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Why We Don't Eat Our Young

Entertainment is the real reason humans produce offspring...

The Boy

Finally able to take advantage of his birthday gift, my son, uneventfully, recently completed an introductory snorkeling and underwater safety class. However, he almost didn’t make it.

Rewind two months…

My mistake, but we stood in a sporting goods store, not the diving specialty shop we should've gone to. We received very little assistance. The sales person was young and kind, but unknowledgeable. So, instead of being focused, my son tried on various masks for fit and finish. And I’m now standing stunned with disbelieve, staring at my recently-turned, ten-year-old son pissing himself laughing.

“Dude,” I poorly attempted to guide, “Breath through your mouth, not your nose.”

He ignored my advice and continued to breathe through his nose, sucking the mask tightly against his face during inhales, then steamed up the tempered glass as he exhaled. I easily saw the innocent mischief in his adorable brown eyes.

“Dad,” he now breathlessly breathed through his mouth, snorkeling mask now completely fogged, “You are not my father.”

“Stop screwing around,” I said, as I thought I should have, being the only adult in the room, “Or I’ll hug you so hard, that I’ll squeeze every last fart out of you in this damn store.”

I could no longer resist, and then joined him. I trembled and the tears of laughter streamed down my face.

 

The Girl

While driving home, my kids and I play a little game with license plate numbers. I’ve explained to them why vanity plates are stupid. In this day and age, one needs anonymity. If you do something wrong while driving, intentionally or other wise, you don’t want an easily remembered license plate.

Wise, beyond her years, my daughter then asked me why most license plates have both letters and numbers. I explained the limits of a numbers-only system, and that English alpha-numeric licenses have more available configurations since our alphabet has twenty-six letters versus only ten numbers.

My darling daughter understood but clarified, saying we still need to rid the language of the letter c since is it completely useless. It just mimics the sounds of k and s. The boy then countered by saying that we could retain c, but re-program its designated sound as ch. "Possibly," she says, not willing to give in to the boy’s logic. Keep in mind, she is still only seven, and I know she has her eye on a couple other letters. Watch your back’s, q and x.

I then continued with the alpha-numeric reasoning, and wondered aloud if various African cultures that utilize clicks in their language, also use those click symbols, such as an exclamation mark, on their license plates. I then made the click sound with my tongue.

I felt the chill when I saw in the rear view mirror, my daughter’s eyes light up in her booster seat.

“Dad,” she calmed her giddiness before asking, “Can I legally change my name to include a click?”

“Sure,” I played along, “But why would you want to do that?”

Her grin would’ve traumatized the most seasoned adult. I had fallen into her trap.

“When my teacher calls my name, now incorrectly of course, I would just ignore her. She’d call my name again and again, and I’d continue designing concealable hand-to-hand combat weaponry or what have you. She’d then approach me, and ask why I didn’t respond. I’d then tell her there is no one here by that name. My name is blah-click-blah.”

As much as I hated the idea, I loved it. We are awaiting the government’s response to her application.

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