A baby detective, pirate parents and other funny treats in Simon Rich’s ‘New Teeth’

But Rotten Pete has a strict parenting philosophy and, Black Bones believes, a rather passive-aggressive tendency to use his words. “I thought about letting it go, because I knew if I said something, it would lead to a fight, and I wasn’t in the mood,” Black Bones says. “But after some prodding, he put his hook hand up and said, ‘Hey, I’m tired of being the bad guy always with him.'”

I could read all day that a couple of pirates were inadvertently dragged into adulthood. However, the problem with short story books is how they surround you. It’s as if, floating on a cloud of bliss as you walk out of a new boyfriend’s apartment, you have to change gears and spend the next night with a new, possibly less exciting person.

It is hard to achieve the same degree of energy and commitment, especially when the new person (in the case of “new teeth”) has a much longer story called the “revolution”, about a prince’s struggle to understand Why are its farmers, the state is so distressed. I had similar lukewarm feelings for “Clobo,” about a superhero from his prime past, and “Screwball,” an intriguingly conceived story that leaves Babe Ruth unnecessarily oblivious. manufactures.

But those are really quibbles, and the advantage of a collection is that you focus on the stories you like best. Rich’s humor is fueled by his generous, hopeful heart. I love how “Raised by Wolves,” for example, as a 35-year-old Verizon employee named Lauren learns to forgive her parents (literally wolves) for what they did to her during her childhood: “Barking, growling, the complete lack of structure and support.”

Fortified by Klonopin and Pinot Grigio at Thanksgiving, Lauren watched her aging, now-behind parents play happily with their daughter Haley, and “how they fed her, sheltered her, and defended her from the hawks, Felt a surge of gratitude for that.” Rich writes. “In some ways, her parents’ flaws also contributed to her success. (For example, she knew that his essay about them was a major factor in her coming to Brown.)

Analyzing why reading Simon Rich is so enjoyable is as helpful as analyzing why it’s so much fun to spend the night with an unexpectedly excellent blind date. It’s better to do it than to talk about it. I’ll stop now

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