When I was a little girl I read Lewis Carroll's Alice and enjoyed it much. I think though that I had more of an interest in the Disney movie than the book itself because I remember not really getting the humor or understanding what was going on as well as say, one of my homeschooled children. My seven year old daughter could hear excerpts and be rolling around on the floor laughing.
About a month ago I was reading the book to my daughter and found myself enjoying it so much that last night I sneaked it up into bed and read until I feel asleep. The Professor sat next to me Brady style and read his Calvin's Institutes. He has been reading this book for about eight years, no joke. I was laughing so hard when reading the poem "Old Father William" that he stared at me and shook his head.
"Please don't read it to me," he said.
I had already read him a small excerpt of when Alice was swimming in her own tears and talking to a small mouse who was also swimming for its life. She kept talking about her cat Dinah and forgetting that mice don't like cats and the mouse was getting hotly offended. It was just funny. I was giggling as I read it to him but he cut me off in the middle and said, "is it almost over?" like Calvin is so much more interesting. He in turn read his book to me for a spell and I hardly understood what was going on. I consider myself a fairly smart individual.
So here is my two favorite stanzas of William because it made me laugh so hard:
"'You are old', said the youth, 'and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak---
Pray, how did you manage to do it?'
'In my youth,' said his father, 'I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.'"
I have no idea really why it struck me so funny. The Professor later said to me in a voice of warning, "You know, that Victorians book I have says that Carroll was a weirdo."
I rolled my eyes at him. "Um, I know."
Weirdos are just ridiculously funny people.