First up, we have A Long Vacation for Mr. and Mrs. Bumba by Pearl Augusta Harwood:
This is one of those children's books that is supposed to teach a life lesson. It is all about a happy family, the Bumbas. In the first few pages, we are introduced to Splashy, the family goldfish, which Susie Bumba (the youngest daughter) loves to death. Literally. She decides she wants to have a sleepover with Splashy and so she takes him out of the tank and puts him under the covers with her one night. The book doesn't go into specifics about what exactly happens under the covers, but the book claims Splashy "dried out," which leads the reader to assume that there wasn't any fishy romance involved. There is a whole ceremony around the toilet where Papa Bumba tells Susie that Splashy isn't dead, he just needs to go on a "long vacation." This calms Susie down.
Seeing how well that explanation worked on little Susie, her parents start using this excuse for everything. She broke her bike - it went on a long vacation. She lost a tooth - it went on a long vacation. They can't afford the internet anymore - long vacation. Mama and Papa Bumba know how attached to her grandparents Susie is, but they are getting on in years, so Mama and Papa concoct a plan.
Susie's grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Bumba, have tickets to see the World Series of Bingo Live in Las Vegas; Mama and Papa ask them stop by and say goodbye to Susie. Being the good grandparents that they are, Mr. and Mrs. head right over and say goodbye to Susie, and even agree to use the cryptic "long vacation" excuse at Mama's and Papa's request. Then they leave. What they don't know is that Mama and Papa cut their brakes, and so is the end of Mr. and Mrs. It was really in Susie's best interest.
At the end of the book there is a Shyamalanian twist ending in which Susie finds herself pregnant - with Splashy's spawn!!!
Next up, we have Kittens in the Kitchen, by Ben. M. Baglio:
I think we should all take a moment to repeat aloud the author's name... "Ben Baglio." Good. Anyway, the tagline for this book states, "A week to save the kittens..." Keep that ellipsis in mind, it is important.
Poopsie and Fluffkins are hot, passionate lovers. Cats, but lovers nonetheless. One day, a miracle happens and Poopsie become pregnant! Both cats are overjoyed. "It seems like just yesterday," Fluffkins proclaimed, "that we met each other in the fern bush. Now, we have a family!" Poopsie smiled at the thought, but could barely hide her shame; she had been seeing the neighbor's cat, Señor Meowmo. She knew she had to tell Fluffkins within the week.
Once the litter had been born, Fluffkins noticed that all the kittens were a different color than he, and that they all kind of resembled Señor Meowmo! He realized what had been going on behind his back and cursed himself for not seeing it sooner. He didn't let on that he knew though. Instead, he made a great kitty nest inside the kitchen for Poopsie and the kittens - inside the oven. "It's really the perfect, warmest spot for our new family." Fluffkins said, slyly. Poopsie agreed and they moved in when the kittens were exactly one week old.
I'm going to spoil the ending here. The last few sentences of the book finish the book's tagline: "Poopsie could have, even should have, told Poopsie her secret. If only she'd been honest, maybe he'd understand. She had a week to save the kittens... but instead they are victims of a crime of 'burning' passion." I feel that the pun there at the end was really in poor taste.
Finally, we have the greatest book cover I've ever come across, The Destroyer: Death Therapy, by Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy.
I can guarantee that whatever crap I come up with for this cover is nowhere near as awesome as the actual story. I mean, look at that! It's so awesome it needed two writers. This is what is pictured on the cover: a disembodied, floating, giant head; a guy in a suit holding a big, fat guy upside down by the ankles; a hot chick lying on a therapist's couch; three Nazis stripping their clothes off and running from something; and Mr. Miyagi meditating in front of a flower. Okay, here goes.
The Destroyer, the main character, takes a giant hit of acid. He now sees himself as a huge, disembodied head floating around "saving the world," a la Wizard of Oz. The book makes it clear that he didn't get the nickname "The Destroyer" for nothing, which he proves by visiting the local elementary school. This book is interesting because it describes what he is doing in his own mind, and then goes on to explain what he did in reality. Here are a few key scenes:
His Mind: The evil Dr. Fatty-Mc-Balds is plotting to tap into America's power grid and implant a virus that will cause "poison electricity." Although he doesn't know what the heck that is, The Destroyer knows it is bad. And evil. And stuff. So, with superhuman strength, he lifts Dr. Fatty-Mc-Balds up by his ankles and deposits him in some quicksand, where he belongs.
Reality: "The Destroyer" walks into Mrs. Wilkerson's 2nd grade class and see's little Timmy giving a Science Fair presentation on electricity. The Destroyer then proceeds to wreck the experiment, carry Timmy to the cafeteria by his ankles, and toss him directly into that day's lunch - a scalding pot of shepherd's pie.
His Mind: Three Nazis are in their bunker (which The Destroyer sneaked into) planning to take over London. This is not okay with The Destroyer, so he whips up a handy batch of hydrochloric acid and throws it on the Nazis' coats. Once they start burning, the Nazis start ripping their clothes off and running away. The Destroyer saved the day.
Reality: Three boys are playing in the fort at recess when The Destroyer bumbles in and pisses on them. He then tackles the boys and starts removing their clothes. The three boys then run the eff away.
His Mind: After a hard day's work of saving the world and what not, The Destroyer goes home, but what's this in his den!? None other than the sexy Boobinski lying on his couch, of course! For the next three hours they make the most passionate love that's ever been conceived. :)
Reality: The Destroyer raped Mrs. Wilkerson. :(
His Mind: After the passion, The Destroyer meditates on the day's events with his personal mentor, Mr. Miyagi. All is well in the world, and zen has been achieved.
Reality: That whole thing was just an acid dream he had while the cops tazed the crap out of him.
That's it, kids! I hope you enjoyed this month's edition of Judging Books by Their Covers!