The Stupids Have a Ball by Harry Allard and James Marshall, as reinterpreted by Betty Lou from Circulation
Beware, Thar be... you know what? Forget it. Onward!
The book begins with a scathing indictment of the national education system as well as parenting as both children seem to be doing poorly yet their lack of effort is praised. They are even rewarded for their ineptitude with a costume ball, the preparation and execution therein complete the narrative.
The authors make a point to show how the tactics of the rich and moronic upper class force the lower class, in this case a cat and dog, prepare balloons, punch and invitations. The upper class, i.e. “Parents”, only include themselves in the final activity and have difficulty doing even that, mocking the upper class’s inablility to do even simple tasks.
As we near the party, we are exposed to even more extremes the rich and idle go through to waste their moneys. Costumes such as “George Washing Machine,” a bastardization of our nation's noble leader, show the depths to which the upper class reach to shame our great nation. Other costumes are clearly metaphors for how the rich and poor should interact, including Ma as “spaghetti” being all wrapped up in herself and the dog as “The Bone Ranger,” a call for the unwashed masses to take back what they can through vigilante means if they must to reach a state of justice.
As the guests arrive, you can see the extent the authors feel they need to go to chastise the rich and powerful. One guest arrives on a duck, which we all know as the Celtic symbol for transition, signifying a change in status quo is approaching.
A sad moment comes halfway through the book as Grandfather Stupid arrives down a chimney dressed as the Easter Bunny. Oh, this painful scene forces the reader to confront the idea that not only will we age and die, but we will collapse into the gaping maw of Alzheimer’s if our nation’s healthcare does not improve.
The final scene comes as a crushing blow not only to the reader but to society as a whole when we learn that, despite everyone wearing costumes, none but the Stupids themselves were aware this was a costume ball. By forcing us to look back into ourselves, this revelation begs the question, “Are we all at a costume ball where no one wore a costume?” Think on that, dear reader.
I can only recommend The Stupids Have a Ball to the most studied among us. True, juveniles may find the embellishments humorous, but true scholars will find so much more beneath the surface.
Each day in the month of April 2012 (starting the first Sunday, then excluding every other Sunday) we will blog using the alphabet as our guide. I will link each post to the letter and you can find them all on this page. If you want to keep up with the challenge for my fellow bloggers, check out the A to Z Challenge Page.
Check out my 100 Book Challenge under the