Okay, this is not exactly kidlit related, but bear with me. Sometimes you run across someone who deserves to be heard. And, slap me if I'm wrong, but there might be a perception that "soldier" and "good writer" do not go together. I'd like to dispel that thought, here and now.
From a soldier overseas who I'm not at liberty to name (but his callsign is Starbaby):
I don’t know who had the bright idea that civilians should wear black Kevlar helmets. Aside from the fact that black is always a poor color for the deserts, black Kevlar coal-scuttle helmets went out with the Waffen SS. Admittedly,there was a short, humorous resurgence in “Spaceballs”. This comes to mind because civilians, obviously, travel on the same helicopters that I do. So, w here I show up in battledress, with enough body armor to sink a coal barge, assault pack, helmet, weapons, ammo, gloves, eye protection and water, lots of these folks show up (with laptop) in their Georgio Armani designer plate carriers (which successfully protect both lungs, the heart, the top of the liver, the appendix and about six vertebra), safari shirts from Banana Republic, and the obligatory cargo pants from Land’s End. And the black helmet. And every one of them is making more money than I do. God save us from Rick Moranis’ legions of doom.
And here he is, skewering those
who stock the local military store:
Also, in a macabre piece of retail brilliance, we now have an entire display rack of little Gold Star Banners, to send home to Mom. Blue stars mean that the family has a member serving in the military. Gold stars mean that a family member has been killed in action. So, we have an entire display for the unusually fatalistic and obsessively deranged person who plans everything in advance. This person can buy one and stick it in their underwear drawer, in the sure knowledge that if the worst happens (like a heart attack in front of the ice cream bar), somebody will mail their personal effects home, and they will have been ahead of the power curve on the banner thing. Morons.
P.S. I take it back. This post is kidlit friendly. Upon further perusal of his emails, I found references to "lions, tigers, and bears, (oh my)," "all dogs cringe when yelled at (thank you, Terry Pratchett)," and of course, the Cookie Monster sponsorship. So I went for the goal and asked about his favorite childhood books and voila! he gave me this very respectable, totally kidlit worthy list, complete with age references:
The Lorax (6)
Uncle Remus Stories (3/4) - the Disney version. They had to take that one away from me, actually.
Chronicles of Narnia (8)
The Hobbit (9)
The Lord of the Rings (11)
The Dark is Rising Series (13)
I didn't ask him if he still reads children's books, but something tells me he might. I wonder how his reviews would sound? With apologies (and thanks) to Starbaby:
"Someone, please, slap a black helmet on Madonna. And tell her the Post Exchange stocks enough crap without Lotsa De Casha taking shelf space away from Slim Jims and cookies."