September 3, 2008

Summer Reading

According to a public service announcement on PBS Kids, it is important for children to see their parents reading. I've taken this message to heart and have been reading like a maniac over the past two weeks. My chosen reading material: a large stack of tabloid magazines that my husband brought home from work.

The fact that most of the magazines are dated from the winter and spring months of 2006 in no way deters me from reading them. People say the same thing about Playboy, but I really mean it: I don't look at tabloids for the pictures, but rather, for their amazingly well-written and informative articles.

One day at the pool last week, I found myself engrossed in a riveting article about what Sarah Jessica Parker ate for lunch during the taping of Sex in the City (she "noshed on cucumber rolls" and "nibbled on crustless sandwiches" if you're curious). Out of nowhere, something big and hairy fell into Sarah Jessica's glossy cleavage.

"What's this?" asked Camber, holding the object by its tail.
"It appears to be a dead rat," I said in a voice and tone not nearly as calm and polite as I the one in which I am writing. I used Sarah Jessica's breasts to fling the rat carcass onto the grass.
"Cool," said my daughter, and bent over for a closer look.

It didn't take long for Camber to be joined by her brothers and a group of young boys, who, up until that point, had been playing "wall ball" on the side of the snack bar hut. Nothing attracts a crowd like a dead rodent and within minutes, every pool patron under the age of 10 was huddled around the shriveled animal.

"I found it!" Camber announced every few seconds, in an attempt to secure celebrity status amongst her peers. I was accused of being a stage parent when I interrupted all of the fun and forced my daughter to go to the bathroom and wash her hands...with soap.

The rat had been dead long enough for all of its organs to have disintegrated; all that was left was a bundle of hair stuck to a withered skeleton. I should have, and could have, and, under normal circumstances would have used my US Weekly to scoop up the rat remains and throw it in the nearby dumpster. However, this act of charitable service would have been accompanied by a terrible sacrifice: the knowledge of what Sarah Jessica and her miniature husband ate for dinner after the taping of Sex in the City. This, and the sad realization that I would also miss out on the magazine's celebrity fashion faux pas page made me hesitate to take immediate action.

Ultimately, I took the path of least resistance. Specifically, I waited for a lifeguard to pass within shouting distance and announced the presence of the rat. The lifeguard disappeared into a utility shed and returned carrying a plastic bucket and metal pooper scooper. As the hoard of children watched in awed silence as the lifeguard scooped up the carcass and deposited it with a clank into the bucket, I patted myself on the back for doing the right thing. A pooper scooper is a much more fitting hearse for a shriveled rat than a crease in Sarah Jessica's designer sundress.

7 comments

MommaKiss said...

I found your blog from LeeLou's headers (love the layout!) - and have to tell you that you're DAM funny!

So I'll be a blog stalker, just letting you know.

D

Nikki said...

EEEWWW!! While swimming at my parents pool this summer, a mole, a snake, and a frog were all rescued from the filter at the side. And while that sounds like the beginning of a great joke, it was not at all funny!
( they were all still alive)

Carrie said...

I stumbled upon your blog the other day and I love your posts...they are very entertaining!

I would have freaked out had that happened to me so, I have to say, you handled yourself very well!

Robinson's said...

No way would I sacrifice my tabloid reading. I mean you have to be an example of literary education.

Jana said...

Oh, I'm so glad y'all understand the importance of tabloids. Some people may think they're trash, but clearly they don't recognize good literature when they see it.

Cindy said...

Jana,

One year we went to the beach with several of my sibs & their families. Much to our delight we found a stack of maybe 20 People magazines under the coffee table. We read them voraciously the whole week and discussed what we'd read while playing in the ocean. Who cared that they were all a year old--we were fascinated!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Sarah Jessica Parker owes you... big time!

My sisters like to buy those trashy mags. I would NEVER spend money on filth like that. But, I will read it from cover to cover anytime I visit my sisters. You know, just to be polite. =)