My first-grader was recently given the assignment of writing to her favorite fictional character. She picked Amelia Bedelia. While “favorite” may be a stretch– as you will soon see– I thought my seven-year-old’s questions were excellent and deserved a larger forum.
So here it is: an Open Letter to Amelia Bedelia.
Dear Amelea bdelea
wiy do you misundrstad evrething?
Yeah Amelia Bedelia. Why do you misunderstand EVERYTHING? One or two miscommunications a day might be acceptable in an employee. You get zero things right. Ever. Peggy Parrish established that you speak English, and that you are intelligent enough to walk upright, so I’m here to say it out loud: you are playing dumb ON PURPOSE.
I mean, you have to be. Here you are “removing spots” from a dress. Okay, yeah, cute. We all know Mrs. Rogers is pretty high-maintenance so I’m figuring there were probably two actual food spots on the dress, tops. Otherwise she would have written down “take dress to thrift shop,” and you would have escorted the outfit to Goodwill for a full day of retail therapy. A dress trying on dresses. Oh Amelia Bedelia!
By the way: this super-wrong thing you are doing here would take (by my conservative estimate) about three hours longer than just scrubbing the two damn spots with a Shout stick. Is this all some sort of sick joke?
Hav you avr wrkt as a hows cepr befor?
Sick burn from a seven-year-old. But I’m actually asking: Amelia Bedelia, have you ever worked as a housekeeper before? Have you ever worked before? Have you ever been on this planet before today?
You have no backstory; you never talk about your years as, say, a Rockette. Perhaps you’re in a Witness Protection Program of some sort. Your lack of history notwithstanding, despite your clear lack of aptitude for domestic service, you never try to do anything else. You have ruined homes, lives, entire bloodlines every day for HALF A CENTURY.
Have you heard what the definition of insanity is, Amelia Bedelia? It’s reading the same book to your kid for the thirty-seventh time that wasn’t even that funny the first time around.
Wut do you put in your pie that maks it tast so gud?
Is it powdered heroin? What can you possibly put in your baked goods that would make Mrs. Rogers go from upside-down-triangle eyebrows to blithe acceptance in a single bite?
There is something UP with that lemon meringue pie and I hope Mrs. Rogers gets some forensic testing on it soon, because there is just no way anything you bake could tast gud enough to undo the world of fuckups you leave behind every day when you leave to catch the 5:08 bus to Simpletown.
I lkie to read about you being so sile
I hop in your next book you are not so sile.
Here’s the thing, Amelia Bedelia. We GET IT. It is your shtick, it’s worked for you for fifty years, why would you change? But have you ever heard of something called “diminishing returns”?
Never mind. See, the real reason we keep reading is that all of us, fools that we are, hop you will NOT be so sile this time around. That you won’t RUIN EVERYTHING.
The children of America are asking you nicely: in your next book, a little less of this, if you please?
In other words, do not be so
I know, I know. Good luke with that.