Pam’s Hot Tub

Pam's Hot TubPam’s Hot Tub
Basic Reader Series
Mayr and Allen

Submitter: Our public library just completed its Summer Weeding Club.  We created a “hall of shame” on which we posted the best of the worst, and voted to select the worst of the worst.  Pam’s Hot Tub won by a mile.   Number 8 in the Northwest Co-operative Labs’ Basic Reader Series, the twelve-page booklet tells the cautionary tale of the consequences of eating too many hot dogs before taking a dip in the Jacuzzi.  Written by Ann Morton and illustrated with Thurber-esque simplicity by Teresa Allen, 1981.

Holly: Wow, sounds absolutely titillating!  And that cover – they spared no expense for an illustrator, did they?  This looks horrible, and the story sounds really dumb.  I thought “basic readers” were supposed to be a high-interest, low-vocabulary type of thing for adults learning to read.  Thank goodness there are better literacy materials available these days!

  1. The quality of the front cover makes me expect that the text was typed on a somewhat broken mechanical typewriter and then mimeographed, folded and stapled together, sort of like “50 Ways and 50 Reasons You Can Abstain From Sex” was with a laser printer.

    Could someone explain why the woman on the left has an upside-down mustache?

  2. Ok…I’ll bite. What ARE the dangers of eating too many hot dogs before taking a dip in the jacuzzi? Did Pam get severe cramps because she didn’t wait an hour after eating to go into the water (like our mums always told us to do) and drown in the three feet of water while her four other friends just stood there?

    It’s not like an upset stomach could be the danger…nobody would notice the bubbles in a jacuzzi right? 😀 Okay I’m reading WAAAAAY too much into this, I’ll stop now.

  3. But…what *does* happen if you eat too many hot dogs before getting in the Jacuzzi?? We need answers here!

  4. Yeah, this would definitely count as being the worst of the worst. So bad I don’t know where it would go… the blue box or the incinerator!

  5. Please, tell me the “consequences of eating too many hot dogs before taking a dip” in a Jacuzzi!
    I know the alcohol warnings, but what about hot dogs? Are they too fat to all fit? Do they get stomach cramps because they didn’t wait the half-hour before swimming I was always warned about as a child in the 60s? Just what happened to them! I love cautionary tales! I thought “basic readers” where for children learning to read. Like Dick and Jane. No, I guess those are primers, these are a step above that.

  6. Okay, when I saw the picture, the first thing I thought was that some child had drawn the moustache on the woman. Is it really part of the cover art? Moreover, are those people standing? If they’re seated, their knees must be interlocked.

  7. Oh, that drawing makes my eyes hurt. There’s just not enough lines for it to make sense (and in some areas too many lines).

    But a part of me wants one of these. Seeing as how I’m a Pan and a bibliophile and such. 😉

  8. Yikes, at first I thought this tome was about the swinging lifestyle. Was that “dangers of hot dogs” line just a euphemism?

  9. This sounds like an important public service announcement! Think of all the people who will now make the mistake of eating too many hot dogs before getting into the tub now that the book is weeded. Who knows what will happen to them now?

  10. We need scans of the entire thing!

    Pam is learning about displacement! When all her friends get out (offensive hot dog burps perhaps?) she will be left with only a few inches of water.

  11. With such great cover art, how can you mock this fine bit of literature? Anybody who saw this little book would have been tempted– the library should have set it out as part of a suggested reading display, as it would have been impossible to resist. What happens after the hot dogs? We all want to know! 😛

  12. I think that eating too many hot dogs must cause “additional” bubbles to be added to the hot tub, if y’all know what I mean.

  13. The comments on this posts are sickening. If you people knew the true dangers of eating hot dogs before going in a hot tub you wouldn’t make fun of it. I choose to believe that you’re just ignorant, and not sociopaths.

    Go educate yourselves.

  14. I’m thinking the idea behind this book was that the adult new reader would have to read the whole thing before finding out (to his or her disappointment) that it is not pornography.

  15. Am I the only one who thinks this book sounds like a poop joke in book format? That can’t be right, can it?

  16. @17: OK, how are we supposed to “educate ourselves” ?

    Incidentally, that “hot tub” looks like an old beer barrel cut in half. Just how hot is that tub?

  17. The woman with the facial hair problem just was drawn so her nose is attached to the bottom of her cheek bones.

    Also that hot tub looks so hillbilly I keep looking to see if there’s a fire under it.

  18. The cover drawing is not “Thurberesque.” It’s just a poor drawing. Thurber was a genuine artist, and his cartoons were beloved by millions, including many prominent cultural figures. There was one great painter, if memory serves Picasso, who praised Thurber’s cartoons.

    Thurber’s cartoons were beloved because they were warm, funny and human, with an underlying sadness at the human condition. They touched people. Whereas this cover is just a less-than-competent imitation of one style of commercial art.

  19. @24:

    OK, what am I supposed to look under while there? (I’ve already checked my local catalogs: none of them have this book and I’d rather not have to ILL a title like that…) Is there a subject heading for “Hot tubs — dangerous effects” or similar that I don’t know about?

  20. I did, but my local library is surprisingly light on hot dog/jacuzzi cross-references (admittedly, it is a SMALL library).

    I’m with Alex – until I saw the “Basic Reader” subtitle I was convinced this was going to be very bad cartoon porn.

  21. I confess, I’m the poster. For all of you who are wondering how it all turns out, here’s the whole story:

    Page 1. Pam got a hot tub. The tub sat on the grass. Lil and Jim swam in the tub with Pam. They had fun.

    2. Bob had a bunch of snacks at the hot dog shop. Then he left the shop.

    3. He went to pick up Ann.

    4. Bob and Ann went to swim in Pam’s hot tub. They got in the tub with Lil and Jim and Pam.

    5. Bob sank. Bad luck!

    6. Jim ran to get help. Pam went to bring a cop. Lil and Ann had to get Bob up onto the grass.

    7. Bob is on the grass. He is wet. He is stiff. Lil and Ann are wet and sad. Bob is not well.

    8. Jim runs back to the tub. He did not get help. He is still wet.

    9. Pam and the cop run up. Pam is still wet. The cop is mad. He cannot help.

    10. Lil and Ann thump Bob on the chest. Bob sits up Thank God, Bob is well!

    11. Lil and Ann mix a drink for the cop. The men fix lunch. Pam rests.

    12. Bob must not have six hot dogs and then get in the hot tub.

    Now, doesn’t this make ya’ll want to go out and read more books???