I understand, I totally do understand, why Amelia Bedelia is endearing to young readers across multiple generations. I find her endearing! I think the books are funny, and she’s a really amusing character. Her simple way of thinking enables her to make totally out of the box decisions. At the same time, how does Amelia Bedelia still have a job?
When I was five, I insisted that my grandmother and I bake lemon meringue pie—a la Amelia Bedelia. If that pie was good enough for Amelia to keep her job, in spite of her perpetual idiocy, I had to try it…It wasn’t as good as I had expected. I think I assumed that meringue would taste like this other-worldly confection—for some it may, but I’m equally, if not more pleased with barbecue flavored Fritos. (On that same afternoon, my younger sister locked herself in my parents’ bathroom and we had to call the fire department! It was very exciting, from what I can remember.)
Back to Amelia though. I have to wonder, is being endearing enough to keep your job? I really don’t think so. Not that I have a ton of work experience, but I do feel, to maintain a position you can’t be a complete nincompoop. (What a great word, right?) Here are some fire-able offenses, in my mind, committed by Miss Amela Bedelia: — not because she did anything particularly terrible, but because she doesn’t seem totally compete
- When she planted light bulbs in pots.
- When she pinched Cousin Alcolu when the recipe called for a pinch of salt.
- When she rolled jelly across the floor when asked to make a ‘jelly roll.’
- When she dressed the chicken in lederhosen.
- When she scattered dust all over the living room.
- When she washed Mr. Rogers’ seeing glasses in the dishwasher.
- When she cut apart a calendar when her cake recipe called for ‘dates’.
- When she stole the bases from a baseball game.
- When she destroyed the Christmas tree by trimming it down.
- When she gave medical advice at the Doctor’s office. Period. (This woman should not be allowed to go near patients.)
Amelia is a great character, but not a person I’d ever want to interact with on a regular basis. The fact that she takes literally every single idiom…that would drive me bananas! (She’d get in a car with a bunch of bananas over that.)