Paul Rudnick, normally one of the funniest writers anywhere, has a very long, very tedious, one-joke piece about how to raise an ugly child, based on that Canadian grocery cart research:
"I did, however, begin to read to Lisa, and the titles included The Four Little Pigs and The Little Engine That Settled."
and then like ten years later:
"I tried to be a generous, loving parent; whenever Lisa clawed at her paper bag Iíd murmur, 'Oh, but sweetheart, it's from HermËs.'"
Honestly, it's a piece not even a writer's mother could love.
A Mother's Story by Paul Rudnick [newyorker.com]