On the airplane yesterday, I started reading The Frog Prince by Elle Lothlorien. The book caught my fancy because of its name (I love fairy tales!) and the subtitle, “A Romantic Comedy.” My favorite two genres combined! I didn’t really know anything about the content, but it seemed like a light, fast read that would amuse me on the flight.
From its first line, the novel did not disappoint, as Leigh, the narrator, begins the story by announcing: “Everyone agrees that my Great Aunt Tina looks fabulous dead.” Leigh tells the story in a humorous, often unexpected, bubbly voice. She is socially inept, either gushing about her sex research and spewing bizarre facts about human mating habits, or judging each word before she utters it to make sure its “creep factor” is not too high. Her friend Kat tells her, “If I had to think so hard about everything I did, I’d throw myself off the roof.”
For about four hours, I sat on the plane and laughed out loud. I didn’t care if the girl sitting next to me on the first flight and the man sitting next to me on the second thought I was crazy. I just enjoyed the book so much. I laughed and laughed.
The best part about how fun the book is: I left my disbelief (remember my suspending your disbelief post?) on the first page and never looked back. I didn’t mind when Roman, Leigh’s boyfriend, turned out to be the heir apparent to the Austrian throne (only if the monarchy was restored, of course). My faith did not waver when Leigh discovered that Roman had access to private planes and was friends with Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia and Princess Isabella of Denmark. A quick google check (for this blog’s purpose) revealed that history does in fact include these two personages. However, Princess Isabella is five and Prince Faisal died in 1975.
I also didn’t bat an eyelash when Leigh and Roman discover that the Austrian parliament had voted to restore the monarchy. Swept away with the humor and wackiness of the novel, any crazy semi-realistic idea that Elle Lothlorien wished to throw my way would have only added to the fun, even a historical event of such monumentality as reinstating a king to his throne. I love to laugh, and I guess I’m willing to do pretty much anything to laugh more.
I always tell my family that for my shiva (the Jewish traditional seven days of mourning), I’d like them to sit telling jokes about me. What a better way to make the move to the next world than on waves of laughter? But even my morbid sense of humor stands in awe before the way Leigh’s family says goodbye to the dead: “my family likes to take pictures of dead people.” Leigh explains as she poses with the dead Great Aunt Tina, “Not just take pictures of them, but have people pose with them like a bride and groom on their wedding day.”
Wow. That sounds like, um, fun....