Dressing Up Jody
John Steinbeck and I are in a rocky relationship. We’re almost like Ann Woodward and William Woodward Jr. Sometimes I want John to be my outstanding, opulent husband. Other times I want to shoot him because he is burglar. The moments where I want to sick a shotgun on him because he’s in my shower robbing me are those that are gathered around The Grapes of Wrath. GOW and I are incompatible. GOW is anti-monster (the banks that foreclose on the farms are likened to monsters), pro-workers (all the poor people pine for middle class jobs), and atheist (Casy, the disgraced preacher, remains a hero because he dies for the decency of the poor people). But there are other occasions where John and I are an adorable husband and wife attending a glamorous gala somewhere in Rhode Island. These occasions center on The Red Pony. This book is built around a boy named Jody. Nowadays, most boys are bisexual and sarcastic: you can’t look up to them. But you can look up to Jody. He’s violent, imaginative, thoughtful, and, as it turns out, fashionable, because I am about to adorn him in stylish outfits.
Jody’s authoritative but nonetheless attentive daddy gives him a red colt pony to care for. Billy Buck, the infallible farmhand, helps Jody take care of him. But Billy turns out to be fallible. He incorrectly predicts the weather and leaves the pony out in the rain. The pony gets sick. He has a “hollow rasping cough” and a “crust of hard mucus” stuck in each of his eyes. An ironic white boy from Flatbush Jody is not: he contains actual concern. At school, he’s so saddened by his stricken pony that he can’t “answer any questions nor read any words.” What should one wear when they’re so tragically troubled? This 3.1 Phillip Lim look. The black T-shirt connotes dark thoughts and impending mourning, the sunnies conceal his eyes in case he should start to shed tears, and the pink overalls link him to another disturbed boy who also wears pink.
For some time it’s unclear whether or not the pony will pull through. Then one day, the pony ambles out of the barn and is attacked by buzzards. Jody is able to apprehend one of the buzzards, and the buzzard and the boy begin a sort of epic struggle. Jody has the buzzard by the neck. The buzzard throws up on Jody. If you’re involved in an incendiary incident with a hawk-like bird you should wear a hat that protects your eyes and a dress that is big, billowy, and nearly impossible to claw through.
After the pony dies, Jody’s daddy promises him a colt. The prospect of a colt sets Jody’s imagination in motion. The colt will be inconsiderate to everyone but Jody. Jody and the colt, whose name is Black Demon, will help the local sheriff as well as the president of the United States of America catch all types of vicious vulgarians. Jody and the colt will land themselves into a league of legends. Legends and flowers are similar. They’re both special and carefully configured (brown bows on pink boots are special and carefully configured too).
One of Jody’s final adventures involves shooting mice in a haystack. Mice rescue princesses frequently. Despereaux saves the forlorn princess in Kate DiCamillo’s book from a misguided rat and an equally misguided servant girl. Jaq and Guss free Cinderella from her garret so that she can prove to everyone that the slipper fits on her foot. Jody shouldn’t murder the mice. This activity is atrocious. Mice are on the side of princesses (they’re also cute in their own right) and should be commemorated, not killed. Jody has to wear this Michel Kors bathing suit. Swimming, as with killing mice, is something that you shouldn’t do (swimming requires the use of your human body, and human bodies don’t belong in fairytales, nor are they cute).