Greetings and welcome to the Short Week Edition of You Are What You Read. In keeping with the four-day-work week, we shall also be the soul of brevity this week.
The only housekeeping this week is that I hope you are enjoying the amazing new website. The whole of Team UX did an amazing job and they are to be commended. Well done!
This week, I want to discuss Pedro the Playmobile Pirate. Pedro is a giant Playmobile Pirate who lived outside a toy shop Brignoles which is in the Cote-D’Azur region of France. Pedro’s job was to stand sentry outside the shop alerting tiny French children to the consumer opportunities that awaited their parents, who hopefully have open hearts and open wallets, within. But! Imagine the surprise of the clerks when they went outside to bring Pedro in for the night and he was, Zut Alors! Missing! Times being what they are, the Keepers of Pedro immediately put out an APB on Facebook asking everyone to be on high alert for the Disappeared Privateer.
People! Freeing Pedro required some serious muscle. He is not small and his weight is reported to be about 176 pounds. When the newspaper Var-Matin picked up the story, all soon became revealed when, again, times being what they are, a Facebook user shared a picture of Pedro at of all things, a rave. People, this opened a flood gate of pictures of our Brigand in Boots partying his little plastic heart out. A man named Victor put it thusly, “We met Pedro in free party this weekend — he was immediately very sociable, so we quickly invited him for a drink,” as one does in France apparently. Law Enforcement leapt to it and tracked Pedro down where he was probably sleeping some things off in a forest. He is now in custody awaiting a pick-up from his Keepers who have learned their lesson and will be placing Pedro in a more visible location. So for those of you going to the South of France this summer, try to seek out Pedro our Partying Pirate, have a photo-op with him and send it in. We’ll be happy to share. You can read all about that here.
This week we have some feminism, Paris, and some sadness. Like I said People, short week, short list.
The Playlist? No walking the plank necessary. Of course there’s a playlist.
Let us begin!
You Are What You Read
Miss Lisa of the CL is reading grown-up stuff this week, “I am loving Lindy West’s book of essays, Shrill. She is that person you wish you had with you at the dinner table when someone is saying misogynist things, or you’re trying to explain why rape jokes aren’t funny, or you need someone to make you laugh until you cry. Her wit is unparalleled, her potty humor is on point and well-aimed, and her feminism is sharp and canny. The memoir essays on fat acceptance and internet trolls are particularly incisive. I have been alternately laughing out loud and angrily steaming on the train.
John, the Mastermind behind our new website is still thinking. “Last weekend, I didn’t so much go to the beach as I did feverishly work on last-minute website stuff. But I am still thinking about The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman which I finished last week. First of all, how can you go wrong with a story that is set in either paradise or Paris? Add in rich characters and an epic love story centered around the lives of real people and you have a winner. Marriage of Opposites is touted as the story of Camille Pissarro but it is really about his mother Rachel who is a deeply fascinating woman. Hoffman’s prose is deliciously rich and full of life. I’d say this is a perfect summer read.”
I have a new favorite in Eric Ripert’s new memoir 32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line. Here is where we learn all about Ripert’s brutally sad childhood. Devoted to his glamorous mother and father, he was devastated by their divorce when he was five. Things only got worse when his mother married again to a real lout whose main hobby was making young Eric miserable. The one bright spot in a thoroughly Dickensian childhood was the beautiful meals prepared loving by his mother and Jacques, his friend and mentor who introduced him to the world of restaurants. I cannot recommend this wonderful book highly enough.
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from Meat Chicken with our final musings. What’s good Pats? “JD shared with me the news from France that Pedro, the Playmobil Pirate, had gone on a walkabout, or more accurately, a rave binge. His epic escapades were documented and cut short by a ride in the backseat of a police car back to the toy store and his post. It’s a little known fact that our own Darien Library had a gnome escape a few years back from the Children’s Library. His name was Chip and his travels were also documented on social media. He did not attend any raves but he did enjoy a good time at a hibachi restaurant in Westport. He’s been quiet for a long time but I’m hoping that maybe he’ll make an appearance sometime soon. Until then, I’ll be keeping an eye on my Instagram account for him. I think both Chip and Pedro would give a nod to this week’s playlist.