So why all the fuss about a whiff of passing wind or a splash of mucous? Two thoughts. First, grossness, like puns and parody, dwells at the lower regions of the humorous. (How's that for a semi-gross metaphor?) And humor gets no respect. Though both books sprang from the same gifted pen, The Giver will always be more lauded than Anastasia Krupnick. (Lauded, that is, by academia and other adult arenas. Kids know better than to dismiss honest pleasure.) Donald Westlake and Peter DeVries will never have as many fans as Robert Grisham. Too bad. We all need to laugh, whether we'll admit it or not.
Second, we are a prudish folk. We all fart. We all pretend we don't. Denial begets taboo. We are, as revealed slice by slice through the scalpel of the surgeon or writer, creatures of both great grossness and great beauty. Once again, kids know this. That's one reason they smile so much. It is the gatekeepers who need to join in on the joke.
"Which Came First..." Copyright © 1999 by David Lubar
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