Friday, January 11, 2008

Advice from Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew, girl detective. The books were first written in the 1930’s and are a great read today. My daughter and I read a few of them together and still chuckle over some of the language used. Nancy would take a ride in her “roadster” and attend “luncheons” where “gelatin” was served.

Apparently I missed the advice to live by that could be found in her books. As a pre-teen I was not a Nancy Drew reader which would be one reason for my missing this valuable information. But I can make up for the important deficit in my life skills because of the Nancy Drew Guide to Life I found in Barnes & Noble. In case you, too, missed out on these important Nancy Drew gems, I will share some of them with you. Brace yourself as your life may never be the same!

Nancy offers simple but helpful advice about certain situations one may encounter. In Mystery of Crocodile Island she advises that “Simple screaming can scare off snakes.”
The tip from The Haunted Showboat will come in handy the next time I am in Haiti or the swamps of Key West. “Never interrupt a voodoo doctor.” Heaven only knows what kind of critter I could be turned into or what ailment would afflict me if I had not read this and indeed interrupted a voodoo doctor. And while she doesn’t say it, our little Nancy must have been a Thoreau fan because she knows that “The best way to clear one’s mind is to commune with nature.” Ms. Drew had a way with men and kindly shares her advice with us. My mother must have gotten the information she passed onto me from Nancy. “The best way to lose a boy is to chase after him.” Ah, I actually believe this is true simply because men can be like cats. Show them too much attention and they ignore you. Ignore them and they come running. “If a guy’s hunch results in a dead-end, don’t flaunt your better judgment and intuition in front of him. Smirk secretly to yourself.” Nancy probably learned that the hard way. I imagine she chastised the guy aloud and then had to recommend this advice from The Secret of the Golden Pavilion, “Flowers sent by secret admirers might be coated with poison.” One piece of advice Mother never shared is found in The Mystery of the Glowing Eye. Nancy wisely suggests “After receiving an electrical shock to the system, find as many men as possible to vigorously massage you.” Words to live by, hey?!

Nancy did lead the privileged life as the daughter of a successful attorney as evidenced by certain suggestions. “If you are afraid of being followed when you leave your house, buy a new car and have it brought around to the back of the house for a sneaky escape.” Righto, Nance. Most of us have enough spare change for a new roadster at the drop of a hat. Our girl sleuth has expensive tastes and gives advice those who frequent QVC or Zales Jewelry stores should note. “When the lights suddenly go out, hold onto your diamonds for dear life.” And for you jewelry loving circus goers she cautions “Don’t wear expensive jewelry to a circus. A clown might notice it and try to lift it.” Whew – good to know the trapeze artists I am fond of aren’t suspect. But no matter what trials and tribulations a girl detective may face, a well-to-do daddy can put all concerns aside. “Never lose your girlish glee when your dad buys you a ticket to Hong Kong.”

Don’t think that just because Nancy Drew leads a privileged life that she isn’t well versed in roughing it in nature. No, sir, she can handle herself with snakes, smelly swamps, and all means of wilderness danger. If lost in the woods she advises that “caves are excellent shelter.” Those of us living in Wisconsin must heed this clever insect news and “dive into any available water when attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes.” For those of us who enjoy canoeing, kayaking, and swimming in fresh water but are afraid of shark attacks, Nancy assures us “If you see something resembling a shark in a river, don’t fret. It’s more likely to be a small submarine operated by thieves.” And all these years my phobia of river sharks has been unfounded.
So, as you can see, Nancy Drew is clever beyond her years. These are a few samplings of the wisdom this heroine has to offer. Read some of her stories and you will be awarded with more than a good book but with new life skills! I raise a cup of gelatin to our girl sleuth.

1 comment:

Cheeky said...

I started reading Nancy Drew in the second grade - I still love those books.