Harry Potter; Personal

Today was a day of mixed blessings. The first of which was that I did not know which of the pipes was distrubuting cold and hot water, so I let each of them run into a bucket for about a minute. Or course the one that was spewing out warm water turned out to be the “cold” water, a fact that I did not know until I went to see what was taking the thing so long, and noticed that the water line marked as ‘C’ was quite hot to the touch. You live, you learn.

The stalemate between my wife and my parents-in-law seems to be over as they were over at the house today. While she (the mother-in-law) was less than friendly, he (the father-in-law) was quite cordial and I did enjoy speaking with him. That is likely in a lot of families though, the public in general would like to villify the father of the bride while the reality is that the mother of the bride has so much control over him/the situation that it is always going to go her way no matter what. That is not a given fact so much as it is an estimation that I have come up with after seeing the reactions of numerous Mothers on the day of the prom, compared to numerous fathers on the day of the prom. After all, whatever happens on PROM night is sealed in a mayonaise jar on the front porch of Funk and Wagnalls so it can’t be disputed or conversed about, right…

• So I read the first Harry Potter book over the weekend. I suppose it would be more true to say that I read the first thirty pages of it while I was on the shitter on Friday and Saturday, then read the other 300 pages today. It was a pretty decent read.

I am not trying to imply that it is a literary masterpiece or anything of the such, just to say that it kept me involved to the point that I read the book (basically cover to cover) today. I have not been so involved with characters as this book makes you since the first John Saul novel that I read. Of course Saul continued to write the same story over and over again just to get a check.

The first two chapters of the “Potter” book, I was joking with my wife about circling the noun and under-lining the verb. Sometime between then and now I actually read damn near 300 pages of that same book.

Was it compelling? No. Did I feel drawn to the book enough to keep reading it? No. It was certainly a book for very young people. There were no complex sentence structures, even the ending had been telegraphed from the start of the book. At the same time the characters were wonderful and you want to read just a bit more to find out what happens to Hagrid, Draco, the Weasley’s and Ms. Granger. The story that this book told might not have been compelling, but the speculation of the next book is.

Bottom line, had I been in my teens, or pre-teens, when this book was released, I would have been all over it. Like a teen-ager to a new Harry Potter book, if you want to use an analogy. Why this thing, “Harry Potter”, is doing so well at the moment we may never know, but if it is getting kids to turn the pages of a book rather than stealing their daddy’s gun, it is certainly a step in the right direction.

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