Saturday, April 16, 2011


We've all done it before, looked down on something that we considered low-brow, silly, vaguely offensive, and probably even crude without trying it first. That's been my encounter with Captain Underpants. I've knocked him down, argued against that eerily simple logic that, hey, at least they are reading, nodded solemnly as a teacher berates his adventures with their lengthy adolescent titles.

But I've never read them.

Sure, I've glanced at one from time to time when it needed some magic tape repair, but even then I've averted my eyes from the print so as to avoid some inadvertant glance at the horrors that almost certainly lay within. And yet, Dav Pilkey saw to it that without any support from any adult anywhere in the professional community, his underwear-clad superhero books became many of the most popular books in a children's library. His books have made it onto the New York Times Bestseller List with some degree of consistency. That's right, librarians! Dav Pilkey has proven he doesn't need us!

And so, today, I embark on a harrowing quest. Like many of the greats who've come before me, I'm taking the plunge into unkempt waters. In the coming week, I'm going to read Captain Underpants. And I'm not going to stop after book one! Oh no! I'm going from book one straight through to book eight. There's no turning back. I have to do this. You see, I just bought the entire series twice over for my library. My previous copies were well beyond retirement condition. I'm fairly certain that my best copy of book four, Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants, had been whittled down from a 25 chapter, 153 page epic novel to 16 chapter, 97.6 page bundle of tape. In most cases, there was more tape than paper left. I really didn't want to spend my meeger funds to replace them, but the public wants what the public wants. And while I can't stop America's youth from poisoning its mind with dribble, I can come to know the poisonous dribble for what it is.

So I find myself standing on the precipice, ready to fall into the bottomless pit of depravity and body-part humor. I think of my peers: the immortal journalist Nellie Bly, acclaimed naturalist William Beebe, experimental cook Julie Powell, and limited-time environmentalist Vanessa Farquharson. All these heroes had their trials, tribulations, and moments of regret, but did any of them quit? No. Well, mostly no anyway. If they did quit it was only for a few days, and then they were right back at the grindstone. So I'm going to do it. And I'll write about it along the way. To my readers, I can't promise that this experience won't change me, leaving me a hollow shell of the person I am today. But the two of you are probably just here for the awesome background I chose anyway, so who cares?

Happy reading, people. Remember me as I was.


  1. Good luck on this dubious "under"taking...Hopefully it won't prove to be just another wopping-wedgie that will send you slipping through the crack to insanity and insecurity. I am sure the books will prove to be charmin and squeezably soft on the eyes.

  2. Well, so far, so good. I think I'm going to make it. Thanks for your concern, Aloha! The toilet paper references were an interesting touch.

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    1. Many thanks for your comment. I admit that I did allow this to lapse for a while, but I'm thinking that I may pick it back up. I certainly haven't stopped reading or reacting, just writing it all down for the rest of the world to see. Thanks for being a reader.

  4. I seldom leave responses, but I read a few of the responses on "TODAY, I EMBARK ON UNDERPANTS!".

    I actually do have some questions for you if you do not mind.
    Is it just me or does it seem like a few of the remarks come across as if they are coming from brain dead
    individuals? :-P And, if you are writing on other online
    sites, I would like to follow you. Would you make a
    list of every one of all your social pages like your twitter feed, Facebook
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    1. Thank you for your comment. At the time that I was publishing this with some degree of regularity, I wasn't writing for many other platforms. I do maintain accounts with some of the sites you mentioned, but the content I publish there had little or no connection to my reading. Oddly enough, this served as a small outlet for a hobby that bordered on obsession. The hobby hasn't abated. Just the maintenance of this blog. I foresee that changing though.

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    1. Thank you. That was very kind of you. I appreciate it. The more readers, the better.