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Why We Don't Eat Our Young

"From a few years ago, but the sentiment still holds true today..."
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The Boy

Able to take advantage of a much-ballyhooed birthday gift, my son successfully completed an introductory snorkeling class. We then went shopping.

Standing at the mercy of an empty big box sporting goods store, not comforted by the proper diving specialty shop we should have visited, I quickly realized my mistake. The sales associate was young and kind, but ultimately unknowledgeable. Dismayed with the struggling conversation, my son excused himself and began trying on masks. His behaviour quickly digressed. The boy conveniently forgot the parental lessons of social decorum. I now stood beside a foggy little farter that was pissing himself laughing.

“Breath through your mouth, not your nose,” I embarrassingly instructed.

He ignored my advice and continued, sucking the mask tightly against his widening eyes with each inhale, and then steamed up the tempered glass with each exhaust. The joy of mischief was upon us, clearly evidenced by his grin.

“You should speak to mom,” mini-Vader said through the heavy-breathing fog of his judgment. “Dude, you’re not my father.”

 

The Girl

While traveling, my kids and I played the license plate game. We’d take turns creating phrases using the license plate letters from nearby vehicles. It began as a distractible moment. However, it has evolved. Our answers have become, let’s say, saucier. But that’s another story for another day.

Deliciously wise between her ears, my daughter asked why most license plates have numbers and letters. I first explained that vanity plates are careless displays. One needs anonymity, especially if a Karen feels slighted by a driver on her way to palates. The swashbuckling vanity of Zoro quickly becomes a humbled zero once she involves social media.

I then explained that numbers-only systems have similar limitations. Simply put, cryptic Anglophone alpha-numeric license plates offer more privacy while also providing the most available configurations.

Without missing a beat, the girl wondered aloud if dialects that utilize clicks, the sound made by snapping one’s tongue against the roof of one’s mouth, also use click symbols, such as an exclamation mark, on their license plates. I did not know. It did not matter. Evil chilled the air. In the rear view mirror, I witnessed the manipulative cogs turn while observing booster seat girl’s devious look.

“Dad,” she calmly asked, “Can I add a click to my name?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

I did not reply. I wanted her argument first. Instead, I got an insult.

"You’re such a hypocrite.”

“Why do you say that?”

Hook. Line. Sinker. She was about to reel me in.

“You told us that you chose our names so people would remember us. You said that it gave us a leg up on the competition. In your opinion, a vanity plate may be a disadvantage but, again, in your opinion, a unique name was an advantage – OUR advantage. Isn’t that what you said?”

My young daughter may not have used those exact words, but those chosen relayed the same message. Regardless, I still denied her request.

“Fine,” she said, crossing her arms as she pouted out the car window. “I’m going to tell grandma that I want a hedgehog for my birthday. It may even involve shedding a tear.”

We now have two puppies. And we nervously await the government’s response to her name-change application.

 

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