The Unbearable Banishment: My beachy weech

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My beachy weech

This summer's fluff beach reading includes British comedian/ actor/ drug addict Russell Brand's autobiography, My Booky Wook. It's a terrible title and he admits as much in the forward. I think it's derived from Cockney slang, but I could be wrong. In the U.S. printing of the book, he helpfully includes loads of footnotes that explain British cultural references for us clueless American readers. It just came out in paperback, which is the only way I roll. It's a fun read and surprisingly literate. Take a look at this well-constructed paragraph:

My relationship with Topsy quickly grew very intense. Perhaps because she was a problem dog, we had more in common than I'd initially realized. I sometimes cuddled her too hard so that she would yelp. "Here, have some of my painful love," my febrile embrace would tell her. "It is constrictive and controlling and painful, like all love should be." In later life, I have come to realize that any expression of love which ends in a yelp probably requires modification.

Isn't that great?! I think so. And there's plenty more where that came from. I'm a big fan of his work although I think his remake of Arthur with Helen Mirren and Jennifer Garner is ill-conceived. But it's a perfect book when your toes are buried in the sand.

* * *

In the past 24 hours, 4-Year Old daughter has:
  • Peeled the wallpaper off the wall while sitting on the toilet (bad) at my mother-in-law's house (worse).
  • Put a handful of pennies and nickles in her mouth. Gross.
  • Ate sand at the beach. Why? "Because I like it." WTF!? Who in their right mind would try to consume the Jersey Shore?!
For new readers, this is the same demon who cut our curtains with a pair of scissors last year. What should I do?! 8-Year Old never did stuff like this. Can I put her on medication if she didn't really need it from a medical standpoint? It's second child syndrome. I hope.


Anonymous daisyfae said...

my summer reading has been the 'millenium' series by stieg larsson. it manages to be sufficiently 'beachy mindless', yet it makes me feel smart at the same time. perfection...

July 17, 2010 at 7:07 PM  
Blogger Ellie said...

Surely there will be lessons learnt in Mr. Brand's publication.

July 17, 2010 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

I have yet to curl my toes in the sand of a beach this summer... perhaps I should do that soon. Unfortunately, it tends to be rainy on my days off. I am currently reading Michael Crichton's 'Next', which is all about genetics and right up my alley.

Obviously, you and Mrs. Wife were lulled into complacency with first daughter. Second daughter is jolting you out of that repeatedly, it seems! ;-)

July 17, 2010 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

I think we put too much effort into child one, she's embarrassingly intelligent.
Child two is too cool for school.
Child three is just good at everyfuckingthing!
And I've had a vasectomy.
(I don't care what they say, it DOES change what your stuff looks like!)
Takes the worry out of contraception though! :¬)
So, what were we talkin' about again?


July 17, 2010 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

LMAO @ Map!!!! I'm sure it does... there are bits missing.

July 17, 2010 at 10:21 PM  
Anonymous annie said...

My bff has two daughters spaced roughly the same as yours. Second one is demon seed.

Time will only make this worse. How old will you be when she turns 13 by the way?

July 17, 2010 at 10:43 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Daisy: That series is on my list. If it's the lazy path to feeling smart, then I'm all for it. Ulysses might make you feel smart, but it's too much work.

Ellie: I think there are lessons in there but since I'm in summer read mode, they'll probably all get by me unnoticed.

Ponita: Yes, it's been a rude awakening, to say the least. Someone with a second child should have warned us.

Map: I can assure you that there will not be a third child. I can barely handle these two, and they're easy!

Annie: Fortunately, by the Daughter II is 13, I'll be so old and senile that I won't know what's going on.

July 17, 2010 at 11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Following all these witty's me, showing my (seldom) pragmatic side.
The wallpaper probably (almost certainly?) was beginning to lift. I defy anyone not to peel once started.
Sand? Yeah, all healthy kids do that.

Oh...the quoted paragraph - yes, it is good.I venture to suggest that you'll still find it good when the Easterlies have blown your beach half way up Manhattan.

July 18, 2010 at 12:35 AM  
Anonymous nursemyra said...

Russ' writing is surprisingly good, I agree.

My two sons are chalk and cheese, the second was much more of a handful than the first. But of course they're both perfect now. You have that to look forward to.

And I'm still laughing at mapstew's comment

July 18, 2010 at 2:31 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

MIT: True confession time: When I was her age, I use to eat DIRT! By the spoonful. And I turned out okay. Didn't I???

Nurse: Why is the second one always worse?! It's almost a predictable part of our human condition. Everyone follows a template.

July 18, 2010 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger CiCi said...

Four year old adventures. She want to try things. Maybe the wallpaper was gross anyway. Ha.

July 18, 2010 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Unbearable, your nickle story reminded me I have a question.

What is a dime?

I have a load of them in my wallet, have done for the last 6 weeks, but absolutely no idea how much a dime is worth.

Is it 10 cents?

Why is this information not printed on the coin?

July 18, 2010 at 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heart Russel Brand. And kind find him icky at the same time. But he's marrying Katy Perry, so what's a girl to do?

July 18, 2010 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

TB: The Wallpaper is so strange. It has brief poetry quotes written in elegant script. You can read the wall while know.

Jo: Yes, a dime = 10 cents. 10p, so to speak. All this useful knowledge.

Dolce: Yes, he's pretty great. I feel bad for the two of them because the marriage will never, ever, ever, ever last. No way.

July 18, 2010 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Eryl said...

Russell Brand used to write a brilliant football column in one of the weekend newspapers here – Guardian or Observer, can't remember which – it was the only sports thing (including actual sports) I've ever enjoyed. I'd admire him for that alone, but those hips!

Your four year old sounds like she's not afraid to try stuff, maybe she'll be an inventor when she grows up.

July 18, 2010 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger InvisibleWoman said...

I suspect Booky wook is simply nursery slang as Brand tries to give the impression he's much more infantile than he really is

July 18, 2010 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

Totally off topic but dimes in Canada say '10 cents' on them. Do US dimes not?

July 18, 2010 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Cat said...

The oldest child is so worried about following the rules while the youngest child is all screw the rules - the obviously don't apply to me. My youngest has exhibited this over and over in her 15 years of life. Oh, and she is totally in love with Russell Brandt. I see lots more trouble ahead.

July 18, 2010 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

OK so he can write but he's done some pretty dire stuff. Maybe he's maturing.
Sorry but I had to laugh at your little girl, wall paper and your MIL:)
No beach alas but am spell bound by Antonia Fraser's account of her love story with Pinter: 'Must you go?'
Not a reference to Pinter's demise but what Pinter uttered when he met her at a late night party.

July 19, 2010 at 6:14 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Eryl: He's a fairly recent phenomena in the U.S. -- just within the last few years -- and I was quite taken with how well he can write. The book got great reviews, too.

IW: That's a clever tactic. Make yourself sound not-so-bright and then hit them with a smartly-written book. Do you suppose that's intentional?

Ponita: The do not. It's a guessing game.

Cat: They all seem to follow a template. Perhaps it's in our genes. You think yours is one-in-a-million but the truth is that they're all pretty much the same.

Pat: Harold Pinter? The playwright? He's one of those "you either get him or you don't" guys. I've seen a handful of productions and don't know what the fuss is. Give me Alan Ayckbourn every night.

July 19, 2010 at 6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe she misunderstood the meaning of sandwich?

July 19, 2010 at 7:24 AM  
Anonymous Sid said...

I love the 4 year old. 10 years from now she'll probably have a few piercings. Hope you're prepared for this.

July 19, 2010 at 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should have known from your nieces how different the two will be....and remember the apple does not fall from the tree!

July 19, 2010 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Here In Franklin said...

I too have peeled wallpaper in my upstairs bathroom. Only difference is I did it myself.

July 19, 2010 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger LibraryGirl62 said...

I loved Russell's book. I too found it very literate and very funny.
Re: Second child-sigh....

July 20, 2010 at 10:04 PM  

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