“I liked it all except the algebra and the shoes. The algebra hurt my head and the shoes hurt my feet.”
I managed to stay asleep until six. The house was cold when I woke up, colder than outside, the way it is some mornings this time of year. I didn’t want to get out of bed, but the idea of a hot cup of coffee convinced me. The papers had already arrived so I trekked to the driveway. The weatherman says 70˚ today. I’m hoping it will be.
When I know something odd, I always wish I remembered how I learned it. I guess all those books I read growing up were sources and sometimes inspirations to find out more. The supermarket encyclopedias, the ones with the red bindings, were also fodder for my memory banks. I used them for school, but I also thought of them as fun to read. I used to pick one volume, open a page at random and then read what was there. The end of the alphabet was one of my favorite volumes. I’ve always liked words which begin with x. They’re unusual, even a bit exotic.
I read the Tarzan series a long while back. In the first book, Tarzan, who was raised by an ape after the deaths of his parents, stumbles on the shack where he was born. He finds some books there and teaches himself how to read. Later he is also taught to speak French and to behave like a man, not an ape. The movies made him out to be a savage, an ignorant savage, but he was literate. I think it would have been cool to find a literate jungle man who swung from vines, someone who spoke a bit like Ape in George of the Jungle. I guess, though, he wouldn’t have been as interesting as Johnny Weissmuller and Me, Tarzan, You, Jane.
Doctor Dolittle was a favorite series of mine when I was young. His town had the best name: Puddleby-on-the-Marsh. I still remember those books and several of their characters including the pushmi-pullyu, Polynesia, the parrot, who taught Dr. Dolittle to speak with animals and Jib, his dog, who did the sweeping. I knew the books weren’t real, the word fiction was still a few years away for me, but that didn’t stop me from wishing I could speak with my dog. Those books are really dated now and probably aren’t read very much any more. The movies have taken their place or maybe, just maybe, they were inspirations for some lucky readers to find the books and lose themselves in the doctor’s adventures with the giant pink sea-snail, the floating island and the shoeless Prince Bumpo.Explore posts in the same categories: Musings comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.