Literary Deposits

We were peeling carrots, and putting them in a tall glass of water in the refrigerator to chill, which is something my mother used to do. The idea was that it was so hot, and it would be great to have something cool and crunchy to eat whenever you came out of your heat-induced torpor enough to be hungry. But here's the problem: as I put them in the refrigerator, I said, "And crispy, crunchy carrot sticks just about any time!"

Do you know why I said that? Because the Berenstain Bears have carved a rut into my brain.

It's a parental occupational hazard: you read the same books over. And over. And over. And then, like anything, they cut a groove in your brain just like pop songs from the year you were 13, or television commercials you consumed repeatedly. And you can't. Get them. OUT.

Whenever I see carrot sticks, that freaking sentence comes into my mouth AND MAKES ME SPEAK IT.

Every. Single. Time.

It's from The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food, one of my most heartily detested chores. I don't know how many times I read it. I don't know how long it will take before it becomes expunged. If ever. Which is something I just have to deal with, you know? IT MAY NEVER BE EXPUNGED.

I will be 96 years old (if I'm lucky) and they'll walk by with carrot sticks (they won't offer them to me, because I won't have any teeth left), and I'll mumble "Crisp, crunchy carrots sticks just about any time!" And they'll think I'm mad. And maybe they'll be right.

Also, in a desperate attempt at journalistic integrity I just searched for the cursed book to see if I have altered the hated quote, and found that it has four stars on good reads. Which must be in some way significant, though I am too horrified to figure out why.

Anyway, I woke up at 5:55 a.m. thinking, "Literary deposits," and that's what I realized I meant: these things leave their traces in your brain, and you can't get them out, and then that IS your brain, all the literary deposits that have been left there.

If this has happened to you, if you are a helpless victim to some trigger phrase or another, tell me in the comments. Just don't come by with carrot sticks. You know what I'll say.

12 thoughts on “Literary Deposits

  1. You are a bird, and you are my mother!
    A comb and a brush and a bowl full of mush, and a quiet old lady whispering hush.
    But that one I don’t mind – even if I say it every time I see oatmeal. 🙂


  2. Everytime my kids are convinced to try something new:
    Say, I like them, Sam-I-Am!
    and everytime I’m hunting a fly inside:
    Old black fly’s been buzzing around and he’s had a very busy, bad day! (Aylesworth/Gammell)


  3. Each peach, pear, plum, I spy Tom Thumb.
    This is during peach, pear and plum season obviously. But I loved that book and could recite the whole thing at one time. I don’t think I can any more.
    Also, this is how I talk a lot, but it was hard to come up with one. I do the old black fly one too! As well as the goodnight moon! We also do music, and we were singing “My bologna has a first name…” last night when my husband ate the last piece of bologna.
    Oh, maybe my brain is just the “deposits” and nothing else!


  4. In the great green room, there was a telephone and a red balloon…
    They went to the library day after day and read page after page after page.


  5. There was a creepy paperback Barbie book my daughter used to like, where Barbie was directing a play and the understudy was nervous, so Barbie told her “Just believe in yourself.” We made fun of it while we were reading, but it’s become a kind of mantra for us.
    PS – Can’t stand those freaking BB books! I remeber the one you mention perfectly. 😦


  6. The WORST line in that BB book is something like “There was no doubt about it, the cubs were looking a little chubby…from the back…from the front…and from the side.” and it shows their pants being stretched by their bulging butts. I eventually hid the book.
    But some literary deposits are good. “A family is everyone all together” from A Baby Sister for Frances is one that gets often used around here.
    Also “Let the wild rumpus begin!” from Where the Wild Things Are.
    And “Kiss! Admire! Stroke!” from Julius the Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes. (I loooove Kevin Henkes)


  7. We quote many different books, I couldn’t begin to mention them all.
    If we want to make each other laugh, we go straight to Dav Pilkey. Our favorite quote is from Ook and Gluk–you first have to gesture towards yourself proudly and a bit dramatically, grin cheesily, then say “I went poo poo in my underwear!”


  8. Today was a difficult day. Tomorrow will be better. — also from the great Kevin Henkes, from Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.
    Go to bed, Fred! — from some random bedtime-themed Muppet board book that we read over, and over, and over.


  9. I am the Lorax I speak for the trees– whenever I hear myself sounding impassioned.
    and “abrasion-contusions” from the cars called that in If I Ran the Circus– every time either word comes up or any boo-boo requiring a bandaid or for no apparent reason: abrasion-contusions, abrasion-contusions….


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