Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Go To School As Your Favourite Literary Character

My daughters' school, St Kilda Primary, had a non school uniform day yesterday when you were allowed to come as your favourite character from a book. My eldest daughter picked Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and my youngest went as Lotte from the Charlie and Lola books. There were a lot of Spidermen and Harry Potters, there was quite a bit of crossdressing and there was one kid who had no shoes on under a blanket which was probably Bilbo Baggins but could possibly have been Huck Finn or Shoeless Joe Jackson (from WP Kinsella's The Iowa Baseball Confederacy).
It was a very successful event and it got me thinking about how about great it would be if adults were allowed to come to work as their favourite literary characters. If you were feeling pissed off and troublesome you could be Captain Ahab or Holden Caulfield or Yossarian. If you were in a mood to be sarky you could go as pretty much anyone from the works of Oscar Wilde or Jane Austen. Everyone at the office would know to avoid you on the Dostoyevsky or Emily Bronte or Cormac McCarthy days and they'd happily share your booze and biscuits on the Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett days.
Of course the problem with this stupid idea is that unless you actually work in a bookshop no one will get any of your references: almost nobody reads anymore, libraries are closing, book stores are going bankrupt - if you went to work as one of the cast of Jersey Shore, sure they'll know who you are, but a literary character? No chance.