Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Conversation at the delagar Breakfast Table

The kid: There's this book at my school.

(They have a half-hour of silent reading at the kid's Montessori school, but she likes to check out the book selections with me first.)

Me: Yeah?

The kid: Sounder.

Me: Ah. No. Sad ending.

(The kid cannot handle sad endings. I don't mean she doesn't like them: I mean she goes into full-mode nervous breakdown. It's not a pleasant sight.)

The kid: (Heavy sigh): I thought it might be. There was a dog on the cover. Why do they write books for kids with sad endings.

Me: (After thinking a bit): Well, there are a lot of reasons, but the main one has to do with the patriarchy.

mr. delagar: (gives me a narrow look across the table.)

Me: Oh, deny it!

mr. delagar: I'm not denying it, I'm thinking it over.

Me: It's totally the patriarchy. A boy has to learn to kill the thing he loves, or he's not a real man.

mr. delagar: I'm thinking it's an initiation rite, but that might be the same thing. To get accepted into the society, the boy has to accept a certain role, which...

Me: a patriarchy, means being willing to kill things that love him and depend upon him to keep authority happy. That's what I said.

mr. delagar: Don't yell at me, I didn't write the books.

Me: They're totally evil, that's all I'm saying.

mr. delagar: What do you want, a book where the dog leaps up, bites out the boy's throat, and runs off to start a free society of dogs in the Yukon?

Me: Heh. Yes. That's exactly the book I want to read. That book.

Which, oddly enough, is exactly the book I'm writing.

Only without the dogs, mind you.

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