GILBERT

Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet

This is a good one. That’s why I love being accused of writing it. “Oh, our favorite book of yours is Gilbert! What a cute story!”

“Thanks!” I say, “I was inspired by pets from my youth or some other totally believable thing since I’m the one who wrote it.”

Yeah, well I didn’t.

It was written by the super funny Kelly DiPucchio and it’s great. That Kelly DiPucchio knows her way around a picture book.

Plus she’s funny and pretty. More on that later.

So Gilbert is a goldfish, right? He wants a pet, right? Well, he can’t have one, he’s a fish. The dog belongs to some humans, the mouse runs away and the fly gets swatted. Leaving our hero alone again.

Oh, don’t worry, Kelly sorts it all out. It’s a totally cute book that is a charming, fun read aloud.

I wish I had some interiors to show you, but my drive crashed and the art is among the missing.

Also Kelly is funny and pretty. Yeah, almost forgot.

So Kelly and I became the best kind of friends in the whole wide world. Facebook friends. Kelly would post pictures of her gorgeous kids and I would show my wife, “Look at these gorgeous kids. If they were selling pasta, garden supplies or whatever, that would be the kind of pasta, garden supplies or whatever I would use. I like whatever kind the trustworthy, all-American kids are shilling.”

Colleen agreed that I am smart.

“Whose kids are these?” she asked.

“Kelly DiPucchio. I did that Gilbert book with her.” and I show her Kelly’s picture.

“Oh, she’s pretty.” Colleen says.

I smell a trap.

“Yeah? Is ‘Kelly’ even a girls name? Hmm… I didn’t notice. I don’t see gender, I see what’s in people’s hearts. Gross blood mostly. Anyway, I’m not shallow like some people, meaning you.” I say, deftly.

Got outta that one.

Fast forward a couple months when I’m cracking up at a hilarious email exchange from my facebook bff Kelly “could be a boy, could be a girl, I hadn’t noticed” DiPucchio.

“What are you laughing at?” asks Colleen.

“Oh, I sent Kelly DiPucchio a note and she sent back a funny response.”

Which was the wrong thing to say based on our last exchange.

“Oh, so she’s pretty AND funny? I see.” says Colleen.

This is problematic. The pretty/funny combination is Bob Shea Kryptonite. Are you pretty? Good for you! Enjoy it. Are you funny? Terrific, that a great life skill. Are you pretty and funny? Is that so? What time should I be over to mow your lawn? Do you have a mower or should I just rent one? I can pick up coffee too, it’s no trouble.

Fortunately for my outdoor allergies this is the rarest combination in all of nature.

What’s not-at-all rare is my wife missing an opportunity to tease me. “Oh, so now you draw books for pretty/funny people? Oh, I get it. Why don’t you marry them you love them so much?”

“Is Kelly even a girls name I hadn’t…” I started to say. Then I just sort of tapered off into a deflating patter of mumbles and sighs.

“Ha! Too easy!” she laughed.

She’s pretty funny.

How did I get onto this? Oh yeah, Gilbert Goldfish. It’s a good one.

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