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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Good Lord - look at the time! Boy is my sleep cycle screwed up. Sorry if this posting is disjointed - I'm still running a fever and the only food I've been able to keep down in the past 48 hours is a small baked potato.

NANCY DREW'S GUIDE TO LIFE
For Christmas my aunt gave me this pocket sized gem of a book, a collection of the titian haired, convertible driving girl sleuth's quotations and observations. Some are instructive, others unintentionally hilarious, a few downright bizarre.


Several years ago the aggressively PC children's material selection committee of this system refused to buy the Nancy Drew series despite heavy demand from its readership until an angry parent wrote the newspaper and it became a public relations scandal. Initially the library party line was that the books were not selected because they were poorly written and formulaic, but when that excuse didn't hold water (the library buys plenty of other formulaic trash; ie., the insipid Sweet Valley High series), the library admitted that the real reason was that the books were racist. While the first books of the series are rather...problematic, those gatekeepers can bite me, because the Nancy Drew books were the first real chapter books I read, and Nancy was a terrific, resourceful role model, who using common sense and the power of deduction, could crack any mystery while always remaining a perfect young lady.

Here are some of the choice ones:
No complimentary makeup application ever looks good, especially when applied by a gypsy woman with an outdoor cart. Derivative lesson: The perfume she sells is probably watered down.
The Mystery of the Tolling Bell

If you see something resembling a shark in a river, don't fret. It's more likely to be a small submarine operated by thieves.
The Mystery of the Lilac Inn

Owning your own key-making machine can be quite handy, and a compact one can be stored out of sight under the sink so as not to clash with your decor.
The Phantom of Pine Hill

If you hear the telltale signs of a helicopter, step away from a blaze in the fireplace. The copter might send a downdraft into the chimney and shower sparks all over your sleek coif.
The Mystery of the 99 Steps

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