On July 4th, 2008 one of my favorite authors Thomas M. Disch committed suicide. Widely known for his science fiction and poetry, Disch also wrote one of my personal favorite horror novels of all time, THE M.D. Although the subject of death came up a lot in his work, in my opinion, he was capable of being one of the most hilarious authors I have ever read. His much-anthologized short story "The Roaches" is a great example of that fact. The truth is Disch's creativity was so grand that there really was no lone genre that could contain it. When he took on children's literature with THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER series, he not only created characters that many adults still keep in their hearts today, but he also put himself in the position to be recognized as a unintentional traumatizer as well. One scene from the animated film based on the book seemed especially created to set the jujubes flying. In it, our little toaster has an awful dream where he not only causes a fire but also is psychologically harassed by a hideous clown in firefighter gear that would give "Pennywise" pause. The dream continues with the lovable appliance hanging on for dear life above a bathtub before he awakens to understand none of it was real. THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER both as a movie and a book will remain a children's classic that truly gets the wheels of the imagination spinning in a way that only Disch could achieve.Â It's sad that the author could not hang on as tight as that little toaster did, but who's to say he's not waking up from a bad dream himself right now. Come to think of it, that would be so very, very Disch.
Experience THE B.L.T.'s bad dream HERE