Monday, December 22, 2008

why, indeed

Nine year-old Iris Uber Alles is reading that timeless classic, "From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler." She has no problem understanding why two children chose to run away from home to live in a museum; her problem is the framework, where the entire work is contained in a letter from Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler to her lawyer, and indeed she is puzzled by Mrs. Frankwiler's motivations vis-a-vis her lawyer. "Why would anyone want to see their lawyer?" she asked with genuine puzzlement.

Her litigator mother snapped back seriously, "Because lawyers are so smart and funny! They're great to be around!"

"I just don't get why someone would want to spend time with their lawyer."

"Lawyers are cute and adorable, like kittens! Who wouldn't want to spend time with them?"

At this point Iris dropped the discussion, unconvinced, but sure there was no point in further exploring her befuddlement.


Leslie said...

While I totally agree with you, IUA has a point. The whole letter writing part of that book is odd.

I covered that book with Eldest's book club a few years ago and we had such fun planning how to run away. Then they figured out they didn't have enough money to run away. My evil plot worked well.

Laggin, Esq.

hughman said...

this was one of my all time favorite books as a youngster. years later, when i actually lived in NYC, i would go to the Met and look for all of the various landmarks. i'd look in the fountains for change and count in my head my loot.

fun fact - the author came from the town i grew up in so i felt kindred to her.

even now, i want to take polly and run away from my life and live in a museum. i'd dress her up in old costumes and we could sleep on the floors of the temple of darfur. a few years from now, they could find my mummy lying in a sarcophogus with polly curled next to me. our jars of kohl would be within easy reach.