Friday, September 24, 2004

A word about Walter

I can't stand that dog — the farting one.

"A huge, international marketing phenomenon" he may be, but cuddly? No.

I didn't know there was a sequel, but it seems plenty of people do. And a Latin edition.

Next month there'll be a toy Walter dog in the stores. And it farts. Ugh.

Murray says the books appeal to four distinct groups of adults: pull-my-finger dads, dog owners, people called Walter, and friends of people called Walter.


I'm none of those.

Helena received the book as a gift ages ago, and she occasionally pulls it out of the stack. Fortunately (in my view), she fixates on the picture of the veterinarian and shows little interest in the other pages or the story therein.

Walter's problem flatulence accidentally saves the day. So the father of the household finally sees his worth and decides Walter can stay. That's a moral?

The illustrations are quirky, but not inviting. I don't know at what age they might become interesting to a child. They're busy and disjointed. They lack focus — maybe there's something in them for hyperactive kids.

As for the farts, I'm not disgusted or repelled. I just don't think it's funny. I understand making light of socially awkward behaviour, but celebrating it strikes me as socially inept.

Maybe Helena will grow up to be one of those people who appreciate fart humour. Who knows? I for one won't encourage it.
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