Prunes and Prism

RULES FOR YOUNG LADIES: Some arch advice on snagging a husband. Exercising the mouth into a pretty shape through repetition of certain words seems to have been an indoor sport for young nineteenth-century girls; in Little Dorrit, Charles Dickens' overly bred girl repeats, "papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism." (

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


When you get older, it's harder to keep your promises. You read a book that you love so much you're ready to move in, and you can't stop thinking about the characters, and your whole non-reading life just becomes an inconvenience that has to be endured. Then, 636 pages later, it's over, and you're grieving, and you have gone so deep with this book that you swear you will never discuss it with anyone, because to do that would mean it was not in fact expressly written for you alone.

And then you find yourself in an emergency room at midnight*, on an exam table with your feet in stirrups and a resident who is doing a well-meant but bad job of putting you at ease by asking what you like to do (when you're not in an emergency room with your feet in stirrups), and the truth is you don't like to do anything but read, and the cotton-tipped swab seems as long as a forearm, and you end up saying, "I really liked The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay."

Then there is nothing for it but to press on:

"It's about two cousins. And one's from Prague. But now they're in New York. And they, they draw comic books. And it's about their lives."

"And it's a comic book?"

"No, they make comic books."

"Oh. Well, I'll have to check that out."

And one of those sterile things she's unwrapping seems to be spring-loaded, because there's a KER-PLOING!!!!!!! and something flies over to hit the wall and drop out of sight. You look at the little smudge of goop left behind and wish you'd kept your mouth shut.

*Five hours later, everybody will decide you're in fine health.


Blogger Recovering Baptist said...

That's odd. I just started reading that book about a month ago, before I went into rehearsals for my show. Which was shredded by the Scene, by the by. I'm only about 100 pages in and it was losing me, but now I'll press on.

4:37 PM  
Blogger frostine99 said...

Wow, freaky that we picked it up at the same time! I didn't read it for a long time because I was sick of hearing about it, and who cares about comic books, anyway? Then I left a copy of it in a hotel room in San Francisco. Then I was going to try again, but for a number of reasons I thought I might be too saddened by Josef Kavalier. Finally I read it because there was nothing else in the library. Anyway, I loved it.

That guy at the Scene is a turd. I really wish I could see the show.

7:04 PM  

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