Sunday, October 07, 2012

Hey, You Never Know

A real friend sent along a dogeared Calvin and Hobbes collection. Just out of the blue, no explanation.

We have lots of books in the house; but many, if not most of them, are still in boxes and piled here and there in unsalubrious places. We even have some Calvin and Hobbes books in there somewhere, but none out and about. We were forced to go find them, because the little feller wants to read them all now that he's read one.

I love that illo by Gluyas Williams. It is an exact representation of little me, every day after school when I was young. There was a green jacquard chair in the corner of our tiny living room, with good light from the picture window, and a hassock before it to hold a heap of newspapers and books. My mother would take me to the library a couple of times a week, I'd max out the lending limit, and swim around the chair just as you see there. There was a mid-century modern fireplace surround hard by the chair, and I'd slowly walk my feet up the edge of the protruding bricks until I was upside down, and then I'd flop like a fish on the beach and start over. I'd never take my eyes off the page for any reason.

It's odd and wonderful to see the Spare Heir flopping around on a jacquard club chair and processing books like a little text shredder. My children do not love books like I did, but then again, there was no Intertunnel back then. They're reading all the time, one way or the other.

The vocabulary is quite challenging for a nine-year-old in C and H. We see him skip over to the computer and type a word into Google now and again when he's stumped. He gets it pronounced for him, too, which I was not aware you could do, but kids find what they need because they look everywhere for everything. You'd never find your car keys if they were on the roof of your house, because you'd never look there. You'd just look on top of your dresser over and over. A kid might start by looking on the roof.  Hey, you never know is a great way to go through life, even if it drills a lot of dry holes.

I don't know what possessed my friend to say Hey, you never know and send my boy the Calvin and Hobbes book. Maybe he's very smart, or maybe he's just lucky. But such questions are circular, because, Hey, you never know.


Sam L. said...

You are blessed from within the family and from without.

You're a good man, Mr. Sippi. I 'spect Mrs. Sippi is an even better woman.

Expat(ish) said...

A house without C&H? Horrors. I've been wanting the Compleate Waterston for years but I think we got 'em all.

My 11 year old recently spent precious allowance at the used bookstore to buy the missing Dilbert books. Dilbert at 11? Wow.


Thud said...

I'm going upstairs to dig my copies out,too long since I've read them, I may let my oldest girl take a peek.

Leon said...

now get out the far side and if you're of a European bent, Asterix and Obelix they are full of puns both visual and verbal.
i was just interested to see how someone who makes furniture and is as opinionated as you furnishes their house.

Russell said...

Heck, I still read books like that, but lately it's been while clutching a Kindle more often than a paper version.

Jonathan Cook said...

Reminds me of when my son was in 2nd grade and had to read x pages every week for school. But comic book were expressly disallowed - so his C&H collection couldn't be counted, no matter how much we pleaded our case.
I don't recall any of the approved books mentioning "dialectical metaphysics" or "existential angst" or any of a dozen other such topics C&H regularly brought up.

Deborah said...

Ack! You get all that snow in Maine. I can't wait to see what shows up in your yard---Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons.

teresa said...

We recently discovered Archie and Mehitabel, which I guess could be considered a forerunner of C&H. Archie is a cockroach who types out his existential angst by hopping on each key (of a real typewriter of course). Full of entertaining vignettes and even some of the political stuff of the day is relevant now. Nothing new under the sun I guess.
You have a pretty smart kid there, Mr. S.

leelu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leelu said...

My daughter just about read the ink off my Peanuts comic collections when she was young. Every time she came over, she wound up reading at least one of them.

(Proof reading is Good. Proof reading is Good.)

Paradigm Shift Enterprises said...

You can notice nowadays that children are already into the techie world and they are aware of the things in the computer. But always be sure to watch your child always for they may scan something that they don't have to see. I guess, you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

I carefully saved all my Calvin and Hobbes books along with my Far Side collection. They now make up a significant portion of my son's leisure reading. Last year he made a snow Godzilla ravaging a tiny snow Tokyo. My daughter thinks I've turned him into a geek. I think I've made him interesting.