From The Mouths of Babes

by John Holbo on May 16, 2014

The 10-year old, upon seeing part of the trailer for Godzilla. “What if it has … Godzuki in it!” (Looks at me with dum-dum-DUM! expression, wide-eyed!)

Later she tells me she and her friend are writing another storybook. What is her book called? “It’s called ‘And Then!'”

I think “And Then!” is the best title for a story ever. And I tell her so. She’s like: “What? What’s so great about it?”



Niall McAuley 05.16.14 at 2:03 pm

I’ve read that the new Godzilla is more restrained than Pacific Rim and lacks that movie’s aggressive stupidity.



Matt 05.16.14 at 2:51 pm

Man, I loved that Godzilla cartoon when I was a kid, but I was always hoping that Godzuki would finally manage to breath fire instead of just smoke (that’s what he did, right?) and wondered where Godzilla’s wife was. (I’m often afraid to look at cartoons I used to like, for fear that I’ll be sad that animation that I used to think was soooo realistic in fact was horrible. The Super Friends is the best case of this, I guess. But that clip didn’t actually look too bad. Maybe I’ll go try to find some Johnny Quest cartoons.)


Wonks Anonymous 05.16.14 at 2:51 pm

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Flash Tub segments on Something Awful animating stories made up on the spot by Richard Kyanka’s daughters, but “And Then!” instantly made me think of those.


Jared 05.16.14 at 2:59 pm

There’s a Soseki novel called “And Then.” (Is that the allusion you’re making? I can’t tell).


John Holbo 05.16.14 at 3:06 pm

I was unaware of prior art in this area. I just liked it. It’s so … Ur-story.


Anderson 05.16.14 at 3:35 pm

IIRC, “and then” does a lot of work in the gospel of Mark.


Cahokia 05.16.14 at 6:40 pm

Is this post an allegory about Narendra Modi?


MPAVictoria 05.16.14 at 6:49 pm

This post makes me think of a stupid/funny move from 2001 Dude Where’s My Car….


john c. halasz 05.16.14 at 7:56 pm

“Parataxis: The Sequel”.


shah8 05.16.14 at 8:08 pm

“and then” makes me remember all of stories that putatively occur in the aftermath of what was “real”. A Gift Upon the Shore, Sean Stewart’s Nobody’s Son, the movie Waking Life, etc…

I’m not sure it’s possible for an adult to read “and then” anything like how a child would read “and then” because of our deeper awareness of (potential)loss, and it feels like one of the central aspects of character Buddhism and Taoism seeks to change is so we could be like a child, and go “and then!”

Godzilla? I look at the advertising, and think…how unutterably stale. There was an article in Vice about how the Matrix is dated after 25 years–certainly dated enough for a silly reference in a Super Bowl ad. More Star Wars, More Star Trek, More Bond, more, more more branded character AV. Gah!


Matt 05.16.14 at 8:29 pm

about how the Matrix is dated after 25 years

Thank god this turned out to be wrong, and it’s only 15 years old. For a minute there I thought I’d lost a decade, or was in fact much older than I thought.


Ronan(rf) 05.16.14 at 8:56 pm

I was only thinking about Dude where’s my car today. Completly unrelatedly, I should add.


Anderson 05.16.14 at 9:29 pm

9: ha! “Parataxis IV: Conjunction.”


shah8 05.16.14 at 9:35 pm

Sorry, Matt…


maidhc 05.16.14 at 11:10 pm

There’s a musical version:


Henry 05.17.14 at 12:05 am

Sean Stewart’s Nobody’s Son

That’s a good book. Some bits where he isn’t quite in control in the way he is in later books. But very definitely, a good book. I’m sorry he never quite made it to the stage of self-sustaining author – he had a ton of talent.


dbk 05.17.14 at 5:52 am

And then there’s this version:

As Parataxis: The Sequel and Parataxis IV: Conjunction note upstream, “And [then]” is actually a defining characteristic of oral genres even today, e.g. folktales, whose fast-paced, action-oriented narratives are held together by the coordinating conjunction “and”, sometimes but not always accompanied by “then.”

So your daughter’s exclamation is actually really, really interesting as well as charming.


Pat 05.17.14 at 12:42 pm

maidhc, I was thinking of Handsome Boy Modeling School’s version, myself.



Pat 05.17.14 at 12:44 pm

… d’oh, embed fail. Someday I’ll figure that out. Oh well. Bare link:


Pat 05.17.14 at 12:44 pm

WELL NOW HOW DOES THAT MAKE SENSE. Sorry for the clutter.


Murc 05.17.14 at 6:40 pm

@Niall McAuley

Trust me, the new Godzilla movie is aggressively stupid in entirely different and much less tolerable ways than Pacific Rim was aggressively stupid.

Oh, and it doesn’t actually star Bryan Cranston. The trailers are lying to you. I was pretty honked off.


x.trapnel 05.17.14 at 7:20 pm

16: I’m sorry he never quite made it to the stage of self-sustaining author – he had a ton of talent.

Me, too. (Although apparently he’s kept working at some more experimental projects.) “Galveston” and “Perfect Circle” were just wonderful.


Belle Waring 05.18.14 at 7:03 am

The idea for the book really is that there will be one opening line like, “once there was a girl named Crysanthemum who was secretly a witch, with a bicycle,” and then everything else will be “and then…and then…” until it’s “and then she lived pretty happily ever after.” She and her friend Rena write lots of books. They have an idea for another one that’s My Secret Diary that starts: “who are you? Why are you reading this? Oh my God why is this in a LIBRARY!??”


chris y 05.18.14 at 8:54 am

My Secret Diary is completely awesome. If I were a publisher I’d send them an advance on it right now.


engels 05.18.14 at 9:11 am


godoggo 05.18.14 at 11:19 am

And then?


engels 05.18.14 at 9:43 pm

I think “And Then!” is the best title for a story ever.

I prefer the modernist version, ‘But Before That..’


Scott Martens 05.19.14 at 7:29 am

10 year old children know who Godzuki was? We have failed as a generation and should all hang our heads in shame.


godoggo 05.19.14 at 9:46 pm

And then?


Kenny Easwaran 05.20.14 at 4:48 am

I’m not sure what I have to do to get the video to show:


godoggo 05.20.14 at 5:52 am

btw, according to Wikipedia, the woman pictured with Richard Hell there is “new wave musician Patty Smyth, whom he was dating at the time.”

Apparently Richard got confused.


godoggo 05.20.14 at 5:58 am

I understand the finally ended up marrying Sonyc Smyth.

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