AND YOU KIDS OUT THERE, NEVER FORGET WHAT YOUR UNCLE BILL ALWAYS SAYS: WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS, TELL IT TO "SHUT UP!"

Bill O'Reilly has published a book of advice for children. That's right. Not a book for parents seeking creative ways to tell their children they're worthless - although that's a book you'd think O'Reilly could really sink his teeth into. No, this book is actually FOR children. Which children? Well, we suppose there might be a lot of youngsters out there who watch the "O'Reilly Factor" in their garages as they pore over their middle school's floor plans.

Here are some excerpts:

We can learn a lot of things from our "Friends" on television, but sitcoms are very different from real life . . . In real life, true friends stand by you when things get rough. . . Sure, they do that in the TV program, but the tragedies those characters experience last only 23 minutes. Yours will last much longer . . .

You mean, my suffering will never end? Kill me now, Uncle Bill!

I once had a friend in high school. . . . This guy and I had known each other since first grade. . . . There was this dance I wanted to go to, but I didn't want to go alone. . . . So I asked my friend. . . He said he couldn't go. . . But when [I] arrived at the hop (that's what they called a dance back then), I couldn't believe my eyes. My so-called friend. . . . was out there doing the twist like a madman. What was up with that? . . . . [H]e admitted that some of the guys he went to the dance with didn't like me, so he didn't want me around. . . . If that situation had happened in a TV sitcom, everybody would have made up and had a few laughs. But life is different. I never trusted that guy again and rarely spoke to him. . . . Once I become friends with you, I'm in for life unless you do something bad to me. Even though I am now famous and successful, I still keep my old friends. And believe me, none of them looks like Jennifer Aniston. It would not be hard being her friend. . . . Other people will tell you to forgive a friend for lying to you. Not me. . . . Someone can lie to me once, but only once, if he or she wants to be a friend. See, you heard I could be stubborn. . . .

And so, class, what have we learned from Mr. O'Reilly?

1. Bill O'Reilly is famous and successful.
2. Don't cross him. Don't ever cross him.
3. Behind every friendly face lies a back-stabbing bastard. Trust no one.
4. Stop watching sitcoms. Everything you need to know about life you can learn from "The O'Reilly Factor."
5. Life is tough. No one will hand you anything. Especially not Bill O'Reilly.

IN THE BEGINNING, THERE WAS SLEEPY BEAR. . .

As an infant, Small Fellow was given "Sleepy Bear," a small blanket bearing his name, with the head of a teddy bear and a satin border, which is so important for nighttime rubbing. (You can find one for your own fellow or sweetie here.) And he slept with Sleepy Bear, and it was good. Soon, we added the rabbit from "Goodnight Moon" to his bed, followed by a tiny teddy bear he named "Baby Bear." And that remained the status quo until newborn Tiny Girl was given a long stuffed cat to which Fellow took a liking. That cat is alternately called "Cat," "Cat Number 8," or "Clyde." Then came a matching pair of small beanie bulldogs, bringing the nighttime menagerie up to six as Fellow turned 3. And now there's been another population explosion. Two new small teddy bears joined the crew in recent days, "Cozy Bear" and "Little Cozy Bear." All eight "sleepy friends" - actually, Fellow often tells us they're "a family," and, like the Manson Family, they sometimes tell him disturbing things. ("Daddy, Cozy Bear likes to be in a bag.") With eight sleeping companions, all tucked in neatly under his covers, the boy is quite adorable . . . but also not so unlike your average eight-year-old girl.

WON'T YOU PLEASE FIND IT IN YOUR HEART TO GIVE WHATEVER YOU CAN TO SAVE THE CHALLAH BABY?

We are all for toys expressing our faith. We shook our toy lulav here this week, and blew our toy shofars last week. But we have to draw the line somewhere, and this is just too damn creepy. It looks like someone's mummified Pippi Longstocking . . .

THE EMPEROR HAS NO FLAP

America loves the "Spot" books, Eric Hill's series of turn-the-flap books featuring a dog who's cuter than he has any right to be, and his crew of slightly miscolored animal pals. We have easily a half-dozen, but one is not like the others. It's "Spot's Birthday Party," and, due to an apparent production error, our copy is missing all of its flaps, making it a real challenge to read, especially since the first page declares, "Let's play hide-and-seek . . . "

WELCOME TO FLU CITY

Tiny Girl's reactive airway disease - Can we digress? We understand that the doctors don't like to use the word "asthma" when they're talking to parents of toddlers - after all, children as young as Tiny often grow out of her asthma-like symptoms, which, so far, are only triggered by colds, and then go away. But to avoid calling what she has "asthma," could they not come up with anything more reassuring than "reactive airway disease." Let's break it down word by word - no, actually, let's just break down that last word. It's "disease." Thanks for the euphemism, we're sleeping fine.

Anyway . . . because of Tiny Girl's "flowerpot" (that's our euphemism and we're sticking to it), she's in the high-risk category for the flu, so she had a shot scheduled for yesterday. But since she's never had a flu shot before, she actually needs to get two doses, yesterday's and then a booster four weeks hence. So we asked the nurse, "Any chance your office is going to have any flu shot left here in four weeks?" And she smiled and said, "Well, we hope so." And we shared a knowing laugh. Because there's no chance.

FYI: We hear tell that some pediatric practices are keeping enough flu shot in reserve to be able to meet its booster commitments to children who just received their first flu shot. If you're in a similar situation, make sure to ask your pediatrician if he or she is doing the same, or is willing to.

And in case the 10 pages of flu-shot coverage in your local paper yesterday wasn't enough for you, here's an FAQ. And here's an explainer telling you why they can't simply make more.

OH, DUDE, YOUR TIMING REALLY SUCKS

Just in time for the vaccine crisis, a team of US researchers recreate the deadly 1918 Flu, and then use it to kill some laboratory mice in particularly cruel and unusual fashion. Way to go, science!

A CONVERSATION YOU DON'T WANT TO HAVE WITH YOUR PRESCHOOLER AS HE EMERGES FROM HIS STANFORD-BINET V TEST, WHICH WILL DETERMINE IF HE'LL BE ABLE TO ATTEND AN ELITE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, AND, INEVITABLY, WHICH YALE SECRET SOCIETY WILL SEEK HIS COMPANY

FD: Did you have a fun play date? Did you do a lot of puzzles?
Small Fellow: Yeah. I did some puzzles.
FD: Great! Did you do all the puzzles?
Small Fellow: No . . . I did some puzzles . . . and some puzzles I didn't want to do.

[Full disclosure: Fellow went on to describe in detail the type of puzzles he claimed he didn't want to do, but we've erased that part of the transcript so as not to tip off other parents to the secret contents of the SBV test.]

ACTUALLY, VELMA WAS AWOL WHEN IT CAME TIME TO POSE FOR THE GANG'S VITAMIN MOLDS . . . THE MANUFACTURER WAS ABLE TO LOCATE FRED AND DAPHNE UPSTAIRS IN THE MASTER BEDROOM "SEARCHING" EACH OTHER FOR "GHOSTS," AND SHAGGY AND SCOOBY ON THE BACK PORCH "GETTING HIGH"

Get me Kissinger on Line One! VitaminGate has hit the fan. This brilliant item (via radosh.net) asks the leading manufacturer of children's vitamins why certain characters are notably absent from their bottles. For example, Scooby vitamins have no Velma, and Flintstones Chewables have no Betty Rubble. As a Miles Inc. spokesman says, "You can tell the difference between Fred and Barney, and between Pebbles and Bamm Bamm, but you can't with Wilma and Betty." Oh, really? You, sir, have a very limited imagination . . .

[Speaking of Pebbles, here's the line that led to the biggest dinner party laugh FD has ever earned. On a brisk Saturday night in October of 1990, the conversation turned to R&B songstress Pebbles and her hit "Mercedes Boy." FD's opinion is sought out, and we say: "Yeah, her career has really taken off since she pulled that bone out of her hair."]

IT'S NOT EASY BEING ARRESTED

The animator of some of Sesame Street's brilliant number animations is hauled in on child perv charges.

TALK ABOUT A TERRIBLE HORRIBLE NO GOOD VERY BAD DAY

As if sent by the Lord to expose a sinner, a tornado hits a Maryland man's home, blowing the roof off and uncovering a truckload of kiddie porn.

OF COURSE, ACCORDING TO POSTAGE REGULATIONS, YOU'RE NOT REALLY SUPPOSED TO BE ALLOWED TO APPEAR ON A STAMP UNTIL YOU'RE DEAD

The US Postal Service has ended its experiment with stamps.com under which many parents created legal postage stamps featuring pictures of their tots, partly due to bad press arising from people minting stamps featuring the Unabomber, Linda Tripp, Dr. Phil, and other unsavory characters.

IF THEIR CLAIM GOES THROUGH, PREPARE TO LEARN THE LYRICS TO "JULEMANDEN IS COMING TO TOWN"

Denmark has laid a claim to ownership of the North Pole, and if it is successful, Danish officials will reportedly take Santa's Workshop by eminent domain, tear it down, and build a new factory and office park for the Juul Nisse.

AFTER PINOCCHIO REVIEWED THE SCENE IN QUESTION, IT WASN'T JUST HIS NOSE THAT GREW

The producers of the new movie "Team America: World Police" have toned down a marionette oral sex scene in order to earn an R rating. The MPAA had previously threatened to rate the film NC-17, despite the fact that the puppets in the scene have no genitalia and are, in fact, made of wood. Still, we suspect "Team America" will look pretty tame compared to the granddaddy of puppet raunch, "Meet the Feebles," from the man who brought you "The Lord of the Rings." "The Feebles" takes Muppet spoofing to a place 20,000 leagues below "Avenue Q."

PRINCE WROTE IN NOMINATING "I WOULD DIE 4 U" BE PLACED ON THE LIST, BUT IT WAS DECIDED THAT'S NOT REALLY AN EQUATION

Physics World magazine, which boys across Britain wrap around their copies of Maxim in the backs of their classrooms, recently asked readers to nominate candidates for the greatest equations of all time. Among the leading nominees was "1 + 1 = 2." This note from a Canadian scientist says a lot about science and fathering:

"I know that other equations have done more, express greater power [and have a] broader understanding of the universe," wrote Richard Harrison from Calgary in Canada, "but there's something to be said for the beauty of the simplest things of their kind." He then recalled how 1 + 1 = 2 was the first equation he taught his son. "I remember [him] holding up the index finger of each hand as he learned the expression, and the moment of wonder when he saw that the two fingers, separated by his whole body, could be joined in a single concept in his mind."

Give that man a Nobel.

AT LEAST HE'S MAKING FRIENDS

Small Fellow tells us he has a new friend in school. We'll call him N.

FD: So, Fellow, why is N. your friend? Small Fellow: Because I like to copy all the things he does.

APPARENTLY, MRS. DR. PHIL ASKS TOUGHER QUESTIONS THAN JIM LEHRER

Earlier, we linked to Slate's review of President and Mrs. Bush's appearance on the Dr. Phil family tragedy show. Slate has now offered the follow up, (scroll down on the link) in which Senator and Mrs. Heinz Kerry spoke from the heart about raising children in a merged family in which no one can really understand what the Hell the mother is saying. Here's an excerpt:

Asked if one of his daughters was more like him than the other, he responded, and I swear to God I'm transcribing word-for-word: "Yes. No. Well that's ... gosh, I'd like to say yes, but I guess ... yes, the answer is yes." Which daughter, Mrs. Dr. Phil inquired? "Well, that's why I hesitated. Because in some ways my daughter Alexandra is more like me, but in other ways my daughter Vanessa is more like me."

Is it me, or is Kerry's indecisiveness becoming endearing?

MEANWHILE, EVERYWHERE ELSE . . .

One in twelve children worldwide die before age 5. Now go kiss your child goodnight.

October 8, 2004 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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