If you recall pop hits from a bygone era you may be able to tell exactly what this song is a parody of.
And it is a straight up parody of the song. Perhaps the funniest thing about it is Dustin’s heavy Dublin accent rapping these words. And, of course, thinking of a Ford Cortina as being funky.
This song will never, ever get old.
[READ: February 3, 2013] The Meanwhile Adventures
The final book in this silly trilogy throws out all the stops. And at 174 pages it’s considerably larger than the previous two.
Once again, I can’t help but feel that Doyle must have had so much fun writing this anarchic absurdity. Especially after his far more serious books–this must have felt like a breath of fresh (poo filled) air.
This story is cheeky right from the start with an italicized reader interrupting the story constantly to say that it is boring.
Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived in a house made of gingerbread–
But eventually it gets going. Mister Mack, the head of household for all three books was laid off from his job as a biscuit tester (remember kids, biscuit means cookie in Ireland). People in Ireland were dieting so they were only going to be selling the dry boring cream crackers (which Mister Mack hated) from now on. So he decides to become an inventor. And he invents a saw that looks just like a machine gun. (Why? Why not). But when he brings the saw to the bank to apply for a loan, he is arrested because everyone thinks it’s a gun.
They want to talk to his wife Billie Jean Fleetwood-Mack (yes), but she is off on a secret record-breaking mission to be the first person to run around the world without telling anyone. So she cannot be found. Or can she? The kids figure out what she is doing and they try to track her down so she can help their dad. Well, actually, Kayla (the girl who only says “Who are you?”) and her friend Victoria (who only says “batteries included”) (although everyone who knows them knows what they mean in each instance that they say those phrases) decide to track down Billie Jean with the help of Rover. Because Kayla’s brothers Robbie and Jimmie dig a tunnel from their house to the jail to try to break out their father (and to escape the lady from the orphanage who wants to take them because their parents are gone–even though that doesn’t actually make them orphans.
Nearly every chapter opens with the word “meanwhile” hence the title. There’s also a sub-plot about slugs taking over the world. And at some point the story even stops so the writer can have some tea–although Rover ensures that the story doesn’t get boring while he’s gone. Oh, and speaking of boring, the writer also gets revenge on the reader who claims the book is boring by threatening the reader’s beloved dog if he interrupts one more time (and the reader’s dog does almost come to harm several times!)
I also really enjoyed silly jokes like this:
Chapter…What Chapter Is It?
The writer went back to check.
That’s the whole chapter.
And there’s very funny jokes about Irish music (which goes some of the way to explaining Dustin the Turkey in Eurovision, (see yesterday) I think).
Doyle makes sure to give the messages of the book at the end. And of course, he includes a very helpful glossary for those of us not in Ireland.
This whole series was a crazy silly treat. It is juvenile and outrageous, but never vulgar. It’s probably perfect for an 8 or 9-year-old who still enjoys poo jokes and who can appreciate when a book is making fun of book conventions.