Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Great Frolic & the Coming World with its Excess of Writers and Pediatricians

The Great Birthday Frolic Poll

The Boy wants to be a genetic engineer.

The Ten Girls (ages 13 & 14) want to be:
1. H: a veterinarian
2. R: a writer (of fantasy)
3. V: an architect
4. M: a makeup artist
5. E1: a veterinarian
6. A: a writer; and, perhaps, a singer
7. C: a pediatrician
9. E2: a clothing designer
10. L: a pediatrician

Sweeping Generalizations to be Derived (from a ridiculously small sample):

1. When I was a child, They were busy telling us that there were no differences between girls and boys... When I was a child, They were wrong.

2. No wonder there are so many writers!

3. Girls naturally gravitate to the lower end of the pay scale: not two orthopedic surgeons (or genetic engineers) but two pediatricians.

4. Look at the world to come: There are lots of dogs and lots of children, architect-designed shelter, and books to read. We're well dressed and looking good. It's a round life, warm and lively. The Boy can go off and play genetic engineer if he likes, but the pediatricians will tease him if he causes problems. There are no soldiers, not much in the way of science, and no cut-throat climbers.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The three days of The Great Birthday Frolic have come to an end, the last hurrah being a dinner with godparents and another cake. All candles on all cakes were successfully blown out, all wishes collected and kept secret.

The sylphs' 2-day Party with Silly Hats was an astonishing lark, a non-stop event with many English accents, much dressing up and changing of garments from the Infinite Dress-up Box, skits (Pythonesque in spirit), teasing of The Boy & the Little Brother (but not the Big Brother), four bouts of eating (with laughter), hide-and-seek with precipitous dives down the back stairs into the kitchen and much scrunching into tiny places, games of detection, etc.

The Little Brother will never be the same. Enchanted, he wants them all. To live with us and be ours. Forever.

It was rather like having a troop of fairies invade the house for the length of one of those odd fairyland moments that are also seven years. They were tireless, mischievous, sweet, and definitely not made of the same substance as the rest of us who are not dressed in silks and funny hats and who are no longer made of the immortal flesh of childhood.

1 comment:

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.