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Letters: 'Cursing Mommy' And A Cricket Plague

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Melissa Block and Audie Cornish read emails from listeners about Ian Frazier's new book The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days and a cricket plague in Waco, Texas.


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.


And I'm Audie Cornish. A quick look now into our email inbox and it's clear that some of you feel we either don't or shouldn't have a sense of humor. That includes Randall Jackson(ph) of Honolulu. He writes, I don't need humor with my news. Jackson is responding to our ongoing contest with Lenore Skenazy called Another Thing Considered. In our latest entry we asked listeners to come up with a name for a prehistoric toothpaste.


LENORE SKENAZY, BYLINE: There was Astrolopithicrest, Crestacous, Crest For Fire and then there was Plestogleem and Sensodyno, Cronamel, Troglabrite.

CORNISH: Mr. Jackson has a few words of his own - pretty awful, he writes. I hope you will bring an end to the pain soon.

BLOCK: We also got a few boos for my interview yesterday with Ian Frazier. He's the author of "The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days." Here he is reading from the book, as the cursing mommy gets her housecoat caught in a running vacuum.


IAN FRAZIER: Where the hell is the off switch (bleep) (bleep) has inhaled the housecoat up to my knee, I'm yagging and ripping the fabric (bleep) (bleep) (bleep) (bleep) piece of (bleep) dangerous (bleep) (bleep) vacuum cleaner.

BLOCK: Well, Andy Flag(ph) of Columbus, Georgia was not amused. Flag writes, just because we live in a society where people are permitted to behave poorly, doesn't make it a good idea. The more we glorify tasteless behavior, the more desensitized we will become.

CORNISH: And Tim Tran(ph) of Liberty Township, Ohio concedes we sometimes sneak the occasional funny story into our show, but writes, do we really need the author of the silly book to swear at us for two minutes only to be bleeped out? Come on, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, how do I get the 15 minutes of my life back?

BLOCK: The letters weren't all critical. Our story about a large infestation of crickets in Waco, Texas took Trish Hines(ph) back to her college days. She attended Texas State in San Marcos, and writes that 1970 was another bad year for crickets. She writes this: the streets and sidewalks and lawns leading up the hill were black, rising and falling under the streetlights.

CORNISH: But Jennifer Rich(ph) asks this, please don't tell the world that the streets of Waco stink. Yes, crickets are a problem here, and yes, it's pretty funny and now and then, pretty stinky. But I've lived in Waco since 1988, and it's never been as bad as this year. And our streets don't stink.

BLOCK: Well, maybe you think we stink or you want to tell us how much you loved a story. Either way, you can write to us at, just click on contact us.

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