Just for Halloween fun, I’m recommending a book that I myself haven’t read–except that it’s by an author whose blog I do read religiously for LOLs nearly every day: Minneapolis Star-Tribune columnist James Lileks.

The book is “Mommy Knows Worst: Highlights from the Golden Age of Bad Parenting Advice.” Yes, the Fifties were fabulous in many ways–but  the advice the experts were handing out to new ‘rents was just as wacky as much so-called parenting advice the experts are handing out today. Here’s the Amazon summary:

“In Mommy Knows Worst, you’ll be treated to a visual feast of past parenting neuroses-as well as insight into why concerned moms and dads were driven to buy ‘delicious’ baby laxatives, douse their baby in oil and put him in the sun, and strap Junior into a car seat that bore a strange resemblance to scrap metal. If you’re a baby boomer who lived through this childhood torture, well, we’re sorry. But if humor really is the best medicine (rather than bicarbonate of curd and mustard plaster, as was previously recommended for childhood ailments), then Mommy Knows Worst  is cheaper than therapy.”

Keep Lileks’ book in mind when someone advises you to “wear” your baby on your hip 24/7 in a handwoven Guatemalan sling or warns that if you don’t breastfeed Junior until he’s signed up for the Kaplan SAT course, he’ll grow up stunted.

And don’t miss Lileks’ blog-post for today, in which he files this news story under the heading “today’s Wacky Old Europe link”:

“ROME, Italy (Reuters) — The city of Rome has banned goldfish bowls, which animal rights activists say are cruel, and has made regular dog-walks mandatory in the Italian capital, the town’s council said on Tuesday.”

Lileks comments:

“The fine for not walking your dog, incidentally, is almost $600. If you were charged with such a thing, I recommend feeding high-denomination Euro notes to your dog, waiting 24 hours, then and leaving the money in a bag on the boulevard outside the city hall.”