Reviewer: Oregonian
Date: 06/08/14 18:05
Chapter: One-Shot

Hi, MJ,

This is Vicki of Slytherin House, commenting on your story. I went trolling through the Humor category in the archives, seeing if there was anything worthwhile there (good humor is hard to write), and I found your delightful little story. I have read some laughing-out-loud humor stories, and some straining-to-be-humorous-but-really-just-stupid stories, and yours is neither; it’s just gently humorous.

Poor, clueless Archie. Even though you specifically say that he read the article in The Daily Prophet about proper Muggle attire to wear at the Quidditch World Cup event, he still didn’t get it right. Or maybe it was The Daily Prophet that didn’t get it right; GoF tells us that not all the wizards attending the match managed to achieve the true Muggle look. Your story didn’t stick exactly to canon, because in GoF Archie’s dress is described as “flowery”, whereas in your story his ultimate selection was plain brown, and GoF describes Archie as “very old,”, whereas in your story he must have been younger than that because the saleswoman gives him her number. But these little variations are totally unimportant.

I loved how the saleswoman treated Archie completely respectfully despite his odd request (perhaps “The customer is always right”) and gave him a “cover” with the other customers and their husbands by explaining that Archie was purchasing a dress for some waggish cross-dressing party, so that set up the group to support Archie by playing along with the gag. I liked the women’s comments, no doubt delivered with a perfectly straight face, as though this spectacle was just an everyday event. “This is my favorite one, Archie.” “It flatters your figure very well.” “It doesn’t wash you out like that salmon one did.”

You have achieved a wonderful balance; everyone is buying into the make-believe, probably assuming that they are supporting a man during an assuredly-embarrassing task of having to try on and buy gender-inappropriate clothing, while unbeknownst to them, Archie is both deadly serious about this purchase and totally unaware that he is buying something no male Muggle would ever wear.

The story suggests, first, that Archie, as a wizard, was so accustomed to wearing robes that he naturally gravitated toward a Muggle garment of similar cut, and, second, that robes for both witches and wizards were sufficiently similar that Archie did not grasp the strict dichotomy of male styles and female styles in the Muggle world. Undoubtedly he noticed that all the men waiting outside the dressing rooms were wearing trousers, but apparently he did not realize that in England they had to wear trousers.

Your story moves along at a nice pace. The plain language is suited in style to the humor genre, where we don’t want flowery, figurative, or overly descriptive verbiage to obscure the humor or the sense of the absurd. And we don’t need a lot of description; we have all been clothes-shopping, and we know exactly what it looks like.

It is gratifying that at the end Archie was successful in buying something he would be happy to wear. After all, we like him and we are on his side. He is a character we can connect with; we care what happens to him, and his story is definitely not boring.

I salute your imagination in taking this tiniest prompt from GoF and developing it into this charming tale. I enjoyed reading it.

Author's Response: Oh, wow. That's a long review. I'm glad that you enjoyed the story. I had a lot of fun writing it. It would be fun to write the back story on why everyone went with Archie's weird dress shopping trip. Hmm..maybe I'll write something. Anyway, thanks for the great review! ~MJ

Reviewer: Trucker
Date: 02/07/14 23:28
Chapter: One-Shot

Snort! Fantastically done!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I really enjoyed wiring this! Thank you for the review! ~MJ

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I really enjoyed wiring this! Thank you for the review! ~MJ

Reviewer: snuffles1
Date: 02/07/14 16:12
Chapter: One-Shot

That was really entertaining. I always loved that scene with Archie in GoF, and I liked your explanation for it.

Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you like it! I had a blast writing it. I'm debating if I should write more about Archie's life or not. We'll see. Anyway, thank you so much for the review! ~MJ

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