"Pa Ingalls Was Such a Massive Dickhead"

Few things, I find, are more offensive and soul-destroying than trying to find parking in the busy Costco lot and then finding some spots, only to discover at the last minute that there are several giant carts stranded in the vacant parking spots, the vacant parking spots that are mere steps from the parking lot cart corral, which is totally devoid of carts.  Quite honestly, it makes me sad for the state of humanity.  Can we not all walk five metres to return our giant Costco carts to the cart corral?  Why?  Why is this an issue?  Are Costco shoppers just completely depleted after their trips and the extra steps are just too much to take?  Does Costco just destroy people’s souls so much that they cannot return their carts to the corral, but instead leave them where they lie and rush home to consume recently purchased extra-large bags of potato chips?

I still managed to return my cart to the corral, although I did feel like my soul was being swallowed when I was in Costco, as usual.  For one thing, I sustained an arm injury while attempting to lift a giant box of San Pellegrino.  The very tender skin of my inner forearm got stuck between two of the boxes, which was very painful and also led to the unfortunate result that I couldn’t actually move one of the boxes, since my arm was painfully stuck.  Moreover, after this debacle, I discovered that Christmas decorations and other assorted Christmas-related items were on display.  On September 7.  As if I didn’t feel like time was fleeting enough.  Not half an hour prior to witnessing this early Christmas display, I had dropped the boys off at school after lunch.  They insisted that they could get to their door by themselves, so I watched as Mark led Jake through the playground, placing his hand so gently on Jake’s shoulder.  And then I cried.  I did not need to see the Christmas display, Costco. 

So I felt a gloom permeate the air as I narrowed my eyes at the Christmas display, but then fortunately remembered the most cheering remark I had heard – possibly the most cheering remark I had heard in my entire life – after my last blog post.  Beck can be credited with what is, most likely, the greatest Little House on the Prairie quote of all time:

Pa Ingalls was such a massive dickhead.”

I cannot help but feel that she has summarized the entire series quite admirably.  From my friend at Hodgepodge and Strawberries came this fabulous quote about Ma Ingalls:

“His wife was either a laudanum addict or a saint.”

And that is nearly all one needs to know about Little House on the Prairie.  There have been some questions regarding the appropriateness or otherwise of reading these books aloud to small children, and I would say that, despite my sarcasm, they are great reading.  Some things to note that may need editing/ teachable moments/ beforehand preparation:

1) As mentioned before, Pa throws the family into financial ruin by building a fancy house – with glass windows and a stove, my stars! – on credit, to be paid back with the lucrative wheat crop which never materializes.  This right there could be used as a teachable moment given the state of the world’s economy.  Stay in the damn sod dugout, Ingalls family. (On the Banks of Plum Creek)

2) When the Ingalls family moves from Wisconsin to Kansas, they are moving into Indian Territory.  The government is supposed to give them the land that belongs to the Indians, but in the end it doesn’t.  There is a lot of racism, not subtle, in this book.  This could be used as a teachable moment regarding past attitudes towards non-whites in North America.  (Little House on the Prairie)

3) Several older boys plan to beat the new teacher and break up the school, and are supported in this endeavor by their parents, who are bragging to the community that their sons are going to give the teacher a beating of a lifetime.  Previously they beat a teacher so badly that he died of his injuries.  Oh boy!  Manslaughter!  Happily, Mr. Wilder – a gangsta, for sure – provides the new teacher with a bullwhip which he unleashes on those boys.  Revenge, Little House style.  (Farmer Boy)

4) Bored with the quietness of their lives, Pa and his cronies dress up in blackface and put on a show for the whole town.  The townspeople think this is the greatest thing ever.  Much time is spent applauding this showcase of talent.  (Little Town on the Prairie)

5) Laura – who is fifteen and forced to work as a teacher, which she hates, so that her blind sister Mary can attend the College for the Blind – is billeted at a house where the wife is driven insane with hatred for her husband who forced her to move from civilization to some god-forsaken shanty in the middle of the prairie.  This woman pulls a knife on her husband in the middle of the night, threatening to stab everyone in the house right then and there if he doesn’t let her move back to her home.  It’s a little creepy.  (These Happy Golden Years)

Despite all this, the books are definitely worth a read.  Little House in the Big Woods is an especially cozy family book.  After reading it as a child, I kind of wished WE would have a pig slaughter just so my dad could inflate the pig’s bladder and I could play with it like a balloon.  And if six year old me could feel that way, imagine how delightful these stories truly are.  Despite the manslaughter, insanity, racism, and poor economic choices.


  1. I sure do miss Beck. And I love that series, but I hear you. Scott hates those books and can’t believe I read them to the kids.

  2. This morning we were walking the kids to school, and the youngest (her first day of JK, SNIFF) was poking along, so my husband told the bigger two that they could run ahead to the school and get in line. I had a minor freak out and then they ran on ahead and got in line just fine and went in without looking back and I TOTALLY CRIED.

    My babies. SNIFF.

  3. Facking lazy cart returners.
    We shop in the USofA sometimes and I have to say that they are the worst offenders. I’m being serious.
    Also did you say Christmas? Jebus.

  4. I totally remember the show in blackface – I never read Farmer Boy, though (shudder).

    The kids are switching rooms, which is great and exciting and makes sense. But today I cleaned out Angus’s room for painting – the room he’s been in since he was three and Eve was born and he moved from the nursery into his big boy room. I didn’t really cry. But I felt like it.

  5. LMAO!!! Never thought about it like that!

  6. LMAO!!! Never thought about it like that!

  7. What a timely post… I’m reading this series to our boys right now (we’ve just started The Banks of Sugar Plum Fairy Land, as my husband refers to the Banks of Plum Creek – aka dugout post-another-uprooting). My childhood set is tattered, I’ve read them so many times, yet reading them to the boys I am astonished (and thrilled) at how many things I have to explain because they just don’t make sense today. Maybe that’s part of why they are so fascinating?

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