The link to the LawDog's book has NOTHING to do with the first part of this blog, but I put it up front because I don't want to change my habit. I WILL address the book at the end of the blog! If you can't wait that long, click here to read the abbreviated version.
First, though, I want to comment about one of the minor difficulties I believe all writers face from time to time, which is: coming up with the right title. Ideally, the title should give the prospective reader a good clue as to the nature and tone of the material, and hook the RIGHT people to read the work. But, there are space limitations.
I was thinking about this yesterday when I was looking for a particular movie that I had seen sometime back, about a cop and a robber, and a gunfight, and a bank robbery. As it happens, I also remembered that the two leading characters were played by Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, and so I was able to Google my way to 'Heat.'
And I thought: crummy title.
It's crummy because it doesn't tell you pea-turkey about the movie. Of course, it's a striking movie, and I suppose most fans would remember a one-word name. Not me, though. I can remember 'Pulp Fiction' most of the time; with other movies, I'm reduced to saying "John Wayne plays a one-eyed drunk marshall, and the little girl shoots the bad guy down by the creek," and hoping someone can get 'True Grit' out of that. I won't forget "Stagecoach," because they are in a stagecoach, or "The Alamo" because it's about the Alamo.
But, most of my blog post titles can't be reduced to one word, particularly when it's a combo blog post and book review.
Actually, I COULD make the titles of my blog posts longer. It's just that they wouldn't fit into the assigned space provided when I reference them on Facebook. Hence my cryptically short title today.
I WANTED my title to day to be :
"Gratitude for Truancy During Proverbs Sex Talks with Pre-teens, and Boys in Africa, by The LawDog."And I KNEW that was too long to fit any graphic box I was allowed.
Here's the deal: Our morning routine (sort of) is for me to get up at 6 AM, and then at 7 AM, I wake up 7th grade Kenneth and 6th grade Alicia and my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA. I tell them all to meet me downstairs in 10 minutes. And this school year, during those 10 minutes, neighborhood buddy Jacob, also 6th grade, frequently drops in to join us, and when we are all assembled in the kitchen, we read the ancient wisdom contained in the Proverb corresponding to the day of the month. Depending on how much conversation that generates, we often find time to read a Psalm, and a selection from the New Testament, but we ALWAYS get the daily Proverb.
Today is October 5, so the reading was Proverb 5.
Do you know what Proverb 5 discusses?
Can you guess how much I do NOT want to talk about sex, at 7:30 in the morning, with an 11 year old girl, her 12 year old brother, and the 11 year old neighborhood buddy Jacob? Hint: it's a LOT.
The first part of the Proverb isn't so bad. We have been around the cycle plenty of times, and everybody knows what an adulteress is, and how bad stuff will happen, yada yada, yada. So, that's the first 14 verses. And I have a funny (and true) story about a crazy person in the hospital who wouldn't eat or take his meds because he wanted water from his own cistern. So I can finesse through verse 18.
Alas, for the brutal honesty of verse 19 awaits.
No WAY can that explicit language be avoided, nor SHOULD it be! But, time and place for everything, I say, and today, I was guiltily grateful that Jacob didn't drop in.
Perhaps his parents were also attuned to the reading of the day and just told him to sleep in this morning.
I'll take what I can get.
And now on the the LawDog, and his stories of growing up in Africa.
I just don't see how anyone who grew up in the country can fail to recognize the truth of these stories. His environment may have given him more opportunities to handle explosives, and the wildlife he encountered may have been a bit more lethal, but with practically every adventure he recounts, I'm thinking "you know, Butch and I did something like that."
And Mark Twain did NOT pull the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn out of thin air.
Here's the deal: you take two small boys, parents who have an expanded view of childhood safety, and place them in a frontier environment, and you WILL get stories like these:
15 foot pythons in the bedroom, hiding from a four ounce mongoose.
Traders accepting a deal because Madame is going to get her machete.
Lizards setting fire to the world.
Bowling ball cannon and corrupt officials.
Lizards who drink alcohol.
American cops who encounter expectations of small children raised in Third World economies.
You will ALSO get the reflections of those small children, now of a certain age, and gifted by the variety of their experiences, when they encounter the blatherskite who waxes profoundly about things of which they are profoundly ignorant.
As icing on the cake, there are little snippets of brilliance, intended to follow the signature line in an online post. (I proudly proclaim that I am a member of a/the forum that first brought LawDog to prominence; alas, I joined much later than he, and missed a lot of the good stuff.) I think of these as re-telling of the fairy tales, if they had been written by an advocate of 2nd Amendment rights. Actually, I posted the rest of these on my Facebook page last week, leaving this for the review:
“Plan A is to ask the ogre to change into a mouse. I eat the evidence, no muss, no fuss, no body” said Puss-in-Boots as he screwed the silencer onto his HK Mk 23. “Plan B gets messy.”Plenty of cautionary tales, here: don't hook your nose with a fishing lure; don't expect your cat to run for help. always know where your Kevlar gloves are (and wear them).
Lawdog, D.. The LawDog Files: African Adventures (Kindle Locations 1157-1158). Castalia House. Kindle Edition.
This is NOT meant to be a criticism, but as an observation. In the previous book, Lawdog Files, his experience with humanity in their worst hours brought forth some sweetly painful stories. Here, he is just funny. He makes the pain funny. He has followed the sage advice of his grandfather in THIS volume, and told the stories in ways designed to amuse.
And boy, do they amuse!
Preferably, theses stories should be portioned out, a bit at the time, in order to give us something to look forward to. However, they are quite delightful when taken in a single serving, although digestion may suffer.