Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Were those customers parents?

Customers who bought this item also bought these items: What Are YOU So Grumpy About?
When I was a second grade aide last year there was an incident in which a parent took extreme umbrage with a teacher’s decision to disallow the oral reporting upon Walter the Farting Dog. The teacher held her ground. Some words were just not to be said in a classroom situation.
I would not dispute that there is some whimsy in a dog’s flatulence problem. (Well, there was Sarge, my sister’s late bulldog who could clear a room without making a sound. Sort of funny. Bordering on painful. But I would not memorialize him in a children’s book.) And we all know what will happen if Scrappy or Bess con us out of some peas or broccoli.
But there are some words we don’t say in polite company. I was amazed to see Walter promoted in a full-page ad for Marshall Field’s Children’s Reading Event. Marshall Field’s, Chicago’s own august State Street institution. A store that in my not-so-distant childhood would rather use the phrase ‘special selling’ instead of the more pedestrian ‘sale.’ And now they use the word FART in their advertising.

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