Monday, July 24, 2017

Reader's Diary #1625- Nicole Mullen: Read This If Your Child Was Eaten By a Pelican

I stumbled upon Nicole Mullen's "Read This If Your Child Was Eaten By a Pelican" last week and because of the title, I just had to read it.

I was enjoying it quite a bit; it was as funny and bizarre as the title promised, plus it's got great description and a modern voice. Then I came upon the line,
I should have known that those dock pelicans, emboldened by the generosity and passivity of the sockless, boat-shoed and pancake-breasted weekend warrior sailboat fags that populate the docks, would not only see my son as non-threatening, but delicious even.
Yeah, that word "fags" jumps out. Clearly an offensive word, it's distracting to say the least. It also makes the narrator far less likeable. That's okay, I rationalized, I don't have to like a character to appreciate a good story. And maybe making her a bigot makes her more believable?

Then I came to end and saw the two sentence author bio: "Just a fun mom and a teacher at a retarded school. I like recipes and my kids."

Hmmm. Retarded school? Does this woman still have a job?

So I clicked on the link to her Twitter page and it turns out that Nicole Mullen is a pen-name of comedian Nick Mullen. And Nick Mullen, it turns out, is no stranger to controversy. I'm not going to weigh in on that as I don't want to expend the energy going through his work. (I can appreciate off-colour humour if done right.) But back to story at hand, I'll say that the 2 words in question above add nothing to the otherwise good story and unfortunately even detract from it. Negative shock value.

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