All of the Children are Above Average

I checked out some books on tape from the library to try out the concept of listening to family-friendly stories in the car while on road trips. Garrison Keillor told a story of an elderly couple in Lake Wobegon whose arguments over spending money to travel followed a specific form. The argument would leave them satisfied at the end, like playing a Chopin etude.

“Why is that funny?” my son asked.

“It’s a grown-up thing.”

“It doesn’t even make any sense.” His voice was rising in pitch the way it does when he’s getting annoyed.

“This is what my parents used to play on road trips when I was a kid.”

“Well I hope you’ll put in a DVD for us while you’re playing that!”

The kid makes me laugh more than Garrison Keillor. But now I need to figure out something else to check out.

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4 replies

  1. A suggestion in this regard: Play something that, while clearly told by an adult, is more attuned to kids and involves kids more in the story. Keillor, while a great and clean storyteller, always seemed to be aimed specifically and exclusively at adults. The kids won’t get the routine you mentioned because, for them, arguments are a form of conflict; they don’t see the nuances that could make the argument a form of comfort.

    Have you tried one of Bill Cosby’s routines? The kids need to hear the Chocolate Cake routine at least once in their lives…

  2. Really? I mean really? Were we so precocious? We got those stores and loved them. I guess we won’t be watching Lord of the Rings at Camp Kiki either as he won’t get it! And what about Jack Armstrong the All American Boy? I can’t believe he wouldn’t be into the old radio shows like we were.

    • I haven’t tried the old radio shows on the kids yet, but ripped some old records of Dad’s to .mp3 and I may try out the Cosby routines to see how the kids like that. And there are some old Abbott & Costello and Ozzie and Harriet radio shows I may try too.

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