Laws Concerning Food and Drink
July 14, 2004 3:57 AM   Subscribe

Laws Concerning Food and Drink; Lamentations of the Father. Something to give all parents a chuckle.
posted by iffley (27 comments total)
Hilarious! My favourite:
Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that you should so afflict it with tape? And hum not that humming in your nose as I read, nor stand between the light and the book. Indeed, you will drive me to madness. Nor forget what I said about the tape.
posted by dg at 4:11 AM on July 14, 2004

This reeks of Erma Bombeck's corpse.
posted by pieoverdone at 4:53 AM on July 14, 2004

I heard Ian Frazier perform this on "A Prairie Home Companion" several years ago and loved it. Now that I am a parent myself, I appreciate it even more.
posted by briank at 5:00 AM on July 14, 2004

Yea, this has inspired me to do that thing which above all others I despise- I want to forward it to all my friends with kids. :) Great link, thank you for sharing!
posted by headspace at 5:14 AM on July 14, 2004

Laws concerning urination:

Water sprayed on water makes a sound for all to hear.
But water sprayed on porcelain runs silent to the ear.

(Brilliant link, by the way)
posted by Jimbob at 5:27 AM on July 14, 2004


If you like this, you should read Family Circus. Hoo boy.
posted by Outlawyr at 5:46 AM on July 14, 2004

Somebody got out the wrong side of bed this morning, didn't they?
posted by Jimbob at 5:50 AM on July 14, 2004

Unfair, Outlawyr and pieoverdone. Frazier writes a great essay.
posted by Songdog at 5:52 AM on July 14, 2004

Anyone who doesn't have kids can't possibly appreciate this.
posted by crunchland at 5:55 AM on July 14, 2004

I have kids, and this is not funny. It is painful. Pieoverdone nailed it with the Bombeck reference.
posted by Outlawyr at 6:31 AM on July 14, 2004

It's funny in the way that Prairie Home Companion is funny, in that faux-folksy way that I hate so very much. De gustibus non est disputandum, I reckon.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:57 AM on July 14, 2004

I'm not anywhere near having kids (and I never cared for Prairie Home Companion), and I thought it was funny. But I didn't care so much about the raising-kids angle: on the other hand, Frazier totally nails the stylistic voice of the KJV Old Testament God Who can often seem to make up hundreds and hundreds of laws at random, laws which can often make little or no logical sense to his "children," so to speak.

Viewed as a satire of the Book of Leviticus, it's a laff riot.
posted by Prospero at 7:18 AM on July 14, 2004

I read this a few years ago (before kids) and found it hilarious; so much so that I went out and bought Frazier's Coyote v. Acme... there's a lot of stuff I found mildly humorous at best, but the title essay is one of the funniest things I'd read in a long time.
posted by kgasmart at 7:24 AM on July 14, 2004

Ran across this recently: Emergency Fathering.
posted by gwint at 7:26 AM on July 14, 2004

It's funny in the way that Prairie Home Companion is funny, in that faux-folksy way that I hate so very much.

Actually: It's funny in the way humor is funny. More specifically, it's funny in the way this kind of essay - rendering garden-variety observational humor in a previously established literary style - is funny. It's one of the best examples of this genre.

How can you not like
    Heed me; for if you sit like that, your hair will go into the syrup. And now behold, even as I have said, it has come to pass.
OK, that one maybe is a lot funnier if you're already a parent. But more generally, as with the best of this type of piece, it doesn't just use the style as window-dressing, but manages to bring out what's comical about the style itself, e.g. the nonsensicality of this, which has a hundred echoes in the Bible (on preview, as Prospero pointed out):
    But upon being sent to the corner you ask straightaway, "Can I come out?" and I reply, "No, you may not come out." And again you ask, and again I give the same reply. But when you ask again a third time, then you may come out.
All of that said, this is kind of an ancient classic to be a front-page link on MeFi. What's next, The Night the Bed Fell?
posted by soyjoy at 7:27 AM on July 14, 2004

Yeah, it's a first-rate style parody.
posted by blueshammer at 7:29 AM on July 14, 2004

You know what annoys the hell out of me? Okay, I'll tell ya. It's that many, perhaps most, people who use the phrases it's not funny, it's not scary, it's not enjoyable, and similar generally do not include the qualifier "to me" because, really, they are making something more than a mere subjective assertion. Deep down, they know they're trying to assert some objective fact about the quality of something. However, when presented with evidence that, in fact, X is funny or scary or enjoyable to someone, somewhere, said persons will then retreat to subjectivism and state the previously unstated "to me". I see this pattern all the time.

If you want to explain why something isn't funny to you, then do so but don't assume this applies to everyone else. Or, if you want to explain why you think something likely isn't funny to most people, then do so. Or, if you want to explain why you think something shouldn't be funny to most people (or any person), then do so (but good luck on that). But the blanket assertion "that's not funny" (for example) is almost always self-evidently false (because it's often in response to someone's self-report) and it's aggressive and disrespectful in that it implicitly invalidates other people's actual experiences. This is also why the negative assertion ("that's not funny") has a different emotional and social quality than the positive ("that's funny").
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:24 AM on July 14, 2004

Ethereal Bligh, I'd agree with you if it weren't for one thing. This really isn't funny. At all. Not even a little bit.

to me
posted by Outlawyr at 8:29 AM on July 14, 2004

This reeks of Erma Bombeck's corpse.

I tried to read the article, and gave up on it (after mentally comparing it to The Family Circus) and didn't read the comments. Then I got bored and read them and that comment made it all worth it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:29 AM on July 14, 2004

And ethereal bligh, don't be a relativist. This sucks worse than church, a dentist visit and a trip to a portable toilet combined.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:33 AM on July 14, 2004

EB, very cogently put. And in only two paragraphs. Keep it up!
posted by soyjoy at 9:00 AM on July 14, 2004

It's not a parody, actually--it's a burlesque.

I thought it was reasonably amusing. Burlesques usually don't crack me up.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:11 AM on July 14, 2004

When this came out my daughter was young and I laughed but O Parents! The tables will turn; your messy young spawn will turn teen and accuse you of vile table manners and uncountable offenses of a like nature!
posted by kozad at 10:22 AM on July 14, 2004

I found it mildly amusing.

Prairie Home Companion sucks donkey balls, though. It just isn't funny. Real wit comes in the form of Vinyl Cafe or Dead Dog Cafe Comedy Hour.

Man, I wish I could find DDCCH on MP3...
posted by five fresh fish at 10:29 AM on July 14, 2004

Well, as Dick Cheney would say, you all can go fuck yourselves. I liked the Frazier piece and I like APHC.
posted by briank at 12:11 PM on July 14, 2004

Laws Concerning Food and Drink read by Peter Segal for This American Life. (realaudio, starts at about 38:00).

Segal really adds something to the piece.
posted by monkey.pie.baker at 11:10 AM on July 15, 2004

This deserves to be published in the Reader's Digest.
posted by sid at 12:43 PM on July 15, 2004

« Older metafilter MetaFilter metaFilter   |   Is this the beginning of the end? Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments