Monday, January 16, 2012

Looking Back: How to Eat Like a Child

            Growing up in the late seventies, Delia Ephron’s How to Eat Like a Child: And Other Lessons in Not Being a Grown-Up (Viking Press, 1977) had the auspicious honor of being in my top five.*  Sassy and irreverent, the seemingly rebellious collection of expository essays was nothing less than side-splittingly hysterical.  It was also a fun time-suck that initiated deep, profound experimentation and conversations with friends.  True Case: My childhood chum, Colleen, and I really did see if M&M’s would melt in our hands (Outcome: positive) and it was unanimously agreed upon after extensive discourse that we’d both much rather be frozen to death than burned alive. 
            The cult success of How to Eat Like a Child surely owed debt to the sleepy zeitgeist of the decade’s waning years.  But it was also a much simpler time to grow up.  While computers were something on The Jetsons and trotting off to the neighborhood pool was the activity du jour, How to Eat Like a Child fell right into place between episodes of Mork and Mindy and multiple games of Mastermind.  And with that came the era of old-school rebellion.  The notion of calling your teacher and sending seven pizzas or torturing siblings with jelly doughnuts certainly qualified as satisfying, subversive fun to any eight-year-old. 
            So check out or revisit the timeless universal enjoyment of How to Eat Like a Child.  After all, we’re all kids at heart! 
            Now where is that number for Pizza Hut…I never did like that mean, craggy Mrs. Weinerschmidt. 

 *Top Five – Favorite books

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