The Wind in the Willows

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's that wonderful time again, chapter and page count time.

For the week:


PAGES - 1,908

For the year so far:

CHAPTERS - 5,657

PAGES - 72,059

Today's book, "Mole, Water Rat, Badger, and the mischievous Toad live a quiet life on banks of the River Thames with the rest of their animal friends. But Toad tends to get into trouble, and his passion for cars eventually results in his being caught and kept a helpless prisoner in the remotest dungeon of the best-guarded castle in all the land. Dressed as a washerwoman—and with some help from his friends—Toad manages to escape the castle and begins his journey home to Toad Hall."

I don't even remember what book I read yesterday, so of course I have no idea if I read this book as a child. But I have been on the Disney World ride that was based on this book, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride - and since I never pass up an opportunity to talk about anything related to Disney, I simply must discuss it here. It's out of my hands. My favorite part of the attraction comes right before actually getting on the ride. I like to stand in line and watch the four year olds as they get into their cars and slide behind the wheel, completely believing that they are actually going to be driving the car. It never stops amusing me to see the looks on their faces as they become drunk with the power that they think they have. And then of course, I like to get off the ride and turn to whoever was in the driver's seat and say, "You're a terrible driver" - and, like a four year 0ld, I actually expect the other person to be amused every single time I say that. As I'm sure you can imagine, people are rarely amused by this. Perhaps next time I should go on the ride with a four year old - I bet they would get a good laugh out of my joke.

But, there is one part of the ride that has always confused me, the part where we all end up in Hell. So, I was looking forward to reading today's book and getting the back story on Mr. Toad's Trip to Hell (which is what I think the ride should have been called.) But alas, the mystery has still not been solved. The book does not include a trip to Hell. I guess when they were creating the ride the Imagineers just decided what the heck, let's just throw in a trip to Hell for fun, that will be exciting for the kids. And really, when is a trip to Hell not fun? The answer: everything is fun at Disney World, even Hell. But, of course, there are those uptight, spoiled-sports - the kind that I imagine read the newspaper specifically looking for things to write to the editor about - who protested the ride, and even managed to get it shut down for awhile. I don't mean to be judgemental (okay, I do), but is that really the best use of ones time? Are there not more pressing issues in the world to deal with than whether a Disney ride sugar-coats reality enough to keep little Jayden and Makenna believing that nothing bad has ever or will ever happen to them. Personally, I say we bring back the good old-fashioned fear to parenting. Do you remember how warm it felt on that ride? Do you want to have to experience that every day for all of eternity young man? Okay dear readers, it's confession time, the last three sentences were written entirely for the purpose of finding out if my blog is popular enough for people to protest something that I have written, because I continue to be jealous of those whose blogs are so popular that complete strangers leave them rude comments.

And now I'm actually going to talk about the book (it's a crazy idea, I know, but I'm willing to give it a whirl.) I loved today's book - reading it was like being wrapped in comfort, and normally TV is the only thing that makes me feel that way. Perhaps I enjoyed it because the pictures added a certain cartoon element to it. Back in nanny days there was nothing I enjoyed more than using the children as an excuse to watch cartoons. Well I have to supervise what the children are watching. What kind of third-rate Mary Poppins would I be if I didn't make sure they were watching TV that is wholesome. But, now that there are no children in my life I certainly don't waste time watching cartoons. Okay, I do. And not just semi-respectable cartoons that are geared towards adults or even older children, but the kind that is made for toddlers, Franklin, Berenstain Bears, Rugrats, you name it. Perhaps I shouldn't admit that publicly, but for some reason when I sit in front of a computer I am unable to access the part of my brain where shame lives. And, since tomorrow is October 1st, I will of course be getting out the It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown DVD, which I will watch at least five times between now and Halloween (no really, I'm not kidding.) Mock me if you want dear readers - in fact, I am almost looking forward to it as mocking is very close to a negative comment and that would make me feel ever so popular. As expected, today's book strongly appealed to my inner four year old, who technically doesn't qualify as an inner anything since I do such a poor job of keeping it hidden. Instead, I like to think of myself more as having an inner thirty year old, who occasionally (but not too often) makes an appearance.

Favorite line, "After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see other fellows busy working." - So true. Well maybe not for those of you who aren't petty. But since I am, I can't help put agree - and I'd also like to expand on that, and say the second best part of a holiday is if you're spending is somewhere warm while the people back home are in the middle of a blizzard.

Alissa would like it noted on the record that she sees a lot of similarities between Mr. Toad and Winston Churchill. I'm going to have to take her word for it on that one, since I don't know as much about Winston Churchill as she does (although I sense there's a Winston Churchill tutorial in my future.) My thoughts on Mr. Toad: he brings the fun and excitement to the book. The parts of the book that don't involve Mr. Toad are still really good, but in a calm, gentle sort of way. Mr. Toad provides all of the action.