Me and Aunt Izzy
by Max Yoho
Max Yoho is one of my favorite Kansas authors, both in person and in the pages of his books. His love of language shines through his writing and he is obviously a story-teller all the way deep down to his core.
Eleven-year-old Jeffie was in trouble for burning down the outhouse. His punishment? A summer spent with Great Aunt Queen Isabella of Spain, aka Aunt Izzy. A little time with the family matriarch was sure to set him right.
Somewhat reluctantly at first, the boy embarks on a summer that includes Indians, Jesse James, and a durned girl named Lucille who can cuss and run fast as a bullet. Jeffie also continues his quest to enhance his vocabulary one random word at a time.
Don't get me wrong, though. In this book, Max Yoho manages to provide more than just light-hearted entertainment. As someone who has been accused of being somewhat of a bathroom connoisseur, Max opened my mind to something I had previously spent little time considering... the impact of indoor plumbing on the modern human psyche.
Upon the completion of the new indoor plumbing: "He pulled the chain and Niagara Falls itself couldn't have made more noise. And that's when I realized I could never use the indoor plumbing. It would be like bragging! It would be like saying, 'Look here, world. I've done it!' Pulling that chain would be calling the attention of everybody within forty miles to the fact that Jefferson Davis Johnson had peed in the new indoor plumbing."
I swear I have not gone to the bathroom since that I did not reminisce on this line.