Sunday, March 21, 2010


I was sitting on the sofa when Julia walked up to me and handed me a Cheerio. I popped the Cheerio in my mouth and while I chewed I said, "Thanks, Sweetie."

"I poisoned it."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Subconscious or not. . .

Allie and I went for a long walk after dinner. Instead of the usual exploration of our neighborhood we made our way toward Main St. The street was blocked by squad cars. As pedestrians, we were allowed through to watch the fire department take care of a fairly nasty car fire. No ambulances (thank goodness). Just a smoldering black hunk of late-model something or other.

As soon as the car fire was behind us we talked about a book on medical mysteries that Allie is reading. She would tell me about one of the diseases in the book and I would come back with whatever gross medical problem I knew something about. The more we talked, the more Allie wanted to hear. This meant each disease had to be more gruesome than the last. After Ebola I wasn't sure where to go so I wound up describing syphilis to my ten year-old.

She asked how syphilis is spread after I began describing how the disease could lead to lesions that would sometimes cause peoples' noses to rot off. The timing of the question was coincidental in that, as of today, Allie is learning about human sexuality in health class. So when I told her that syphilis is sexually transmitted she had all the information she needed.

As I type this I'm really not sure if my subconscious response to Allie's health class was to plant the notion that the consequences of sex can sometimes lead to your nose falling off.

Subconscious or not - I'm pretty sure it was the right thing to do.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

You see, there was this dog. . .

I was filling up the car when I noticed the van next to me had a dog sitting in the driver's seat. This dog looked like the dog I have in my head when I think about what kind of dog I'd like to have as a pet.

I barked at the dog and it came over to the passenger seat to check me out. I waved. I made faces. I marched around. The dog was more interested in whether or not its owner was coming out of the convenience store than it was in me. This made me try harder. All the way to the point where I was sitting in my car gesticulating wildly to try and make this dog love me.

I'm not sure why I hit the brake as I pulled away from the dog in the van. I'm going to say Jesus told me to stop because I hadn't removed the pump nozzle from the car. Half a second more and I would have ripped the hose from the pump and gas would have spewed everywhere. With my luck it would have ignited, blowing up everything that surrounded my car and the cool dog in the van.

Following my close call I thought about how I would have explained the lost lives and thousands of dollars in property damage I might have caused to Deb. 

You see, there was this dog. . .

Sunday, January 03, 2010

One of the Many Reasons

Riding home this evening we were talking about new kids at Allie and Julia's school. One of the new kids in Julia's class is named Brook. We asked Julia if she knew what a brook might be (aside from a first grader who's new in town). We told her that a brook can also be a small stream like a creek or a tiny river.

"No. That's not what a brook is. It's one of those things," she said.

After we made a couple of weak attempts to convince her that we weren't lying she said, "A brook is what they use to make buildings."

"Um, that's a

"That's what her name is - Brook."

"But you said,
brick; not brook."

"I said
brook, like what they use in buildings."

"A brick."

"Yeah. A brook."

This could have gone on for the entire ride home but instead Julia told us about the
abalien kid at school. "He's teaching us to speak abalien," she told us.

We asked her if she meant
Albanian. She said, "Yeah, abalien. He's really poor. He said that he only has a hay ball to play with."

For some reason
hay ball meant I had reached some kind of tipping point and started laughing until I couldn't breathe. When this happens it's not really laughing it's just some kind of gurgling sound I make as I try to catch my breath. This time my hysterical gurgling really pissed off Julia.

"Stop laughing! It's not funny! Don't laugh at my friend!"

"I'm laughing at you, Julia"

"Stop laughing at me!"

Julia sucked all the funny out of the moment. I sat there, sullen because I'd been scolded by my six year-old. Like she knows it's not polite to laugh at little kids who only have balls of hay for toys. She doesn't know the difference between a damn brook and a brick. She's telling me I shouldn't be laughing at this poor boy's toy?

Yes. I felt guilty. That said I've stopped typing this post twice to cover my mouth so I won't laugh at thoughts of the little abalien boy unwrapping the new hay ball he got for Christmas.

This is one of the many reasons why people tell me I am a bad person.