Books People Send Me, Installment Five

In this week’s edition of Reasons I Shouldn’t Have Been Allowed to Breed I’m not even going to get to the part where I let my older child stay in her pajamas for 36 hours and eat chocolate pop tarts for dinner. Because fuck it, she’s 13 years old now and can raise herself just as well if not better than a deranged hick who routinely itches her boob while staring directly at the cashier who is ringing up her tampons. Buying feminine hygiene products is already so uncomfortable that I feel like the only way to live through it is to make the whole experience one giant trauma party.

You think I am joking. You are mistaken.

Late Saturday morning Marlo started expressing her boredom first through words and then through noises, and we all know how I feel about the sound of bored children. There is no worse sound on this planet. The sound of a cat puking is like a fucking Beethoven concerto in comparison, and I’d rather be stuck in a fourteen-story parking garage in which every car’s alarm is going off than listen to one single second of a kid being bored. Children arguing over really stupid shit comes close, but stick me in a room full of bored kids and I will quickly commit murder a crime.

I had just finished cataloguing all the books people have sent me over the last few weeks, and I told her to go see if she wanted to keep any that were sitting in a stack next to my desk. She walked out with a coloring book, and because I wasn’t thinking (see: Reasons I Shouldn’t Have Been Allowed to Breed) I was like, cool. Great. Awesome. Amazing. Now go over there and stop making that awful noise before I get arrested.

She disappeared into Leta’s room to grab some colored pens, and then a very weird silence fell over the house. A few minutes later she came out of Leta’s room, put the coloring book back in my office, and came to sit next to me on the couch. She wasn’t saying a word or making a noise and the look on her face was the look of a dog who knows he’s not supposed to chew on your dirty socks but he chewed on your dirty socks anyway and hid them in his mouth.

“Why aren’t you going to color?” I asked her.

“Um…” she hesitated.

“There were some really bad words in that book, Mom!” Leta shouted from her room.

Oh. Oh, dear. Oh my. Leta, our resident moral authority.

You see, had I been thinking I would have remembered that the coloring book sitting in the stack next to my desk was the Subversive Cross Stitch Coloring and Activity Book filled with pages that say things like “FRESH OUT OF FUCKS” and “FUCK ALL Y’ALL” AND “I DON’T GIVE A FLYING FUCK” AND “DON’T BE A DICK” and “BE MY ASSCLOWN.”

Hahahaha! Assclown.

I have been a fan of Julie’s work for years, and you may remember that she designed the cover of my book:

She also sent me this lovely gift after I once wrote about all the messages I get from people who really don’t think I should have been allowed to breed:

The coloring book has incredible illustrations. You know what else it has? A large PARENTAL ADVISORY EXPLICIT CONTENT warning on it. Because, duh.

I apologized to Marlo, told her I was sorry she’d had to see those words, and advised her to avoid one very specific website on the Internet.

A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars
What Is Hip-Hop?
What Are We Even Doing With Our Lives?: The Most Honest Children’s Book of All Time

The Mermaid
Hedgehog Wisdom: Little Reasons to Smile
The Joy of Doing Nothing

North: How to Live Scandinavian
An Obvious Fact: A Longmire Mystery
The Western Star: A Longmire Mystery

Raising Human Beings
Freddy the Frogcaster and the Flash Flood
Subversive Cross Stitch: 50 F*cking Clever Designs for Your Sassy Side

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Mommy Tried to Kill Me: Why It’s Never too Early to Start Drinking in Paris
Broken Circle

This Book is About You
The Fine Art of Paper Flowers: A Guide to Making Beautiful and Lifelike Botanicals
Subversive Cross Stitch Coloring and Activity Book: 40 Ways to Stop Freaking Out