February 02, 2007

Hate or Humor?

"There are so many kids to hate, and so little time."
This from the introduction of Adrienne Frost’s book I Hate Other People’s Kids. Simon Spotlight Entertainment published this book back in 2006. And, yes, it clearly falls into the category of entertainment. Frost is a comedian, and in this case her acerbic humor is directed at kids…other people’s kids. Since she’s childfree, I guess that means all kids.

Much of the book is a laundry list of the ways kids spoil perfect adult fun and suggestions on how you might deal with the little devils and their "Babyoid" parents.

The humor is of the stand-up variety, crude and over-the-top, but occassionally Frost hits the target with observations rooted in truths. "Have you met my vagina?" is the heading of a paragraph on being subjected to birthing videos. Frost suggests ways in which you can "exact your revenge" on parents who attempt to draw you into their gruesome placenta world by suggesting you "laminate your pap smear and put it on the fridge. Pop in the video of you passing that stubborn kidney stone."

Her stated goal is to liberate us all, non-parents and parents alike, from the secret guilt of hating other people’s kids, but like other recent books of this ilk, the gleefully mean-spirited approach gives credence to the assumption that the childfree are so because we hate kids. That would be okay it if were true but my research shows that dislike of kids is nowhere near the most compelling motive to remain childfree.

Sure, kids are sometimes annoying, messy, and loud, which is why I try to avoid being seated near small children in my favorite restaurants. On the rare date night, many parents do the same.

Which is why my favorite line in Frost’s book is:
"And they say Jesus loved the little children, all the children of the world, but he never had to dine with one. He chose the lepers."

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AlphaGirl said...

That book was awesome! It was the first thing I read in quite some time that caused me to laugh out loud. I have a couple of childed friends who read it and loved it; it pays to be able to laugh at oneself.

I re-read it whenever I need a lift.

Teri said...

Omigosh, I was laughing out loud riding BART across the SF Bay finishing this very same book today!

In Oakland, an entire classroom of non-English speaking children and their gaurdians boarded the train. I was never so glad that they could not read Enlish. I hid the title just in case. Two little Hispanic girls, with matching pink lipgloss, sat in the seat next to me. One of them enjoyed looking over my shoulder at the funny illustrations in the book.

The bit about the pap sear had me howling!

At first her humor annoyed me, but she went off the deep end so far on her rant, it became just darn funny.

Controversial title though.

Robin said...

I will have to read this book!

Teri said...

Let me know if you want to borrow my copy.