So what I want to know is this. How often do all these hairy-faced men wash their faces? Is it only once a week, like us, on Sunday nights? And do they shampoo it? Do they use a hairdryer? Do they rub hair-tonic in to stop their faces from going bald? Do they go to a barber to have their hairy faces cut and trimmed or do they do it themselves in front of the bathroom mirror with nail-scissors?
Roald Dahl’s universe has always been a little wonky and into this universe, the Twits are a perfect fit. Mr. Twit with his vomit-inducing moustache and Mrs. Twit with her disgusting walking stick, his descriptions are so exaggeratedly disgusting, that I couldn’t help laughing. (My post-op patients didn’t like that at all…)
It’s a very short story and what it offers is a look into a universe where everything and anything is possible. It took me back to a time when I was a kid enough to believe it to be so even in the real world around us. For an hour, I left all my notions of reality behind and delved into a world where a hairy man never washes his beard, an ugly women thinks putting her glass eye in weird places to scare people is fun, monkeys stand upside down, birds get glued to trees and of course, the Roly-Poly bird comes from Africa and completely belies its name.
If the same content were given to Aesop or the brothers Grimm, they would have made a well-sized anthology of it.
It is a misconceived notion, I tell you, that Dahl writes for kids. He writes for adults who have forgotten how to be a kid. He writes with such a distinct style of self-mockery, that any discerning reader (or even a 14 year old teenager) can see that he’s not taking himself seriously and that is exactly why his books are not meant for a specific age group. While kids might believe in the existence of the actual Twits, older populace will realize that here and there, sometime in their life, they have come across a Mr or Mrs Twit and for once, if not then, then now, in this book, they get their comeuppance (shrinks!). That is incredibly satisfying and for a while after I closed the book, I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face.
So pick up this book when you are feeling particularly frustrated at work and give it a read. Trust me, you will close it with a tiny twinkling little smile touching the corners of your mouth.