So Anita is at a kid's dance recital, which is a little like bringing a crack addict into a nursery. Maybe they won't cause trouble, but they certainly won't avoid it - especially since Anita basically hates women, children, parents... basically everyone in the room.

In my navy blue skirt suit I looked like a dozen other mothers who had had to come straight from work to the dance recital.

... yeah, because all moms dress alike and all have the same jobs.

My hair was a little curly and a little too black for all the blond mothers,

  1. So the blond mothers are... what, staggering away because it's too CURLY and too BLACK?
  2. Since when are all moms blonde? I missed that memo!
  3. For that matter, where are the black moms? The Latina moms? The Asian-American moms? Do only blonde WASPs send their kids to school in LKHworld? What is this, some sort of Hitler Youth school where anything other than the Aryan ideal will get you expelled?
  4. LKH's obsession with blonde women seems to be getting worse with time - originally it was just a little venting, and now she's basically claiming that tall, thin and blonde is the NORM and that Anita having dark hair is somehow shockingly different.

In real life, most people don't comment on that sort of hair unless they want to know if you're from Place X. They certainly don't creep back going, "Ewwww, she has black hair so she must be ETHNIC. And for some reason I have a problem with that!"

but no one gave me a second glance.

... so basically nobody cares about how WAAAAAAHH HALFBREED ANGST! she is except her.

The one saving grace as I threaded my way through the crowd of parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and siblings was that I wasn’t one of the parents.

I'm sorry, the saving grace of what? And why is it a "saving grace" to not be a parent? Is Anita supposed to be on drugs here?

I was just here as moral support and last-minute costume rescuer.

... since despite having a busybusybusy life of soooooo much zombie-raising, she has time to go run someone a hat. What's the point of a bunch of freeloading boytoys if they can't do that for her?

It was just Monica Vespucci’s style to leave part of her son’s costume at her house and need an emergency save.

SNEER SNEER, point and jibe at the stoopid wimmenz who are not ANITA.

Here's a shocking idea: she's a single mother with no partner, raising a very small child ALL BY HERSELF with only whatever halfhearted help the local godvampire decides to throw her. She presumably has a full-time job (unlike Anita "I Only Work on Fifth Sundays When The Moon Is Full And My Client is a Bishie" Blake), has to do housecleaning and stuff herself (unlike Anita, who has fawning effeminate boytoys to do all the work for her), and has to juggle it all with the stuff required of a kid (which Anita would never have because it might drag down her oh-so-awesome life).

So enough with the sneering, you pampered bitch.

Micah and I had been running late with client meetings so we got to ride to the rescue,

Wait, time out. Why precisely would MICAH be late with client meetings? He doesn't have a job except running the only-when-convenient were-alliance, and such groups don't usually have "clients." Is Anita demonstrating her awe-inspiring professionalism by having her three-legged boytoy hang around and offer opinions while people try to hire her?

and now since the vast majority of the performers were female I was the only one safe to go backstage without scandalizing the mothers.

I'm not quite sure why the mothers would be "scandalized" by a man walking back to give a kid a clown hat, and then walking out again. We're not talking about professional theatre with dozens of naked women backstage or whatever. I'm pretty sure that nobody would care about a man backstage as long as he doesn't skulk in a corner, wearing a trenchcoat and clutching a package of candy.

Oh wait - everything, including children's dance recitals, gets filtered through the sex lens. Everybody only thinks about sex, even at a kiddie dance recital. Creepy.

What did little girls who only had male relatives do at things like this? My dad would have been at a loss.

In my experience, single dads tend to cope remarkably well when they have to.

And what does she mean, "only had male relatives"? Does she think there's some small subset of humanity where men never have any female relatives themselves? "Sorry, Susie, but my family consists entirely of gay male couples who only have boys, so I don't have any female relatives."

And since Anita is the tuffest tuff manly man wot is tuff, she makes sure to let us know that she's packing heat. Because she's tough, and her life is soooo dangerous she can hang around small children without worrying.

The little girl was knocked into me so that my suit jacket pushed back and she was staring at my holstered gun and U.S. Marshal badge.

Let's all fall back in frightened awe of Anita's super-tuffness. Be impressed, everybody! Anita is so tuff and dangerous that she can't even go into a children's dance performance without her MANLY BADGE OF MANLY MANHOOD and her MIGHTY PHALLIC SUBSTITUTE. Because obviously leaving them in the car would be deadly. I wonder how Anita showers if she can't be without her precious metal penii.

A hint, LKH: Jim Butcher can go a whole page without sneering at some large group of people or emphasizing how deadly Harry is. Fer crying out loud, he has him hanging out with "Polkastein" without snarking too much about him.

Then again in the Dresdenverse, children are considered precious and to be protected, not a bunch of screaming annoyances who might keep you from deliberately lunging into danger and having hawt sex.

And since no female cops, marshals or other such women exist in the Anitaverse (or they're jellus bitches who can't do anything), of course it is TERRIBLY TERRIBLY SHOCKING that a WOMAN would have a GUN and a BADGE. Never mind that many children have mothers who are cops.

She couldn’t have been more than five. I wondered if she’d even try to tell her mother she’d seen a woman with a gun and a badge.

Uh, she's five, drama llama. Five year olds TELL MOMMY EVERYTHING, even stuff Mommy doesn't wanna know. I'm sure she'll whisper in a second or two that there's a crazy lady fellating a gun back there. Seriously, a little girl would probably just assume that one of her classmates has a cop for a mother. No drama.

I started pushing my way up the stairs, keeping the hand with the clown hat in it close to my jacket so I wouldn’t flash the gun by accident anymore.

Here's a shocking idea: try to BUTTON YOUR JACKET. Unless you're Amish, I can't think of any jacket that doesn't have buttons to keep it closed.

But then, what would an Anita Blake book be without constant reminders of what a drag it is being manly and tuff and always packing? If she didn't have a badge and holster where people could see it, she'd have to stand onstage and flip up her skirt to show them her thigh holster.

I was going to try to keep my occupation a secret from the screaming children and their frantic mothers.

I thought she was supposed to be more movie-star famous than anyone except JC, and super-recognizable since she's the only woman in the US who has dark curly hair and big thighs. She's the most famous woman in Missouri one minute, and able to go incognito the next?

Also, why are the mothers frantic? Why are the children screaming? Mothers aren't really frantic at events like this, assuming that nothing horrendous has happened like an outbreak of chicken pox. And the children aren't ALLOWED to scream, or they would find their asses being dragged out to the playground for a time out.

But silly little me. The mothers are frantic because obviously all moms are uptight, neurotic bitches who aren't as awesome as Anita, and the kids are screaming so we can be reminded that KIDS ARE A DRAAAAAAAG and Anita's SO lucky to not have any to mess up her perfect life.

They didn’t need to know that I hunted bad little vampires and wereanimals for the preternatural branch of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Again, if she's supposed to be uberfamous then I'm sure anyone who recognized her would KNOW.

And "bad little vampires and weres"? So, she doesn't hunt them unless they're five foot and under? Call Anita Blake! We're being attacked by vampire hobbits!

They certainly didn’t need to know that I raised zombies as my day job.

If she's famous enough to be in the tabs, then they know. it's the first thing the mucksniffers would figure out.

I blended in as long as no one figured out who I was.

And as long as nobody notices her dark'n'curly-hair-which-no-other-pale-skinned-woman-ever-has-waaaaahhh-DON'T-FIT-IN-ANGST.

Seriously, why does she even need to blend in? I doubt she has hordes of adoring fans who will chase her down for autographs. At the absolute worst, she might be asked to leave. There's also the real possibility that NOBODY RECOGNIZES HER because she's not as famous as she says she is, and all this weird creeping around is pointless.

Anyway, after what seems like hours of inner rambling about her NINJA STEALTH SKILLZ, Anita finally manages to walk backstage. To further reinforce that her entire world revolves around sex, Anita notes that there's a boy over the age of twelve, and decides to add him to her harem. No wait, she starts criticizing his mother.

I got to the upper hallway and there was one lone male over the age of twelve being herded by his mother. She had an almost embarrassed look on her face, as if apologizing for not having a girl.

Yes, I'm sure mothers are embarrassed by their sons because what they REALLY wanted was a tall blonde girl clad in frothy pink girly gowns; but little do they know that their sons should be embarrassed by them because they're... they're... FEMALE.

I knew there were more men up here, because some of them were mine,

Note that she doesn't say that they are HER boyfriends, but HERS. Like she owns them.

Now there are many forms of saying that someone is "yours," like in a military unit or when talking about animals ("the hamster is mine"). But in normal life, when talking about PEOPLE, it sounds like you're referring to slaves when you say that. At the very least, it sounds weird and creepy.

And as a question to all mothers out there, who among you would want the creepy sexually-damaged strippers Anita collects to teach a horde of little kids how to dance? Especially a bunch of moms who are supposed to be uber-uptight and neurotic? ARE THERE NO PRO DANCERS IN ST. LOUIS?!

but they were safely away from the estrogen-rich room of little girls.

Why? Is she afraid that they'll get girl cooties? It can't possibly make them any more effeminate.

Monica’s son was under five, so he didn’t count as male yet. He was just a generic child.


  1. So little girls are "estrogen rich" but somehow boys are not "testosterone rich"?
  2. Last time I checked, little boys are born male. Not only do they have a full set of genitalia (testicles, penis, the works), but it's encoded into their genes.
  3. It's obvious that LKH has never even met a young boy before, because generally they are quite male from an early age. My brother acted in ways that my sisters and I never did, even as a tiny baby - he would let out these loud macho roars and flex his muscles, howl joyously during action sequences on TV, and punch people for fun. He was sweet, but much more aggressive than girl babies. Obviously there are going to be exceptions, but from what I've been told by moms, this is more or less normal.
  4. I'm going to just assume that LKH is very intimidated by small boys BEING so male. She goes out of her way all the time to assure us that she/Anita is the MACHOEST MACHO MAN wot is MANLY. And not only are these little boys actually male, but they are effortlessly manly from day 1. They don't need societal conditioning, and they aren't old enough to have any insecurities or anything to prove. They are what they are… MALE, and she can't blame their maleness on anything social. And I suspect that freaks her out, so she tries to claim that little boys are sexless.

And since Anita basically hates children and women, she starts whining and ranting about how Monica is a total pain in the ass and Anita hates her.

and flee to our seats where everyone was waiting for me

… so she brought the entire Penii Parade to a CHILDREN'S RECITAL, for a kid we've never even seen in the series? Obviously their lives aren't terribly busy if they can take time out for THAT.

And since Monica walked her into JC's Evil Little Plot WAAAAAAYYYYY back in book one, Anita basically makes it a hobby to be a huge bitch to her at all times… which is funny because she doesn't blame JC for being in on the same plot. No no, he's all good, pure and innocent because it was the EVIL BLOND GIRL VAMPIRE'S fault, plus Monica's.

And as an example of Anita's bitchiness, recall that when Monica was pregnant Anita maliciously asked if she'd gotten the Vlad's Syndrome tests yet. In other words, she asked a pregnant woman, "Hey, have you found out if your much-wanted baby is going to be a monstrous omnivorous demi-vampiric horror yet? Hope it is… I mean, ISN'T."

And despite Anita having murdered, raped, betrayed and enslaved various other people throughout the series, apparently Monica's ONE LIE is simply unforgivable.

She’d betrayed me and a shared friend to some bad vampires once.

Yeah, a shared friend we haven't seen for more than ten books. Clearly Anita is outraged on her behalf. I suspect Anita just hates her because A) she's female and B) she bruised Anita's bloated festering ego.

And Anita continues bitching about how she hates that she has Monica's emergency key; I'm not sure why she has it, since I'm sure there are plenty of loyal slaves working for JC who could handle an emergency.

A herd of pink, sequined little girls barreled past me. I hugged the wall and let the teachers chase them down. There were so many reasons I didn’t have children yet.

… because she might have a girl, and get cooties on her? And note yet another charming little cliche - little girls always like pink and always wear it.

I heard my name squealed out, in that high-pitched generic toddler voice,

Okay, what is with all these "generic" jabs at small children? Yes, children have high-pitched voices because they're tiny. Do people talk about "deep generic big-man voices"? Anita sure as hell doesn't - she'd just compare it to some luxuriant fabric and talk about how horny it makes her.

I had no idea why, but just lately Matthew, Monica’s son, had taken a liking to me.

Presumably because she's Anita, and all men adore her exclusively. I shall set fire to this book if the kid ever either demands that Anita be his new mommy because his old mommy is a bitch, or says that he wants to join her harem.

Anyway the kid comes rushing at her, and since he's not a girl Anita actually deigns to pick him up instead of trying to shoot him because he can infect her. Apparently he has mommy's hair and daddy's face, which raises an interesting question: is he supposed to be a normal human or a dhampir? His dad was a vampire, after all. And apparently vampire-spawned fetii can develop Vlad's syndrome which suggests that there's some vampiric presence carried on. So what the hell is the kid?

Anyway, the kid gets even creepier by insisting on kissing "like a big boy," which basically means a very firm kiss on the lips.

Suddenly my skin is crawling so much that it has fled the country. Make it stop! SHE IS SEXUALIZING A TODDLER.

It made me wonder if Monica was being overly friendly with the new boyfriend in front of the kid.

It couldn't possibly be the skank who openly makes out with her boyfriends as a "hello." Nah, it must be his mother's fault.

And obviously a woman who's dating a man should never even casually kiss him on the lips! HORRORZ! I have the vapors! Someone get me smelling salts and a sofa to faint on! Seriously, toddlers get these ideas from watching their parents (or TV) all the time; does that mean that when mommy briefly kisses daddy on the lips, they're being "overly friendly"?

It was Monica; there would be a boyfriend.

The irony of ANITA, who has a HAREM, saying this is enough to make you brain explode. So a single woman having a boyfriend is implied to be a pathetic clingy slut, but a neurotic mess who is constantly clinging to her dozens of boyfriends is NOT?!

Matthew puckered up and planted one on my mouth, which meant he was wearing my very red lipstick.

If your lipstick smears off on anything your lips touch, you're wearing WAY too much. As someone who used to have to wash coffee mugs, I can tell you that most women don't wear that much.

“It is big boy if it’s your lipstick.”
I frowned at that tiny face just inches from mine. “What do you mean, it’s big boy if it’s mine?”
“All the big boys kiss you, ’Nita.”

HOLY SHIT this is creepy. Not only does this whole scene reek of potential child abuse (Anita's SO sexy toddlers want her!), but it's freaky that this tiny kid already thinks of her as a purely sexual object before he even knows what sex is.

It's also creepy because it leaves me wondering how this kid knows this. Does Anita regularly snog a whole bunch of men in front of her? Has she TOLD him that she's sexing a whole bunch of men? Just how the heck is he supposed to know this, since he infrequently sees her and her boytoys?

Since her stripper boytoys have been hired to teach the children, I'm having this creepy image of a grinning, crazy-eyed Nathaniel telling them, "Now remember kids, you have to be a stripper in order to join Anita's harem. And since joining Anita's harem is the only point of living, you should start working on it now…."

Anyway, Anita avoids actually dealing with the situation (shockity boo) by meeting with Monica and bitching even more about her. Personally I would have whipped Anita's big ass long ago if I were Monica, but of course in the Anitaverse no woman but Anita ever kicks ass.

It creeped me out a little that Monica seemed to think I didn’t hold a grudge about her betraying me five years ago. I did hold a grudge and I didn’t trust her. She seemed unaware of that.

Or perhaps she's just trying to be civil to an immature hypocrite, like a grown-up would. Since Anita is apparently too wussy to broach the subject, why should Monica cower in front of her?

She had Matthew’s curly auburn hair,

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say HE has HER hair? That's usually how it works with parents.

Once upon a time you could have asked if she was feeling all right, but now women dieted for no reason at all.

You yungins don't know how good you have it. Why back in mah day…

"NOW women dieted…?" Way to make Anita sound like a fifty-year-old woman rather than the thirty-year-old she's supposed to be. This is the 2010s - a woman Anita's age would have grown up during the era of Kate Moss and anorexic waif models, and would be USED to thin women who diet.

Monica was shorter than I was by a few inches, and I was five-three.

Why does everyone's height have to be measured compared to Anita? Why can't she just say that Monica is five feet tall?

She was still in her skirt suit, too, but her blouse was white, and mine was blue.

Who gives a crap?

Anyway, she does the mommy routine by cleaning off his mouth and putting the hat on his head. Anita keeps bitching internally, and shows how warped she is by getting icked out by the fact that she thinks the kiddie is cute.

If he’d been any older the outfit would have been embarrassing to any boy I’d ever met, but at three it was actually . . . cute.

What a shock - a toddler looking cute in a cute outfit. DUH. Has LKH ever seen a toddler?

I would not admit it out loud, but it was.

And why would she not admit it out loud, pray? Is there some kind of shame in admitting that a toddler is cute? Or is it too "girly" for Anita to concede that there's anything good about a child?

So Monica thanks Anita and starts making perfectly pleasant conversation. Anita, of course, is incredibly rude and just sits there bitching about what a rotten person Monica is, and how she can't wait to get away from her.

She grabbed my arm. I don’t like to be touched by people that I’m not close to.

How completely unique and unusual! Clearly this is another sign of what a wounded yet tuff person Anita is… even though most people in this country would tell you the same.

She leaned in and whispered, “If I was being offered a seventeen-year-old boy toy I’d be more excited, Anita.”

Ah, I see the underage boytoy has now become "legal" in Missouri, meaning he can now officially join the harem.

Anyway, Anita gets all angry and defensive (duuuuhhhh) and starts snarling at Monica for daring to be disrespectful of Penis #318.

“First, I haven’t agreed to letting him stay in St. Louis when they bring him in from Vegas tomorrow."

Anyone think she's gonna send away the underage boytoy?…. Anyone…. anyone at all? Me neither.

"Second, don’t ever call him a boy toy again.”

Awwww, hit the nerve? Interesting that she's not offended at the word "offered," but IS offended by the words "boy toy" for a sex slave she doesn't even know.

Unsurprisingly, Monica proves she can be as nasty as Anita - she's a lawyer, and Anita is an idiot. Do the math. So Anita starts playing the the-whore-doth-protest-too-much-methinks victim card:

“We were all mind-raped by one of the scariest vampires to ever exist, Monica. She used me to feed on his power as a weretiger. She used me, and him, and all the other tigers in a bid to survive even if it meant destroying all of us. You tell me, what part of that was a good thing?”

  1. Yes, they were mind-raped. But she didn't seem to care much at the time - she just thought about how socially awkward it was to have a gangbang with a bunch of random tigers. So somehow I doubt this was a tewwible, tewwible thing for her.
  2. Uh, nobody got destroyed by that gangbang. Nobody even came close. It just did what always happens in the AB series - Anita has sex without responsibilities and acquires new boytoys.
  3. What part of that was a good thing? Well, I imagine Anita would count getting an underage boytoy as being a good thing. She wouldn't ADMIT it, but she would.

She was angry, and for just a moment I knew that she didn’t like me any more than I liked her, not really.

So now it's confirmed - Monica is just a more polite, pleasant person who know how to interact with others without glowering, griping or having sex. Even to a bitchy, whiny skankette who's corrupting her son.

“Funny how it’s never your fault when you have to have sex with all these men, Anita,” and with that she walked away.

I suddenly like Monica more than ever. And she's right - Anita conveniently HAS to have sex with all these hot well-hung men who bestow even more supernatural powers on her overused vagina. But of course it's not her fault - the ardeur made her do it, the tri made her do it, the munin made her do it, having to heal her boytoys made her do it, elaborate excuses from vampire/were cultures made her do it, etc.

Basically this is what snarkers have been saying for years. I'm sure this is LKH's attempt to make Monica look like a petty evil bitch, but it just makes her look honest and kinda brave (since she's talking about JC's skankette).

She walked away with the proverbial knife stuck deep and hard right through my heart.

Yes, I feel SO bad for Anita (who, as I mentioned before, did far worse to Monica when she was pregnant).

Nothing cuts deeper than when another person says exactly what you’re afraid to say out loud.

It hurts cuz it's true, huh? And like I said, she has no problem being even nastier to Monica, so somehow my heart doesn't bleed for her.

So Anita wusses out (proving she doesn't have any kind of reply) and goes running out to the audience where her harem is waiting. I'd like to know if the harem is wearing skin-tight leather, open shirts and their usual skimpy stripper duds, since apparently dressing like gay hookers from the 1980s is the height of sexiness in LKH's world.

all my words were just a case of the lady protesting too much.

No, I don't think anyone would refer to Anita as a lady.