Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Beatrix: The Original Magical Potter

Dear Friends, 

  Tradition would suggest that a downbeat piano jazz anthem could never be a Hard Taco song. Well, Tradition, if you come close I'd like to whisper something into your ear... SLAP! Oh, I'm sorry, my hand must have slipped... SLAP! There it goes again... slap, SLAP! Scroooof! 
   The Hard Taco song for August, "Only a Man," has now repeatedly beaten and humiliated Tradition. (Scroooof, by the way, is the sound of sand being kicked in the face.) If this piques your curiosity, give it a listen!  

   I have another amusing diversion to offer this month. How well do you know your dead children’s authors? One of the following passages was actually written by the named author, and the other three are imitations. See if you can figure out which one is real!

1. "Not Hungry?" 
by Shel Silverstein
I will not eat the muskrat meat 
I will not eat the stew 
I will not eat the tart, the treat 
Or candied kangaroo 
I will not eat flamingo feet 
Or camel cordon bleu 
I must forego the cookie dough 
And I know why, 
Do you? 
(Sketch of man with a dead baby duct-taped over his mouth and nose.) 

2. "The Tale of Mrs. Wiggle-Otter”
by Beatrix Potter 

  Mrs. Wiggle-Otter lived in a thatch-covered hamper pot with her husband Tobias and their four children, Stumpsy Butterwinkle, Ginny Tinsel-Moppet, Criminy She-Mouse, and Jesus Hamilton Spittlecock. Every morning she would dress them in pinafores and tuckers, box their ears, and send them to the rockery. (When they walked, it sounded like this: wap dap woodle dap, wap dap boodle dap.) 
   One day, Stumpsy Butterwinkle, who was the fattest, came upon the ewe, Pansy-Woolly thighs, alighting about the vegetable marrows. Stumpsy said, "I rather fancy your frock, Mrs. Woolly-Thighs." However, the ewe was not fine company and was so affronted by the comment that she determined to kick the young otter, who was fat. Stumpsy tried to flee through the foxgloves, but Pansy Woolly-Thighs stepped on his face and promptly ate him. It is said that if he had returned to the hamper pot, Mrs. Wiggle-Otter would have beat him soundly and put him to bed in the wickery. 

3. From "Sylvester the Jester and Other Stories" 
by Dr. Seuss 

I met an old fish on the way to Van Floomph 
Who shouted and shouted with burgeoning Vroomf, 
"Why lad," said the fish, "you look downcast and grim. 
But here's the solution... a kettle of BIM
This BIM is outstanding! It's one of a kind! 
The kettle's the softest and freshest you'll find!" 
I handed him seventeen splinks and a wettle 
And took home the BIM in the soft and fresh kettle. 

The very next day, the same fish was still there 
"Why lad," said the fish, "you look fraught with despair. 
Your BIM is unblotted, and lad, let me tell you 
You need a BIM-BLOTTER, and I've one to sell you! 
I handed a kwut and three wettles to him, 
And I purchased the object designed to blot BIM
From the soles of my feet to my common carotid 
I now felt complete, for my BIM could be blotted! 

The very next day, I could hear the fish speaking, 
"Why lad," said the fish, "Your BIM-BLOTTER is creaking! 
This creaking is irksome! You're quaking with ire! 
BIM-BLOTTER GREASER is what you require! 
The fact is the creaking is driving you nuts!" 
But I had no more wettles, no splinks, and no kwuts. 
"No sweat," said the fish, "I will give you one wettle 
In equal exchange for some BIM in a kettle." 

I accepted this trade, but could still not afford 
The BIM-BLOTTER GREASER, which I so adored. 
I stomped and I swooned, and my mouth filled with foam 
I quimbled with rage like a short-sheeted gnome. 
"No sweat," said the fish, and in less than a wink 
I had sold my BIM BLOTTER, and made half a splink. 

And now I'm still several splinks short of the price 
Of the BIM-BLOTTER GREASER, that crucial device 
And the lesson, dear friends, is beware of the Vroomf 
Of the fish on the road between here and Van Floomph! 

4. “Untitled”
by Anonymous child signing a guest book at a rented condo in Traverse City, MI 

What a condo? I am only 10 but I have been to many condos and this is heer a great one. I am shure we will come back another day. Thank you to everybody who let us use your condo. Tennis was so fun in the camp. My cousin won because she catched up to me. We are here with Poof and Gail. P.S. If you come here it will be great. 

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So, did you guess which one is the real one? I don't know how to write the answer upside-down at the bottom of the page, so I'll just write it backwards. (4 rebmuN s'tI)

With warmest regards,