November 24, 2004

Post #1788 – 20041124

Dear Daniel,

I just remembered how much happier I feel after hearing any of your npr pieces- your comments and your voice are so delicious, reminds me of eating a good baked custard rich, but not mushy or shmushy. A web search for your audio material brought me to this site.

Daniel, I am in serious need of giggle/smile therapy to help combat the blues I’m in trying to learn to teach science in an inner city high school. I built a wall around the inner me making it hard for me to be in the frame of mind to perceive humor in situations around me or even in more humorous media. I am overwhelmed by work and have all but neglected family chores, my own life, my husband.

Here is my wish list:

1. Please publish your npr pieces and other story tellings you’ve done so I can treat myself en route to work, during my lunch break, and on the way home. I feel if I can get in the habit of laughing again, I can learn not to take my job, the students, and myself so seriously. When I am worn/stressed out it is hard to get me to read anything, but I will listen. Help me Obi-wan Kinobe, you may be my only hope….

I’m getting your latest chicken book (audio and print- for the illustrations) & the abridged audio of The HoChEm-is this the only available audio version?- so I can get started on something.

2. I hope as you are sitting around with nothing to do you will consider recording what you or your designee feel are your most clever 18 or 36 (chai or 2chai) stories. Some writers spend such energy birthing their work that they do not want to go back to earlier works and spend more time reading them. I will understand if this applies to you. If this applies to you, you may be able to reach a whole generation of nonreaders, then by continuing to produce audio and paper production of your future works. Many urban kids don’t have someone to read to them at home and I want them to get to know your characters.

3. …and while you’re at it Oh, maybe we could get you cartoon break spots on Saturday morning TV reading a chapter of a book!! Uh oh, I like this one! I’m gonna write Oprah and Bill Cosby, but you’d probably be able to get an audience with them before my email is even read by a staff person. I’d get in the habit of turning the tube on again if you did this one.

My mom (88 yrs old ) would love your stuff, but I’ve not known her to read for pleasure. I was now going to say that there are many literate nonreaders in the Black community at large who read for info (newspaper, want-ads, sale ads, glossy magazines), not for pleasure, but according to a July ’04 report it is, apparently, a national issue. See

Thank you for your contributions to literature and humor.


Daniel replies:

Why are you a science teacher in an inner city school, and not my agent?

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency is recorded--and apparently available. I also recorded Looking for Bobowicz for the same outfit, (maybe it's out--I don't know), and presumably am supposed to record the forthcoming The Artsy Smartsy Club. Then there are number of quasi-legitimate cassettes floating around--no idea where to get them. And periodically, there is talk about putting some kind of audio links on this website. A good portion of my work was read on the defunct radio program Chinwag Theater over 4 seasons, but I am not sure who has the complete archive. You can also obtain a recordings of reading books by others, Polka Bats and Octopus Slacks by Calef Brown, and the tedious Flat Stanley stories by whoever it was who wrote them. I suppose we could work out an hourly rate for me to call you on your cell phone and read to you--but my rates might be prohibitive.

I find it fairly easy to read aloud, and I am a joy for audio producers to work with. But I can't expend time and energy setting this kind of thing up. It is for others to propose--then I show up and do the work.

In the meantime, I suggest you try to find CDs of Lord Buckley. That's what I would listen to on my commute to work--if I had to commute to work.