Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fire! Fire!

Katniss Everdeen, aka, Girl on Fire, aka heroine of The Hunger Games, got her own Barbie.


I wasn’t sure how they’d pull it off---would they stick to her cool-Lenny-Kravitz-made-this-stunning pre-slaughter reaping dress?

(I want this dress!)

Would they create the post-traumatic stress dress with sewn in state-issued-plastic-surgery-dodging padding which screams, “Look, I’m innocent!” and makes President Snow less likely to send mutts to kill her in her sleep? No, they went with her arena gear.

Or at least the original version of her arena gear.

It’ll be interesting to see if someone will alter this to create a fresh-out-of-the-arena Katniss doll. You know, after she’s been stabbed, starved, dehydrated, hunted like she’s Number 2 of Al-Qaeda, poisoned by venomous insects, concussed, deafened in one ear, burned by balls of fire, wearing filthy one-legged pants and a hood with attached sleeves, her hair matted, face dirty, and overall looking like a traumatized wounded rabid animal on the attack after killing four people to save her own life while nursing someone else back to health. You know, what reality TV producers call her “before” picture. In the next movie they can have Tyra Banks telling her to widen the gap in her front teeth because it will make her unique. Unique and possibly toothless, but unique nonetheless.

Personally I liked the book better than the movie. Except for the boring books I was forced to pretend to read in college, I usually like books better. Books give more detail. Books let you wallow in the scenes you enjoy and skim the ones that give you nightmares. Books let you use your imagination, allowing you to delude yourself that characters described as black are white, followed by you getting called out for tweeting you were no longer sorry the character died because she was blonde in your imagination.
Yes, and in my imagination I click my heels and someone landscapes my backyard for free.

(Reminder to self: start hanging out in Lowes in hopes Yard Crashers will appear…)

The top reason I prefer books to films is writing is cheap. Typing extra words cost 3 cents in ink. Translating words into film costs mucho dinero. Ever see a book turned into a TV movie? I was watching one and wondering, “Where are the plane crashes? She didn’t have a brother in the book, which was set in Georgia not California. I’m pretty sure I’d remember an Argentinean nationalist being in the book. What, did they start letting Universal Studio tourists take turns acting?” I have to remind myself they were given 21 days, $37.58 and a case of Power Bars to make the film, and it’s still more entertaining than anything on the Lifetime Movie Network. (“I think the ghost of my ex-husband’s sister’s dead cat is stalking me!”) There’s the occasional studio that has lost its freaking mind turning books into films, like when they made the Scarlet Letter. How many high school students flunked their “book” reports after watching the movie version? However, with the Hunger Games I realized if the movie had followed the book a tee, it wouldn’t simply be R rated, it would be NC-17 and viewers would need therapy.

That, or it would be a mini-series on HBO called “Game of Thrones: Teenage Edition.”


Speaking of fires, did you know the American Red Cross provides free disaster parties for libraries? They’re greeeaaat!!! I love them not only because they are free, but because they do a really good job with them. They provide the publicity, bring everything with them, and the only thing you have to do is set up chairs and advertise in E-Vanced. Pretty neat set-up, huh? I learned things about safety that I had not known before. Did you know you are to use the back of your hand to feel for heat at the door? I always thought we felt with our palms. Apparently we’re used to heat on our palms, making them less sensitive. Or did you know there are two ways to stop, drop and roll? If your upper body or hands are on fire, you don't want them anywhere near your face and should hold them to your sides while rolling. Most of us know we should have an emergency supply box. My box consists of hoping I have my ID, my American Express card, and that I'm close to a Marriot or Hampton Inn. (Perhaps I should work on this.) As for emergency numbers, I have 9-1-1. What good is calling my family on the side of the road? Get me to the hospital ASAP! I'm O-, 5-6, my official weight is "Why do you want to know?" and I don't take NSAIDS or aspirin.

To go along with this program I created a special storytime. Comedies joke about fires---maybe your boyfriend bonfire got out of control, or you ran back into the room because you left your wedding shoes in the closet. This means young children are not prepared for an emergency and need some practice. Be warned: you will get dirty looks from parents (see below).

Fire Safety Storytime

No Dragons for Tea
Valuables---an empty computer bag, keys, an empty purse, etc.
A stuffed cat or dog
The ability to set aside your dignity for at least 7 minutes

Extra Books:
Stop, Drop and Roll
Fire Safety

1. Wear jeans for this storytime. Not a long skirt, not yoga pants, jeans. This storytime requires crawling. You don’t want people staring at your butt.
2. Before storytime set up a table behind you or to your side filled with valuables.
3. Read “No Dragons for Tea.” In this story a dragon sets fire to a house during tea, then tries to run back in for a toy.
4. After the reading go over the important parts---when there is a fire drop to the floor, crawl out and never go back in because WE CAN’T REPLACE YOU!
5. Have everyone practice crawling to safety.
6. Before you reach the door/safe spot, jump and say, “Oh, no, I forgot_____!” and return to get it. At this point the children should try to stop you. Ask, “Should I run back for______? No, why not? Because WE CAN’T REPLACE YOU!” Emphasis never going back, especially for an obsolete laptop.
7. Repeat step 6 with the valuables, saving the stuffed pet for last. Emphasis that it represents a real pet. They shouldn't return inside even for Fluffy. DON’T say you can replace a pet---storytime is a tear free zone! Tell them, “The firefighters can save your pets.”
8. This is where the adults will give you the evil eye. The kids have to meet at their designated spot. Most families don’t have one. When you’ve reach the designated spot adults are to call 9-1-1. Kids only call if adults can’t do so, which is where the next bit of homework comes in: kids need to know their full names, their parents’ full names, and their address. Address is required when calling 911 from cell phones, and names are useful. A few weeks ago we had a lost parent, and when I asked the child for his parent’s name he said, “Her name is Mommy. It’s spelled M-O-M-M-Y.” For some reason this didn’t help much.
9. Here is the final homework assignment: ask parents to have a practice fire drill. A good idea is to have them twice a year when they change the batteries in their smoke alarms. It’s much better to know now that your child’s first instinct is to hide in the closet or that the alarm volume is too low to wake people up.

I hope you have fun with this one. Remember, safety first, jeans second!