The Great Zucchini

I originally posted this on Tuesday, then took it down in favor of my political soapbox. I was going to let it rot in the "Save as Draft" folder, but then Tracy mentioned that she liked it and was inspired by it, so here it is, resurrected, if you will. Happy Reading. I have a new hero. The Great Zucchini. He's funny, he's upbeat, he's great with kids, and, perhaps most importantly, he's hot. If I were ever to hire a nanny, I'd hire The Great Zucchini. I want to be just like him when I grow up. Who is this super veggie, you say? He's is, quite simply, the best child's entertainer around. Seriously. For $300 per half hour, he can be your child's entertainer. Just be sure to book 6 months in advance. What makes this squash-like man so popular, you say? Does he do tricks? Does he dance on his toes? Does he make balloon animals so amazing, they put the Macy's Day parade to shame? Nah, apparantly he can't do balloon animals to save his life. He tries, but they just keep hitting him in the head. His tricks are pretty bad, too. Any 3 year old could see where that card is hiding! He can't even juggle. He's always dropping the balls and slipping on them and stuff. He doesn't even know that stinky diapers go in the trash. He puts them on his head instead. Ewww! He understands kids. That's it. And kids love him. He understands that 3 year olds don't get irony, or sarcasm, but they have a particular love of the absurd. And they like to feel smart. Seeing an adult act like a total idiot makes them, well, feel good. So they laugh. And when the Great Zucchini is around, they laugh a lot. And he doesn't dress up like a vegetable, either, by the way. He wears dirty painters overalls so the kids can say stuff like "Eww, dirty!", and I'm pretty sure he picked his entertainer's name just because "Zucchini" is a pretty interesting name for a 3 year old to say. Try it. Draw out the "ooo" after the "zz", and speed up the "ini" part, and well, you have a pretty funny sounding word. (You are all puckering up your lips and doing it right now, I know it.) Of course, it turns out that the Great Zucchini, as successful as he is, has some problems. He's a compulsive gambler, and hopelessly disorganized. And I don't just mean "Hey, did I forget to pay my Visa Bill?" His personal life goes beyond dysfuntional, and he's lucky he's not in jail, for a variety of financial reasons. I won't elaborate, but reading about him made me feel practically OCD because I pay my bills on time. Still, he taught me a lot about relating to preschoolers in the 10 minutes I spent with the magazine article about him, which was lying about in the doctor's office. I tried implementing some of his thoughts about kids, and their love for the absurd. This afternoon, I fell down, stiff bodied and face first, on my bed in front of Jacob. I pretended to eat his treat, then held it in plain sight next to my face, and told him that I must've eaten it, because I didn't see it anywhere. And when we went to Target, I crashed (gently, mind you!) the cart into the aisles every few feet, saying, "oops" every time I did it. When he opened his mouth to eat something, I told him I could see all the way down into his toes. Jacob literally spent our afternoon laughing. Not a single whine in sight. How refreshing! So I thank the Great Zucchini for teaching me about my child today. And I seriously wish I had the extra $300 for a live performance. I have no doubt that it is worth it. Maybe I can get the Great Pumpkin on the cheap.


Blogger Cheryl said...

What a delightful solution to tantrums...being crazy, to stop them from being crazy...hmmm....I like this! Oooh, I like this!

2/02/2006 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

And it works, too! I tried it my both my 2 and 4 year olds the last two days, and it's amazing. Even when I am tired, I can drum up the energy to be dork!

2/02/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Mark IV said...

This post made me laugh, and what make it really funny is that it is true.

One of my guilty pleasures is Adam Sandler movies. Your post reminds me of Big Daddy, right down to the Scuba Steve character. The kid is a terror until a big goofy guy shows up at the door, wearing a wet suit, flippers, mask and snorkel, and reminds him to take a bath, eat his vegetables, and do his homework. Problems solved!

2/02/2006 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

Here's a Washington Post article about the Great Zucchini. I thought it was interesting. And apparently he's old friends with Dave Barry.


2/02/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

...it looks like the link is cut off in the other comment, but if you highlight it, the rest appears.

Sorry I don't know how to embed a link in these comments.

2/02/2006 06:20:00 PM  

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