(blog) The ha-ha powder and other innuendo by bored writers

I hate most guided reading books, and The ha-ha powder is a pretty good hint that the writers hate them just as much. Sure there’s plenty of innuendo in Biff Chip and Kipper (just what is going on in those bushes?), but Joy Cowley takes first prize with her pre-Breaking Bad tale of clowns and exactly what they need to make their party a blast.

It’s a straight-forward story of how the clowns are having a party and they order a big bag of ‘powder’ to make them all laugh. As the clown delivering the ‘powder’ is driving, the bag falls off the back of his truck and bursts. As the cloud of ‘powder’ spreads over town, everyone starts finding the most mundane things funny and even the school literacy lesson becomes more enjoyable as the teacher decides that creative writing whilst stoned is better than phonics. The kids’ writing probably improved a bit, too.

Undoubtedly these sorts of references are just here to help keep the grown-ups sane as they plough through uninspiring English lessons, and I’m never sure how many teachers even notice some of the references in these books (swearing usually gets reported to us, but never clowns with bags of cocaine).

Anyhow – what do you think of authors dropping adults-only references into their books, and do you have any favourites? Have your children ever spotted something that you had trouble explaining? (Harry Potter is certainly worth a childish titter in regards to certain references from Rowling to polishing wands, but I should at least try to keep this post clean)


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