Thursday, August 16, 2007

Why did it take me so long....?

I've been kind of pissy in a half hearted way at my local NPR station for dropping the show Selected Shorts from their line up. Not pissy enough to stop supporting them--especially since a friend of mine is a reporter there and I like to think of my $100 going into her paycheck--but I feel a recurring grumpiness on the weekends when they play Car Talk for the 3rd time.

Selected Shorts is an hour long show where actors read short stories--some brand new, some classics--live before an audience at Symphony Space in NYC. The story selection and the actors who read them are all top notch and before WUOM dropped it, I discovered a number of new authors through this medium.

I'm a little slow here, but it just occurred to me this week that I could see if the show is podcast and it is! Now I can listen to Selected Shorts whenever I get a little break from the small people. Tuesday was a frustrating day of parenting by the end of which I decided that the kids would be better off with a three headed dog as their mother; in fact I think I resembled a three headed dog what with all the barking I'd been doing, but if I really was a three headed dog maybe they wouldn't have ignored all my barking all the damn day long. So I ditched the kids with Brian, put on my MP3 player and went for a long walk while listening to this line up:

James Thurber, “The Topaz Cufflinks Mystery,” read by Isaiah Sheffer
Collected in: James Thurber: Writings and Drawings (Library of America, Volume 90)
Fairy tale, “Tritill, Litill and the Birds,” read by Daniel Gerroll
Collected in: The Crimson Fairy Book, edited by Andrew Lang (Dover)
Edith Nesbit, “Melisande,” read by Christina Pickles
Published as: Melisande (Candlewick Press)

By the time "The Topaz Cufflinks Mystery" was over I was in a different mood entirely--I'd like to see anyone listen to this story and not crack a smile. Once I started smiling I started feeling human again and after an hour of walking and listening, I was able to head back home and actually look on my kids with affection rather than frustration. Isn't that transformative power what good fiction is all about?


Anonymous said...

i complain every fund drive about them dropping selective shorts. i'm not over it.

tree town gal

Amy said...

I'm ashamed to say I didn't understand the "punchline" of the story. My coworkers and I have listened a number of times. Please explain!

Kate said...

Oh I think the ending is just a continuation of the absurdity of the argument, not necessarily a punchline, per se. Kind of like arguing whether a glass is half full or half empty!