26 November 2010

Day 244: The Cat Who Talked Turkey

The Cat Who Talked Turkey by Lilian Jackson Braun. ISBN: 9781413256239.

I, um, I used to like these. I have no idea what I liked about them now. I mean, crime solving cats are pretty awesome, but this was really insipid. I don't think I cared about any of the characters, and the crime was solved in the last chapter, but only because things fell into the hands of the “handsome,” mustachioed, older but distinguished protagonist. Supposedly this is a man who is at least relatively educated in journalism... but who has apparently never seen a turkey. These things do not compute. I guess maybe he didn't grow up with a TV and went to very rural college? I really can't explain how someone would not be able to recognize a turkey, not with the insidiousness of Thanksgiving decorations, etc.

The thing that pissed me off about this book the most: Polly. Polly is Qwill's (that mustachioed, cat owning gentleman) main lady. They apparently aren't dating exclusively because every time Polly even mentions another man in tones of anything other than derision, Qwill instantly assumes that he is Polly's new “interesting man.” Polly doesn't seem to get cheesed off by this, but maybe being an older lady Braun thinks that this behavior is endearing or “flattering”. Uh, it's not, and Polly seems to be a very together and smart lady and should have had that talk with Qwill about their relationship way before this became an issue.

The second thing that pissed me off by Polly was her behavior on a date. They went to what was obviously a nicer restaurant in the quaint town of Pickax, and rather than focusing on the more enjoyable aspects of the food she complained about everything. She did not say one nice thing about the food, and then instead of having a well rounded conversation with her date, she talked on and on and on about the new bookstore and her retirement from the library. Not that I cared to hear Qwill drone on about his damn cats and his hokey column, but there are date protocols that were seriously ignored here. I think it's the food thing that really pissed me off. I seriously doubt I would be willing to ask someone out who obviously didn't enjoy the chosen activity.  I might even take offense if they whined enough to imply that maybe I had bad taste in restaurants. 

I, my friends, am a fatkid, and I know my food. I enjoy food, and I enjoy eating with people who enjoy food. Polly is obviously not a fatkid. She has no interest in food or eating or enjoying the process. She is ungracious to her company by the constant run of negative commentary, “The confit is too lemony, the portions are too big, the dessert is too rich.” If you hate eating so much, next time just order the salad so you can talk about something interesting and make commentary on the restaurant d├ęcor instead. 

Of course if the food is bad I'm not saying you shouldn't talk about it, but there is a way to put it into a positive light, and really... the way the comments were thrown in, implied that she didn't want it to be a topic of conversation, but that she was just making commentary to avoid dead air. You know what, dead air is okay in conversation, and especially on a date, it gives you a chance to observe body behavior and maybe exchange a shy glance or two... or even to put food in your mouth.So, Lib's LIB dating advice tip #1: Don't talk about the food if you can't say something interesting about it, especially if it's on the complaining side.   Hopefully you didn't break that rule yesterday at the family gathering...

My review can be found on Goodreads.

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