Thursday, December 08, 2005

Is The New Yorker published by Piranha Press?

It's weird—if you Google "beautiful stories for ugly children," you don't get the site www.beautifulstoriesforuglychildren.com until the third page. You do get this blog on the first page of results, though, with or without using quotation marks around the phrase. Which means I continue to get a decent flow of people seeing my posts after Googling those words. And maybe even one or two of them has read or will read something else I've written here, too. Who knows? I can only win.

Anyway, looking at those Google results, I found that a few listings beneath my site was this New Yorker story. It's pretty funny, but in a really sick way. It's a bit of short fiction by Paul Rudnick inspired by this New York Times article, which reports on a study that asserts that "parents take better care of pretty children than they do ugly ones."

Stuart Buck debunked the study, which failed to account for socioeconomic status, here. That was actually on the same day the New Yorker piece was posted on the web.

The premise of Rudnick's story? "I am the mother of an ugly child. She’s not deformed or handicapped or odd; she’s unattractive." The narrator goes on to elaborates on this point to absurd effect. A sample: "As she grew older, I referred to her as our new cocker spaniel, although no one really believed this, because, of course, cocker spaniels are adorable."

Paul Rudnick's treading a little close to Dave Louapre's territory with his beautiful stories about ugly children.

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