Wednesday, January 10, 2007

WHY YOU ARE GAY: “In The Night Kitchen”

We have been thinking a lot lately about our childhood, and everything that was gay about it. From the earliest we could remember, we had gay impulses. We were fascinated by the Greek sculpture series in our National Geographic. We weren’t interested in the Playboy that our friends found on the playground in third grade. And we really, really liked going to the public pool… locker room. When we were eight.

But let’s be honest, there were subtle exterior forces, assaulting us constantly, reinforcing our gayness. We decided this might be a nice regular feature on the FAGAT Guide – exploring those things in our childhoods that made us as gay, gay, gay as we are today.

We thought we’d start with one of our favorite picture books, Maurice Sendak’s “In The Night Kitchen.” Remember it? It’s the charming tale of rascally Mike, who floats from his room into the Night Kitchen and ends up on a plane made out of dough with a pot on his head. It was like an episode of Dr. Who with better special effects.

This book, while seemingly innocent and fun, was THE GAYEST THING EVER. The little boy, Mike, is naked from almost the first page, and spends much of the book frolicking around a giant phallic milk bottle. We had no chance with this book – it even showed his little boy acorn penis! (this was okay because we were little boys with acorn penises at the time). And come on, "I'm in the milk and the milk's in me"? Sean Cody wishes he had writing like that.

7 comments:

cb said...

I don't recall being cast under the spell by that book, but I do remember standing up at show-and-tell in fourth grade and talking about The Best Book Ever, The Seventh Princess, about a girl who is magically transported to a land of fairies and princesses-turned-harpies and a hot prince. My parents were just happy that I got off my Snow White kick.

MattGaymon said...

I don't remember that book either - but I read the Hatchet by Gary Paulsen about a hundred times and used to imagine I was stuck in the wilderness with the cute boy on the cover.

bigmouth said...

Okay, we'll pick something more mainstream next time.

We were going to do "Dear Mr. Henshaw" but we didn't want to get into pedophilia territory...

Bald Knob said...

I thought the line was "I'm not the milk and the milk's not me!"

Bella Wilfer said...

CB - I LOVED The Seventh Princess - that book rocked!

My favorite memory from children's books was reading the Bobbsey Twins and having to ask my mom "what does ejaculated mean?" because they were always using it to mean "exclaimed" (seriously, go back and check it out!).

MyMyMichl said...

Didn't any of you ever play "Doctor"?

Zeke said...

i played He-man and got tied up while my friend "interrogated me" shirts came off nipples were rubbed it was good to be 10