The oddest board book ever!
That's a bit of a lie, actually. This book is just one of a series called Baby Be of Use, published by the fine folks at McSweeney's. They do nifty stuff.
The blurb from Amazon: Many people are parents, and many parents are thirsty. Yet too many parents allow their infant sons and daughters to lie about idly: napping, drinking milk, and whatnot. Why not put them to work? Observe how tots enjoy the shapes and colors, all the while learning how to mix a variety of basic cocktails. Thanks, Baby!
I never taught my sons to do anything weird when they were babies. My youngest son, when he was but a toddler, developed the weird habit of breaking into a butt-shaking dance whenever he heard "Bad Boys," the theme from Cops. For a long time I worried that he might become a Rastafarian, but instead he became enamored with Alice Cooper, which must go over great at his military school. We currently have a deal that if he makes the honor roll, I have to hire Alice Cooper to play a concert in our back yard. I'm not sure how Alice would feel about that. I'm pretty sure the neighbors would hate it.
Email of the day:
Dear Dr. Missy,
I get a lot of rejection letters. Where do they all come from?
Linda (not my real name)
You think you get a lot of rejection letters? Hah! I just talked to my agent and she said that in 2006 I received 944 rejections. That's bad enough right there, but 765 of those rejections were from publishers who hadn't been sent any of my stuff. It appears that they heard about my work and sent preemptive rejections in case my agent decided to send them something.
All rejections come from a large, low-slung black building on the outskirts of Shumway, Illinois. There's no signage on the building, and the few windows are blacked out and covered with bars. A 12-foot tall electrified steel fence topped with razor wire surrounds the property. The perimeter is patrolled by heavily armed guards and attack dogs. Three Apache helicopters armed with Hellfire heat seeking missiles and dual Gatling guns constantly hover over the building. There is only one entry gate, and anyone who wishes to pass through is strip searched and their cars examined with minute care. Sometimes the cars are completely dismantled right there at the gate. Sometimes the cars are set on fire.
Entry to the building itself is gained only by having one's retina patterns scanned and then inserting an electronic card impregnated with the user's DNA into a solid titanium lock. After that, there's a cavity search and the admittee is forced to sing a popular show tune in a minor key.
It's called the Black Hole. It's the place where all submissions go, no matter to whom they are sent. Every submission, large and small, good and bad, ends up in the Black Hole. No one knows what goes on inside. The only people seen entering and exiting the building are a few elderly women and a short, heavily-built man wearing one of those spiked German army helmets from WWI.
There are rumors that in 1998, an author managed to gain entry to the Black Hole. He was caught almost immediately. Soon after, the air around Shumway was filled with his agonized screams. Many residents say they can no longer sleep at night because they can't get those screams out of their heads.
They say the president wanted to visit the facility but was turned down. So was the vice president, and the governor of Illinois. Interestingly, David Hyde-Pierce, star of TV's "Frazier" was allowed inside, but no one knows what he did there. It was later reported that he was treated at a hospital in Funkhouser, Illinois for a badly infected paper cut.
All of the trees within fifty yards of the Black Hole have spontaneously burst into flame. A catfish was caught in a nearby pond that was normal in every way. This was a serious problem, as Shumway had long advertised itself as the "home of the three-eyed catfish pond."
Take my word, Linda. The Black Hole is an evil place.
A note about the CD of the Week. Every time I look at the cover, I hear this conversation in my head:
Man: Hello, Mr. Gibson, how are you getting along?
Mr. G: Just fine. How about you?
Man: Couldn't be better. Say, what's your son Harry doing these days?
Mr. G: He's a hipster.
Man: Ah. Is this a good thing to be?
Mr. G: Damned if I know.