Monday, April 23, 2007



'I cannot go to school today,' Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
'I have the measles & the mumps.
A gash, a rash, and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry. I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chickenpox
ther's one more-that's seventeen. And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue-
It might
be the instamatic flue.
I cough and sneeze and gasp & choke I'm sure that my left leg is broke
My hip hurts when I move my chin
My belly-button is caving in
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained My 'pendix pains each time it rains
My nose is cold, my toes are numb
I have a sliver in the thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak, I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight
My temperature is one-o-eight
My brain is shrunk I cannot hear
There is a hole inside my ear
I have a hangnail and my heart is ---what?! What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is ... Saturday?! G'bye, I'm going out to play!

~Shel Silverstein

As a young kid, I was an avid reader. I loved to prop myself up on a tree limb so I could oversee the world around me or I'd coop myself in a closet to escape the world of four walls and all held within ... with some black & white of someone else's colorful world to read. I'd make a teepee out of my bedsheets and read well beyond the wee hours of the night, often not finding sleep until my father had arisen to fetch his morning paper.
In the summer of my third grade, I was given
lone time with my grandparents some 5 hours north of where my family lived. My grandmother indulged me at the general store allowing me to buy a good book or two. When she discovered that I had blazed through my books in no time, she told me to grab a book from her Harlequinn closet... where she kept the motherload of paperback fantasies to be traded with her fellow romance reader friends. The shelves were stacked with books running left to right, two and three rows deep. Shelf after shelf of them. The summer of 76 saw the beginning & end of my romance novel reading ways. It was a summer of love.

Nana and I spent our week-days lounging by the pool, readin
g our romance novels in between trips to the bakery, farmers' market & the butcher. On Fridays, we went to the laundromat & while the clothes were spun clean, we spun wild stories of the harlequin kind in our minds.

My a
unt was a school teacher who lived in Atlanta & while I was at Nana's for the summer, she came down to visit. Upon discovering my nose dug deep in some silly novel she dropped her jaw to the floor and asked me what I was reading. I told her it was a story about a girl whose mother had died & found herself to be the orphaned at the age of 18 because she had never known her dad. Upon her mother's death, she discovered that her father, who had died many years earlier had left her a mansion with lots of horses. She moved there and was falling in love with her dad's equestrian partner.

My Aunt went to the kitchen & I heard "Mother! You can't let her read those books! She's just a child!"

My g
randmother laughed..."Can you beleive how well she reads?! She can read an entire book in just a day or two. She's read almost all of the ones written by Violet Winspear...I am so proud of her."

"Mother! Those books are full of smut!"

"No more than our newspapers, magazines & television."

"Mother! They are filled with explicit details."

ot as explicit as the National Geographic! Now, calm down. A good fantasy or two never hurt anyone."

"Mother! She's too young... she'll develop nymphomania!"

"My Lord Child, there are worse things than that and at least she's reading! Now just calm down."

My mind raced...what was the problem? Why shouldn't a young girl read romance novels? What was so explicit about National Geographic? What was nyphomania?

Later I asked my Aunt what nymphomania was & she shot me the eye. "Well....?"

"It's a disease & you don't want it. It affects your mind" and like another page turned in my little romance novel, the subject was changed.

Months later, now in fourth grade, I found myself dreading school. I was sick of little Abby with her painted red nails & I was sick of calling time on the swingset. I was sick of the walk to school & that crazy dog who would latch hold of my pants leg and not let go. I was just sick of school. Hmmm....

I couldn't tell my mother that I was sick of such things and honestly expect to be allowed to skip school for the day. No. Those sicknesses would never work. I needed to be sick, seriously sick to be allowed to stay home. Then it hit me...

"Mom I can't go to school today. I'm sick... really sick"

"Well, you don't look sick."

"I'm really sick Mom! It's not the kind of sickness you can see."

"Really? Well, what kind of sickness is that?"

"I think I have nymphomania. It's a disease of the mind."

Momma said 'Just Give Me Peace'


vicci said...

I am still laughing!!! I think I have that disease also! I LOVE....LOVE..... to read! Anything! Love your post (as usual) you! (as usual)!!!!!

Matt said...

You definately don't have ADHD.

Pixie said...

OMG Thats so funny...did reading all that smut have a negative effect on you ?

I tent to think not ;)

Hammer said...

lol. I wish I had thought of that.

I was 10 when I read james michener books and others with graphic sex scenes and they didn't affect me...Much ;)

paulo said...

That's really funny.

My grandma was really religious and super strict about what media I consumed around her. I don't think she had any books around that she didn't buy at the Christian book store.

singleton said...

God bless Nana! And all she ever taught us......
Where our precious little Aunt came from I'll never know....."Dear Prudence!"

mindy said...

lol!! that is so funny!!! i think i had a case of that myself. :)
i love shel silverstein!! :)

Scott from Oregon said...

I was one of those "reading ahead of schedule" kids. I didn't like sitting still though, when the world beckoned.

I was thinking how tough it would be to be married to a woman who read a lot of romance novels.

I mean... I don't think I've ever had a throbbing staff of infinite passion or looked all that good wearing silk scarves or sounded all that great trying to speak with an Italian accent.

I don't have coal-smoke eyes and I hate long sleeves, so those puffy pirate shirts are just an irritating thing to wear...

See what I mean...

Imagine being poor hubby, just pushin' away, knowing his wife has seen and done way more amazing stuff in her fantasy novel reading mind...

Nymphomaniac is right!

Bardouble29 said...

I your blog. Just yesterday I left a comment about Shel Silverstein being one my all time favs when I was a girl. I was an avid reader also, I read anything I could get my hands on. I willed away the world when I was reading. I hid, I wished, I explored, I dreamed. *sigh*

linalani said...

hehehe...if only we get off work for that 'disease'

children..all over the world are the same:D

Mel said...

Bless your mother. LOL

Gotta love Silverstein. He's composed the list for me and I'm gonna use the first one this morning!
It's too nice out to be at work!

wreckless said...

When I taught Fifth Grade, I gave a very troublesome but yet intelligent student of mine a challenge. Memorize that poem! He did it and I had him present it to other classes.
I loved hearing your story of growing up. What are you currently reading? I love getting new ideas and hearing reviews.

SpongyBones said...

Better than the books, I was reading as a kid. Mine were much smaller and sort of like... oh wait they were mags. Never mind.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Vicci~ I too love to read & still find it difficult to fall asleep without something readable curled up between my fingers!

Dr Matt~ Thank you! Lol, if the good docs could have seen me blazing through those books, surely they would have agreed too! ;)

Pixie ~ Lol, bad effects. I do think that this was when I realized that some folks considered the nudity in the National Geographics to be questionable for kids.... something I have never had an issue with.

Hammer ~ Lol, I remember reading a book or two that thru my father for a loop. Helter Skelter being one. Hey, if someone was gonna leave a book already read laying around, I'd pick it up. Lol, it wasn't long after this that I also learned that Playboy was also considered questionable by some... which got me in a heap of trouble.

Paulo ~ Lol, different strokes for different folks. My grandmother's books were not racy at all & I think she was just tickled for the greater good of reading.

Singleton~ Lol, our Aunt was a wild child ... that much I know! She may try to seem ultra-conservative, but I know better! LOL...Nana's spirit lives long & deep within all of us...we are so blessed.

Mindy~ Shel Silverstein is wonderful and the point he makes in this little poem is hilarious. Amazing that he's most known for 'The Giving Tree' when he has so many other fantabulous works.

Scott ~ It's rumored taht there is a fine line between fantasy & reality and that line is called 'insanity.' LOL... I guess I was lucky to escape with only the nymphomania.

Bardouble ~ Hahaha...I find thta easy to beleive. Had we grown up together, we would have squabbling over places to retreat & swapping good reads.

linalani~ hahaha if I tried that line at work I would be sent to the doctors immediately for a random drug test. Ah...ignorance is bliss.

Mel~ Yay for you being out of work...I have to get ready to go in just a wee bit! Hahaha the things mother's hear & the lessons they teach are unlike any book out there, they are never-ever ending.

Wreckless ~ What a great idea with that student! It's one of those poems that is 10x better when read aloud. Currently I am reading a book called 'Beyond tuesday Morning' as it was recommended & given to me by a dear friend. It's about a woman post 9/11 & her faith. I just finished reading 'Derailed' which was made into a movie & was actually more entertaining than what I am currently reading. I read whatever is given to me as I live in a small town with no bookstore coupled with the fact that buying books is not in my budget.

Spongy, Lol I went thru a stage where I was truly addicted to comic books ...going to and thru all measures to get the latest editions. They were such quick reads and luckily that fascination didn't stretch too deeply into my adult life.

justrun said...

Oh, too funny!

I love to read but often find myself not doing enough of it. Whenever I get back into in, though, I'm always glad I did!

wreckless said...

hey, you were climbing rocks this weekend?!!!!! I am sooooo jealous! I am dying to know where you live to do this. I understand not divulging it specifically however.

Slick said...

lol...girl, you crack me up.

How long did it take Mom to get over that one?!

CS said...

Here via Orhan's blog. How'd your Mom react to that? - at least it's a fun disease!

I, like the view said...

lovely poem at the beginning

and lovely recollection, as ever

I remember one day (just the one mind) when my mother let me take the day off, when she knew I was faking it

I spent all day drawing a picture of a tiger, in oil pastels; I took it into school a while later and it was put in an art exhibition. . .

I felt so guilty!

it was awarded a gold star. . .

I felt even worse!!

weird, eh? but thank you for the recollection, as this has reminded me of something I had forgotten

I love your blog, it always does this for me

thank you SLB thank you!

Nithya N said...

hahahahahah...that's cute! i always prefeered school becuase my mo made it so boring the two times i stayed at home. she's smart!

Orhan Kahn said...

I truly am amazed at just how many beautiful angles your has. I do wish I grew up with more books in my life :)

skinnylittleblonde said...

Justrun~ I read a few pages each night before I fall asleep. Every now & again I will find a book that sucks me right in & I can't put it down.

wreckless~ :) I live in Georgia. It's a beautiful place to live if you like going outdoors.

cs~ Lol, my mom has heard it all. One day my brother said he didn't feel like going to school because his eyelashes were hurting him. on another note, Orhans' blog is the bomb, isn't it?

iltv ~ Lol, you really are an angel. Not weird at all! This is life...pure & simple :) I always felt guilty when I played sick just to stay out of I just start skipping at a young age. LoL!

Nithya~ Your parents had quite the trick there! Two days missed & that's it?! That's really rare here.

Orhan~ Lol, Did you & Singleton sneak a beer?
Since there were 7 people in my house when I was little there was a v-a-r-i-e-t-y of reading material around & I found reading to be a great escape. I wish you'd had more too, as I feel like books are especially important to/for children

Anne said...

Aw, Skinny, what a cute story! And a cute poem at the beginning too.
I never cared about romance novels, but I'm glad your grandmother let you enjoy them.
So, you didn't end up developing nymphomania, did you? lol :)

skinnylittleblonde said...

Lol, Anne...I need to come see you. I have read a couple of your posts that I haven't commented on yet....I think kiyotoe(sp?) had said what I basically felt on the earlier post. Sometimes I lurk :)
Anyhoo, yes, romance novels saw me through a summer, but that's about it. And no, I didn't end up with nyphomania...but sometimes I do think I have a sickness of the mind ;)lol

Spadoman said...

I recognized Silverstein right away. He was Maggie's favorite. There are still many of his books strwen around the place as oldest Grand daughter, Anna, likes him too, (probably because she knew Auntie Maggie did when she was her age).

Fortunate here to have the Mom of my children encourage them to read the fringe. People like Bombeck and Silverstein, Cleary and Paulson.

Good to stop by and see an old friend. Hope all is well with the sisters. Peace to all.

Behind Blue Eyes said...

I read anything that I could find too. I understood it intellecually, but I don't really think that I was mature enough to be reading some of it. If I had a kid that liked to read like I did, I would let them read what they wanted, but I would read it too and talk to them about it.

`NEFTY said...

LOL, funny excuses!

skinnylittleblonde said...

(((Spado))) Peace to you & yours, as well. Yes, our house sounds like yours...well littered with good reads. I love Silverstein too... I think anyone that reads it, loves it.

BBE~ I can't imagine not being able to read, but sadly we have a good bit of people here that are illiterate.

`nefty~ whatever it takes to meet the objective! LOL.

kj said...

you spin such a tale, skinny (ok, i've succumbed. it's your name, afterall!) first of all, i love this poem. i read it over and over for years. secondly, you write fabulous comedy. you are a writer.

since i am a writer also, i have some writing questions to ask you:
are you in a writing group where you can read your stuff outloud (it's a good thing); do you hope to be published?; is writing in your bones?

that's enough for now. oh, one more thing: this ending is A-plus.


I, like the view said...

hey skinny

you busy? can you spare me a mo? would you like to come to my birthday party tomorrow?

hope so!

skinnylittleblonde said...

kj ~ ;)Call me what you will, I was raised one of 5 kids & my own mother usually had to ramble thru at least 3 before she got to then I was already answering her. LOL. TY for the compliments, but really I'm not a writer. I read my posts outloud to by hubby every now & again. I've never thought about publishing anything...well that's not true I 'publish' these posts ;)

ILTV~ Oh, I am so there...I never like to miss out on a party! TY for the heads up ...I've been rather tangled up this past week or so & love the escape! TY!

Sandy said...

How fun to read.. Your blog looks so interesting. I'll be back when I have more time.

I remember reading Silverstein to my kids when they were little. Now I will have to read to my grandkids..