Reader's Exchange

Hooked on funny

Have you produced any amigurumi lately?  Do you know what that is?

What's great about this question is that your chances of answering correctly are about equal no matter which side of the generational divide you inhabit. 

Amigurumi  (translation: "knitted stuffed toy") denotes a crafting trend that's all over the internet.  You can download patterns for everything from hedgehogs and penguins to the edgier Hello Kitty figures, aliens, and monsters online and knit or crochet an astonishing range of witty miniatures.

Alternatively, you could come into the library and search for "amigurumi" as a keyword and leave with a nice volume of patterns already in print and ready to use.  Creepy Cute Crochet, for example, equips you to create a crocheted Cthulhu or Noseferatu.  Armed with this guide, crafters of both genders and all ages can manufacture vampires, Grim Reapers, and awwwww-inspiring skeleton wedding cake toppers.CCC Reaper

Creepy Cute comes to us from Quirk, the same publisher who introduced literary mashups like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Android Karenina, and Sense and Sensibility and Sea MonstersCleverness, whether craft- or humor-oriented, transcends generational boundaries, and Quirk is reinforcing that bridge nicely.  Other Quirk titles, including Night of the Living Trekkies, The Meowmorphosis, and Taft 2012: A Novel, offer further age-indiscriminate appeal.   Cell phones (pitting Callers vs. Texters) only serve to divide us, but stitchery and satire will have us bonding yet.

Oh, it's true that, while Boomers and Gen X- and Y-ers can all claim literacy with the canon of parody (I refer, naturally, to Mad magazine) those of us who were on hand for the earliest productions may feel that we possess greater insight.  We might even recommend some education in classic musical humor (some of which predates us): Anna Russell's operatic sendup of Wagner's Ring Cycle or How to Write Your Own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera or Tom Lehrer songs.

Mostly, however, we can revel in our shared appreciation, look forward to Quirk's forthcoming titles, and take note of such non-Quirk (but definitely quirky) literary achievements as these:  The Hunger Pains; Game of Groans; My Favorite Fangs: The Story of the Von Trapp Family Vampires; Fifty Shames of Earl Grey; The Girl with the Sturgeon Tattoo; Harry Potty and the Deathly Boring; Goodnight, iPad; Who Cut the Cheese; Breaking Down (part of the Nightlight saga) and, finally, Fifty Shades of Sparkling Vampires with Dragon Tattoos That Play Starvation Games.

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