Lamentations of the reader

Former classmate, writer Ian Frazier’s latest book Lamentations of the Father, recently became available for the Kindle, so I purchased it immediately at a very reasonable $7.50 (I know the site says $9.99, but I got a deal, really). Previously it had only been available in “.book” format, which is incompatible with GOS – the Gulker Operating System. We had to wait for a version that ran on a compatible peripheral, in this case the Kindle 2.0.

We knew Ian as “Sandy” back in high school, but sources who should know say that one addresses Mr. Frazier these days as “Ian,” if one uses his first name at all. Sandy has never been back to a class reunion, so I have no personal knowledge of whether this is true or not. My own guess is that this may be mostly true: were I to be in his presence, just another jamoke that he probably doesn’t remember from Adam, I would be best off to use “Ian.”

But say, Sandy was walking down Main Street in Hudson, Ohio (where our school is located), and, were he to bump into someone like (the late, and much loved) Priscilla Graham, Pris would likely have said something like “Why, my goodness, it’s Sandy Frazier! How are you, dear?” I’m guessing he’d say “I’m just fine, Pris'” rather than something like “That’s IAN Frazier, to you!” Pris was a gentile, good natured woman, who nevertheless had a certain gravitas that most people wouldn’t mess with for a second.

But I digress: I really need Sandy’s (OK, “Ian’s”) help. He’s “one of America’s foremost humorists,” after all, and, I see, from the latest book, that he’s something of an expert on a topic, the humor of which has so far completely eluded me, namely Mommies.

We have journaled here our experiences with the Mommies of the nearby K-5 who have come to regard my driveway as their personal child valet drop off area. Armed with two-and-a-half-ton SAVs (Suburban Assault Vehicles), they regularly block my driveway, sometimes for 30 minutes at a time.

Frazier has adeptly chronicled my nemeses in his piece “The Cursing Mommies Cookbook,” and alludes to the tome I’m desperate to purchase (hear that, Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Picador?) titled “The Cursing Mommies Guide to Suburban Driving.” Surely this volume will help me see the humor in a situation that is rapidly deteriorating, to the point where I am now a not-infrequent target of the Mommies’ Curses. How dare I try to leave my garage when they need the driveway for a high-speed U-turn in their Range Rover Sport, or Porsche Turbo Cayenne or Cadillac Escalade XL?

So, please, Sandy, I mean, Ian, rush the Driving Guide into publication. I nearly busted a gut reading Lamentations on the plane to New York last week, and am in desperate need of a fresh perspective on Mommies. We will encourage everyone in our book circle to purchase a copy, if that’s any help…

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About Chris Gulker

Chris Gulker, a self-described Infuential Blogger, lived in Menlo Park, California with spouse Linda. He passed away in late October 2010.
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4 Responses to Lamentations of the reader

  1. Jim Graham says:

    Chris- thanks for your kind notes about Pris. Sandy, who goes by Ian, would most likely be shocked if YOU called him Ian. I have been corresponding with him as we have invited him to The Gunnery as our featured speaker and to teach some classes on April 2nd (yes Good Friday). He did send me an email and signed it Sandy. There was also a story (within last few months in The New Yorker) about the cursing mommy who keeps losing sight of her midday gin and tonics as she tries to find and cook around the house. Hilarious.

    I can see your driveway now with the SUV’s. Maybe coat your driveway with molasses or have a remote controlled sprinkler system set up to go off at the oddest times.

  2. Oh, I like the idea of the sprinkler. Or, how about install a thumper in the approach to your driveway, so that when someone parks there, it rises out of the asphalt and starts thumping on the underside of the car. Would that get their attention?

  3. cg says:

    Jim- Guess I’ll tread lightly on the Ian/Sandy thing, not that I’m likely to bump into him in Menlo Park.

    Re: sprinklers – tried that, the Mommies just park farther out in the street, which causes a traffic mess, and actually makes it harder to get out of the driveway.

    Beth Ann – please forward the name of the thumper installers – that sounds like one of those things Coyote would buy from the Acme Company… hopefully I’ll have more luck than he normally did.

  4. Anonymous says:

    In the old days, mommies used to win the bread. Times have changed.

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