My youngest child is in the process of learning how to read. Tonight she read from a big book of Dick And Jane stories, as did her two older brothers when they learned to read. My mother, who is almost 82, also read Dick And Jane stories and still has her 1st grader primer. The stories are of course extremely basic but cleverly constructed to build reading strengths from one story to the next, which is why they work so well. There is a logic to the simplicity of them. The illustrations, although dated, are charming and lively.

When I first saw a Dick and Jane book, I thought that they were in Special Ed. I honestly thought they were slow children. I was absolutely confused as to why kids read the stories; they seemed almost cruelly paced. Dick, Jane, Sally, and Spot spent their days either confused or giggling, while telling each other to LOOK, LOOK! Look at what, a scorpion crawling across Sally's face? Damn, you dummies, brush it off already, quit with the LOOK, LOOK shit! I didn't get it at all.

Well, LOOK, LOOK. Dick And Jane and Friends are still going strong in 2008, and I am writing on a site called Diarrhea Island. Who is slow NOW, eh?