I think we're at our best by the flicker by the light of the TV set.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hooper Humperdink...? Not Him! Or Me!

When I was younger I loved a book called Hooper Humperdink...? Not Him! To this day I still consider it my favorite book. My poppie used to read it to me as I sat perched on the arm of his recliner. I knew all the words by heart, but I'd listen intently as he recited the story over and over again.

It's about a boy, Hooper Humperdink, who gets left out when someone throws a party and invites everyone except him. The host invites everyone from A to Z: "I'll ask Alice. I'll ask Abe. I'll ask Bob and Bill and Babe. I'll ask Charlie, Clara, Cora. Danny, Davey, Daisy, Dora." 

You get the idea. 

Every once in a while this awful host reminds us that Hooper cannot attend his party of the century: "I'll ask Dinny. I'll ask Dot. But Hooper Humperdink...? I'LL NOT!" It's really quite awful. This guy even invites a marching band and orders ten tons of ice cream, but still he refuses to include Hooper. At one point he flat out says, "That Humperdink! I don't know why, but somehow I don't like that guy." Apparently Hooper is assumed to be a "party pooper" (probably only for rhyming purposes, but still, it's awfully rude).

Every page shows gangs of friends flocking to this party, but somewhere in one of the bottom corners is poor Hooper hiding in a bush or peeking over a fence, wishing he were included.

Lately I feel a lot like Hooper Humperdink. Trapped in this rinky dink town in Connecticut, trying miserably to find an escape (and failing repeatedly), I feel like there's so much I'm missing out on. I feel like the rest of the world is having a party and for some reason my invitation got lost in the mail. Coincidentally, of all the many names mentioned in Hooper Humperdink, Jenny is not one of them. I can relate, Hooper. When do I get to join in on the fun? I'm getting bored behind this bush, observing from afar.

I wonder if at two-years-old I understood the sadness of the situation. Did I feel sorry for Hooper? Did I cry when he wasn't invited to the party? Reading this book now, I realize it's pretty heavy material. However, let's not forgot that Hooper Humperdink is a children's book. It ends on a happy note. The host has a drastic change of heart and decides his party is "too good for anyone to miss" and so, you know, he invites Hooper Humperdink. My day is coming, friends. Until then, I'll be anxiously checking the mailbox every afternoon.


  1. This is the perfect post. Hooper was a bedtime favorite in my house too :)

    Good things are on their way, for the both of us!

    High fives and kind regards.

  2. I just pulled this book off the shelf and read the story to my 4 year old. One thing I would like to know is who is the K. K. Kats? Is it me, or is CATS spelled wrong? Did he just need a reason to put that third “K” in there?

    1. completely noticed the same thing. it's my son's favorite book and a tad bit disconcerting.

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