Weird Al Yankovic, the man who’s been daring us all to be stupid for more than thirty years, is now seeking to add “Children’s Book Author” to his resume, right underneath “Parodist Extraordinaire” and “Polka Sensation.” Whoa, whoa, whoa, we’ll get to the book in just a second, but first, let us pause and reflect on the fact that Weird Al has been out there doing the whole Weird Al thing for thirty years. Call me a whippersnapper if you must, but this means that I barely even know what a Weird Al-less world looks like. And friends, I don’t care to. What can I say? I Love Rocky Road. I’m Addicted To Spuds. Hell, I’m Hooked On Polkas.
It would now appear that the curly-locked one has set his wild-eyed gaze upon our precious children. When I Grow Up, Weird Al’s initial foray into the world of children’s literature, will be hitting shelves, and then immediately flying off of those shelves like a pack of Radioactive Hamsters From A Planet Near Mars next March. He tossed up a link to a picture of the cover on his Twitter feed last week, which I was kind enough to post up top there for your convenience. Judging by the cover (that’s right, I’m judging a book by its cover. What? Up?) and by the title and by the fact that it’s Weird Al, I’m going to guess that the theme of this book has something to do with a child’s vision of their occupational future. Like, you know, if they want to be like, a fireman, or like, a tighrope walker, or Like, A Surgeon.
I must say — and please understand, I mean this in all sincerity, for I hereby declare this space between the previous period and the next one to be a sarcasm-free zone — that when it comes to advising children on their future, I consider Weird Al Yankovic to be among the most highly qualified individuals our nation has to offer. Think about it: the man has made an entire unlikely career out of doing something that he loves, that he’s very good at, and that makes millions of people laugh. If his wikipedia page is to be believed, he grew up hearing from his father that “the key to success” is “doing for a living whatever makes you happy.” If he can package that idea into a children’s book with his brand of all-ages humor, then I’m all for it.
Of course, there’s a part of me that would kind of like to see him take a similar approach with this book as he does with his music. Why, there’s plenty of room for parody in the Children’s LIterature industry. If I may be so bold as to suggest a few titles:
The Cat With The Bat
“Why there’s all sorts of good stuff we can break.
There’s this brand new glass lamp and this crystal that’s fake.
This table, the TV, those windows will shatter.
Just rare back and swing just like you’re a batter.
Bring the bat down like this! Bring the bat down like that!
Bring it down oh so hard!” said the Cat With The Bat.
Then he did, he swung hard, that bat-holding cat.
Where the Bling Bling Be At
The night Maxi-Max put on his gold chain
and his three wrist-watches
and a ring on every finger
and then busted into his baby cousin’s jewelry box to gank a diamond earring,
And his Moms said “Blingy Bling!”
And Maxi-Max said, “I’ll Beat You Up!”
Spleen, Legs, and Hands
Would you like to filter infections? Would you like your spleen’s protection?
I do not wish to filter infections. I do not need my spleen’s protection.
Would you like to walk and run? Would you, could you hold a gun?
I do not wish to walk and run! I could not, would not hold a gun!
I do not need my spleen, legs, or hands! I do not need them Dr. Sands.
Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Polka – because nothing Weird Al-related is complete without a polka.
Or maybe I’ll just let him write the book the way he wants it. Whatever approach he takes, I have a feeling it’s going to be bigger than that ball of twine in Minnesota.
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