After this year's World Science Fiction Convention, I was sitting around the bar with some writers and editors and we got to talking about subversive kids' literature. Everyone had their favorites, but then George RR Martin proceeded to describe a book so incredibly twisted, funny and wonderfully wicked that I could scarce believe he wasn't putting me on. But George is the man who introduced me to Froggy the Gremlin
from Andy's Gang (immortalized in his classic, page-turning rock-and-roll horror novel The Armageddon Rag
) and so I figured he probably knew what he was about.
The book was the 1961 Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book by Shel Silverstein. Yes, that Shel Silverstein, author of many books of justly beloved poetry for children. But Uncle Shelby isn't quite for kids (indeed, recent editions bear the subtitle "A Primer for Adults Only"). No, not really for kids at all.
Because Uncle Shelby is here to teach the kids the alphabet (mostly -- his alphabet goes abzdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyc) with a series of nasty, laugh-out-loud funny exercises and misinformative advice that nearly cost me a keyboard, as I happened to be drinking water while reading it. Some examples:
R is for Red: The fire is red, the fire engine is red, the fireman's hat is red... Too bad the fireman only goes to places WHERE THERE IS A FIRE.
T is for TV: See the nice TV. The TV is warm... The TV loves you. Do you know that there are little elves who live inside the TV? ...If you take Daddy's hammer and break open the TV you will see the funny little elves. What will you name them?
And then there's the penultimate page: WARNING! It is not nice to burn books. It is against the law. If your Mommy or Daddy tries to burn this book, call the POLICE on them.
Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book
💩 (via JWZ)
@nathan: “Barack Obama is the Nickelback of presidents.” @DJ_lcpl: “Barack Obama…bro, do you even lift!?” (Obama’s response: “Well, I lifted the ban on Cuban cigars, that’s worth something.”) @realDonaldTrump: “President Obama will go down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States!” (Obama’s response: “Well, @realDonaldTrump, at least I will go […]
Whisk yourself back to the days of bulky devices, outmoded physical media, and painfully obvious visual puns with these 1990s high-tech stock photos. Literal surfing and literal webs! Large format high resolution only $399 on some stock sites!
TV antennas are making a comeback, and the Ghost Indoor HDTV antenna is a great example of why. Unlike the old bunny ear-style antennas, this compact antenna is barely noticeable and picks up channels easily. Plus with the addition of streaming services like Netflix, we find ourselves with plenty to watch without a pricey monthly cable bill. The Ghost […]
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]