Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lunchtime read: tough, tough toys for tough, tough boys

Some of these stories feel a bit like one of the M. Night Shyamalan films when you know a twist is coming and spend most of your time working out what it could be. The result is that you end up not really concentrating on the story but try to out fox Self by getting the twist before it becomes clear.

A Story for Europe
The perfect son seems to be a gibbering monster at two and half and in a world where his mother cannot reach out and relate to him. They look for answers and in the end resort to taking him to a child psychologist. Meanwhile in Germany a well regarded business man starts to have some sort of breakdown and in the end a chance encounter with a German doctor at the psychology clinic determines that the young boy is speaking business German. Meanwhile the business German speaking doctor has a stroke and can only speak two and half year old gibberish.

On the dust jacket this tale is described as being hilarious. Wouldn’t quite go that far and of course because you know a twist is coming the minute the German business man is introduced.

Dave Too
The story starts with a man leaving a session with his doctor and then meeting his best friend in the café. In the café are three Dave’s and then everyone he meets is called Dave, including his girlfriend who has chosen to change her name by Deed Poll to Davina. The psychiatrist informs his patient that life could be so much easier if he only decided to take the plunge and change his name to Dave.

This story works better because it makes you think of a potential twist around the medical and not something as simple as the name. Ironically I thought that this was funnier than the Story for Europe, although of course the idea is potentially just as disturbing.

More tomorrow…

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