In keeping with our apparent program to induct our children into the world of utter nerd-dom, my excellent mother-in-law has introduced our children to Gilbert and Sullivan.
It's been a fruitful acquaintance. First they saw The Pirates of Penzance, which led Chestnut to remark when the school made a plan to have a DJ'd dance party with an 80s theme, "Why don't they just put on the music from The Pirates of Penzance? Then everybody would dance!" Without any irony. At all.
Various interactions and appreciations of all kinds have followed, capped off with this, Diana's new reading constant companion, to be found in the bed, on the bathroom floor, really anywhere a truly-loved book will appear.
Do you know how many pages long this book is? It's 1,218 pages long, that's how many. It's GIGANTIC. It's arcane. It's…unexpected. How did this possibly come to be the favorite book of my 11-year-old, black-nail-polish-wearing, eye-rolling, Monty Python–watching sweetie? It's simultaneously unfathomable and almost too predictable.
But here's what I can tell you: if you have a child who is in any way like this, this book, with its minute annotations of everything Gilbert and Sullivan, will bring them nearly infinite joy. Also: it will allow them to correct you on various subjects with frightening authority. There's really far too much information in those lyrics, it gives certain people an unfair advantage.
For those with this type of person in their houses? Enjoy. I salute you.