My Daughter
Said She'd
Burn This Book!

by L. David Mark


      "Are you going to put that in the preface?" asked Cindy, referring to the "offending" item.

      "No," I replied, "I'm going to put it right up front in the book."

      "What kind of a book are you going to write," she asked.

      "A good one," I said.

      "Well, if you're going to put that in, I'll burn the book!"

      "That's the title of my book," I said. "'My Daughter Said She'd Burn This Book!' Write it down -- along with the other thing (which, right now, I can't think of) -- so I won't forget it."

      So, as we drove along, she wrote it down on a Doublemint gum wrapper that she found in the space under the car radio, gave it to me, and I stuck it in my pocket. That's when she asked about the preface -- except she pronounced it "Pre Face" as in "before face."

      I said, "That's preface, not pre-face."

      "It is not," Cindy said.

      I bit my lip, held my tongue, and maintained silence for a moment in light of this overwhelming assurance at age seventeen, at the same time reminding myself of the cartoon I meant to cut out and put on the refrigerator door. (It showed a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman being turned down by a man saying, "No, I don't need them; I've got a teenage daughter and she already knows everything!")

      "Yes it is," I finally said, bowing to the parental pressure to educate whenever possible . . .


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. To Carolina and Back
Chapter 2. A Bit of Poetry
Chapter 3. Vagaries
Chapter 4. Celebrating the Daughter's Birthday
Chapter 5. On Washing Your Hair
Chapter 6. Drying With the Towel Upside Down
Chapter 7. Why?
Chapter 8. On Buying a New Car
Chapter 9. The Year the Sickness Came for Christmas
Chapter 10. On Going to the Junkyard
Chapter 11. Somebody's Got To Be the Boss
Chapter 12. A Sleepless Night
Chapter 13. Train of Thought
Chapter 14. Genealogy
Chapter 15. Pullable Hair
Chapter 16. More Trains of Thought
Chapter 17. Disaster Stories
Chapter 18. Music Sootheth the Savage Beast
Chapter 19. One-Handing It
Chapter 20. Rituals
Chapter 21. Toothpaste
Chapter 22. Our Dog Tyler
Chapter 23. Ice Cream Pants
Chapter 24. About Editing
Chapter 25. Only the Good Die Young
Chapter 26. Pink Underwear
Chapter 27. Debating
Chapter 28. That's Not My Baby!
Chapter 29. Two-by-two Is Nature's Way
Chapter 30. Moments Frozen in Time
Chapter 31. Weights and Measures
Chapter 32. It was Flounder
Chapter 33. Bits & Pieces
Chapter 34. Philosophy 101
Chapter 35. Hey She's 90!
Chapter 36. The Case of the Disappearing Socks
Chapter 37. Sensitive Fingers
Chapter 38. Touring USDA
Chapter 39. Hair Soap
Chapter 40. The Day Everything Went Wrong for Karen Sciacca
Chapter 41. Jury Duty
Chapter 42. Reading the Comics
Chapter 43. "I'll Be Back"
Chapter 44. More Hair Soap
Chapter 45. Neat Things
Chapter 46. Capernoited Again
Chapter 47. Hood's Up!
Chapter 48. Traditions
Chapter 49. Right and Wrong Revisited
Chapter 50. Church Keys
Chapter 51. Olympic Games
Chapter 52. Sitting in the Dark
Chapter 53. The Mailbox Garden
Chapter 54. The Not-Yet-Published World-Famous Author
Chapter 55. My Green Hat
Chapter 56. The Tone Bird
Chapter 57. Fax Faux Pas
Chapter 58. Governmentese
Chapter 59. Wart-Off
Chapter 60. Kale Soup
Chapter 61. Honor Awards
Chapter 62. Tit for Tat
Chapter 63. "We Have Two of the Enemy"
Chapter 64. Back to the TV
Chapter 65. A Slip of the Tongue
Chapter 66. Youth or Consequences
Chapter 67. Inadviseable Inverse Relationships
Chapter 68. Self Doubt
Chapter 69. A Dollop by Any Other Name
Chapter 70. "Bombs"
Chapter 71. Getting Married
Chapter 72. Baby's Nut
Chapter 73. "I Thought They Were Dog Poops"
Chapter 74. "Fur" Out or "The Light Came On"
Chapter 75. Peaks and Valleys
Chapter 76. "Compulsive-Compulsive"
Chapter 77. Acronyms
Chapter 78. Vagrant Thoughts
Chapter 79. PPQ Speaker Phone
Chapter 80. Gobs
Chapter 81. Mary's Grand Experiment
Chapter 82. Eating Snails
Chapter 83. Columbus Loved Figs
Chapter 84. My New Shoes
Chapter 85. Me 'n Nugget on Route 66
Chapter 86. "Certified"
Chapter 87. The Morning I Accidentally Picked Up My Wife's Nair Glide-On Hair Remover (with Aloe Vera) Instead of My Speed Stick Deodorant by Mennen (Spice)
Chapter 88. Kiss the Cat
Chapter 89. Phone Home
Chapter 90. The Crook
Chapter 91. Toilet Seats
Chapter 92. Hey Mamie!
Chapter 93. Jim Greene's Fly
Chapter 94. The Dreaded "R" Word
Chapter 95. How Henry Got His Name
Chapter 96. Adequate
Chapter 97. Inadvertent Use of Use of the Cat Fork
Chapter 98. On Dealing With Lawyers
Chapter 99. Unexpected Things
Chapter 100. "It's Safe"
Chapter 101. Understanding Your Cat
Chapter 102. Unfulfilled Urges
Chapter 103. P.O.T.B.
Chapter 104.
Chapter 105.
Chapter 106.
Chapter 107.
Chapter 108.

If you liked these chapters, e-mail the author!

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