Monday, June 12, 2017

How DaddyBear Rescued Me From the Dentist

And my book review is found here.

I have numerous reasons for loving DaddyBear the Minivandian and his crew: they are funny, heroic, silly, and real. The stories range from flatly ridiculous negotiations with a maple tree to stay out of the septic tank, to classically formed tales of the struggle between the Bad Guys and the Good Guys. This particular book, by the way, combines all of that. Here's how:
The ancient & wise terrapin storyteller gives  young Elsked, the son of DaddyBear and Ruarin, the backstory of his family. This provides the epic part of the book. In exchange, however, he demands that Elsked tell HIM stories as well. And so, the lad relates the things he knows about, and these are the sweet and delicious nuggets about flying dogs, etc. It's a nice, long compilation, and I can see this as being done very nicely as a book reading before a fire on long winter nights, with big-eyed children sipping hot chocolate, as Papa turns the pages and adds expression to his voice to   make the characters come alive.
Doubt that would work, but it's a nice image, isn't it?
So, those are the CONVENTIONAL reasons I love this book. Great story, stories-within-a-story, resolution of things I wondered about, and so forth. For this particular book, though, I have an additional and highly personal reason for my affection.
A million years ago, it seems, I started having really bad toothaches, which were to be expected, since due to some medical stuff, my teeth are all broken to pieces. So, partway through the million years, and as soon as possible, I got an appointment with the dentist, and she agreed to take me on an emergency basis. And shortly thereafter, I found myself hyperventilating in the dentist's chair, waiting on her to rip the crumbling chalk out of my jaw (one from the top jaw, one from the bottom). And, to help me get through the ordeal, I had this book on my Kindle reading app. So, I read about DaddyBear and Elsked killing the snow monsters, and it helped, it really did, to sooth my anxiety. (When the actual ripping-from-the-living-jaw part started, I turned to a podcast on military history.)
Wasn't done yet.
Later on in the million years, I realized I was still hurting more than should be expected, and had to return to the dentist to, it's just too horrible. I can't describe the experience. It would cause you to have ugly children.
Anyway, I again read about the adventures of Elsked and his family and the terrapin. And it helped.
By the way, the million years looked like one week to everybody else. To me, between the pain and the goofed head, it was a million years. And that wasn't helped by the diet Dr. Akbar stipulated: only soft and cold food.
So, lots of yogurt & banana smoothies, with vanilla protein powder. It's really a great exchange for a meal; for ONE meal, that is. For a regular diet, not so much. Soft and cold does NOT describe the French Fries everyone else was munching last Friday.
And then I made a WONDERFUL discovery on Saturday night! Do you know what ELSE is soft and cold, besides yogurt and banana smoothies?
And I had a big honken ham in the refrigerator, $2.49 per pound, because it's a whole shoulder, not a half shoulder! I took that 95 pound (I exaggerate) ham out of the fridge, got a knife and a Tupperware container, and I carved off my dinner!
Yes, it WAS delicious!

And, with the pain easing, and my hunger temporarily abated, I was able to return to my reading again. And last night, I read about "The Derby of the Wooden Chargers," and snickered, and hoped I didn't wake up my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA. You see, I am personally familiar with this event in our mundane world. It's called the Pinewood Derby, and it's something Cub Scouts do. In the story, Elsked negotiates with the ancient maple tree for a branch, then carves out a horse and rider. In real life, the boys are given a wooden block, and a bag of hardware. In BOTH worlds, there are rules. The racer must be under a certain weight; the majority of the work is to be done by the  Scout, etc. Elsked crafts a magnificent horse and rider, which are magically imbued with the ability to move, and despite a wonderful race, he comes in second. In REAL world, my son the Moose painted his block green. That's it. No attempt at customization, just enough wood shaved off to get it down to the prescribed weight; just a green block. And he came in second, too! It was delightful. I think him standing there at the awards ceremony with his ugly green stick and a big smile, while the first and third place winners had these ultra wind-tunnel hyper-realistic flame-painted monsters, was THE best part of the experience of scouting for the Patterson Boys.

And, dear friends, I apologize again for the hiatus in reading and reviewing this past week. It was unavoidable; the pain made me unable to concentrate; when I took the pain meds, THEY made me unable to concentrate. Hopefully, I'm back on track!
Peace be on your household!

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