read aloud to my college class The Overcoat because I knew they wouldn't read it left to their own devices. To make them interested you have to read it aloud stopping ever so often to point out stuff...

Dorie, it's always nice to preach to the choir. And I've even read one of those authors you mentioned: Paul Theroux's The Mosquito Coast, a fascinating, great book that I'd forgotten about until I read your comment and now wish I had around to go page through. I'd have rather read that twice than anything by Chaucer.

Chaucer could have used some guidance from reader Le Yo, who followed up on the competing nominations for Best Fake Musical by noting this:

"All novels have one of two plots: someone goes on a trip or a stranger comes to town."-- John Gardner.

Which prompted me to run through every novel I could think of (and some comic books) and see if that was true. (It's certainly true about this one, which uses both of those plots...) So the ultimate novel, I think, would be one in which an assistant manager at an aquarium has to get out of town because of the arrival of a mysterious stranger. Look for that soon in bookstores. (Right after I publish "John Tyler: Space President.")

And speaking of Chaucer, Scott Dunlop, of Husbands Anonymous, paused from linking Dr. Seuss to violent crimes to be poetically repulsed by not one, but two of my posts.

First, Scott wrote this about my dreams of getting rich through butter sculpting:

Let's be honest, that didn't look much like Elvis. Very poor sculpting indeed. Surely it goes rancid? a ton of rancid butter must be charming- rancid butter elvis...

A comment which stands alone for its lucid criticism of the shortcomings of butter sculpting, and because it contains almost-a-haiku:

A ton of rancid
butter must be charming -
rancid butter elvis.

Scott wasn't done there, though: He hated the idea of The Best New Food:

What is it about your posts that have the ability to provoke physical response:
This time, I threw up a little in my mouth.

At least he wasn't reading the one about Nick Lachey. I won't stand for any Lachey-bashing here.

Scott's credentials as a foodie might be lacking, though, because while he wasn't impressed by toaster-sausage-puffs, he does dream of Sherbert-Flavored Rasputin sucker, so we both love Communist Candy:

It's a gift- to be able to represent a frog wearing a crown in sillhouette only. I am enthralled. Also hoping for the day they make other sweet figures- you could cut the head off gi joe and replace it with those... Put him in a glass box, enbalmed.
Why stop at dictators? Why not Florence Nightingale, or a Rasputin one, filled with sherbert, that foams at the mouth.
Interesting. You have made me think needless thoughts once more. Thank you.

Scott would also probably have words to say to Lisa Pepin -- writer of Lost In Provence, reviewer of bottled water -- who liked the idea of Toaster Strudels:

Holy crap. Is it wrong that I really, really want one of these?

To which I say: NO, it's not wrong, regardless of what Scott says. It's very right. What's wrong is Scott's sushi pizza.

No comments: