Wednesday, March 07, 2007

head case
Oh how I’ve tried to avoid writing about this, but really it’s still bugging me.
I like the writer; seriously, I’m a huge fan of her mouthy, opinionated, educated, literate posts. I really admire her take-no-hostages approach to adoption, her sanity, erudition, ballsyness. But that makes this evidence of her fallibility worse, a greater betrayal and also makes me worry that I’ve laughed along at her cut-to-the-quick humour unthinkingly.

Dear Mimi Smartypants,
I understand it, its wordy, look-at-me exactitude metaphor wittiness, but even on that level it doesn’t – if you’ll pardon the pun – hold water. So, the balloon children have hydrocephalic heads do they? Have you seen a hydrocephalic head? I see one every morning and I defy you to pick it out in a large-head ID parade.
Oh, you meant an unsuccessfully treated hydrocephalic head! I’m sorry. And you think that’s what the balloons looked like?
I’m just checking here, but have you ever seen an unsuccessfully treated hydrocephalic child? Because I have and he looked, well he looked sad and in pain and as if he was going to die soon (which he did), but his head looked like a point-on rugby ball. Is that what you meant with the witty in its slightly esoteric exactitude metaphor? No. I thought not. And – to give you the benefit of the doubt – I thought perhaps that my experience was unusual (perhaps the excessive pressure affects other little children in a different way) so I googled for pictures other hydrocephalic children (I was going to post the link, but really it's not pretty). Nope, the rugby-ball pain and sadness seem pretty universal.
To me, no matter how disturbingly inappropriate the balloons were as a representation of romantic love, your thoughtless, clever-clever witticism was infinitely more disturbingly inappropriate.
All best,

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