Friday, June 4, 2010

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

So that's it. Kindergarten is over. And this is what I sent with Primo as his final lunch of the school year. It was fragile enough that I went ahead and walked it to his table. Buzz's torso is a carved granny smith apple. The buttons are multi-colored maraschino cherries. Red, green and blue. The blue cherries are raspberry-flavored. Effin' miracles, man. His face is a banana set in a black grape. His joints are also black grape and the straps on his chest and his features are grape skin. The starburst framing his head is pineapple, cantaloupe and strawberries. Blueberries suggest the cold blackness of space, and I think they help the cantaloupe, strawberry, apple and Hostess donette to pop. In case the picture isn't clear enough, the message says "to 1st and beyond." Hopefully he knows I meant first grade and not first base. We're going back to disneyworld and I don't want things to get awkward when he sees Buzz in person. Has it sunk in that I peeled a grape for my son?

Next up: leftovers.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pay no attention to the man, behind the curtain or otherwise

This is the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. He's mostly noodles stir-fried with snow-pea bows, carrot poppies, and broccoli florets. The crown is yellow carrot, his face is sliced turkey and roast beef and his muzzle is a pork dumpling.

We checked out the Wizard audiobook from the library a few weeks ago and it went over bigger than I ever would have expected.

Whenever pledge time rolls around on NPR, they'll ask you to think about the times you've pulled into your driveway and turned off the engine, but stayed in your car to listen to the end of a story. That's what The Wizard of Oz has been for Primo. Even on probably the fourth time through, he's genuinely rapt. We've waited in the car through "run-ins" to the grocery store, clothing returns and even an entire dentist's appointment thanks to L. Frank's storytelling. During one such session came the revelation that the Wizard was from Omaha. The memory of the look on his face as he heard that is probably going to have to stand in for the reaction I won't get to see upon his first viewing of the Cloud City duel in Empire Strikes Back.

The popularity of Wizard has prompted me to read some Baum short stories to Primo at bedtime. I know he was keen to write "American fairy tales," and they're mostly okay, from what I've read, but there's something about them I can't quite put my finger on. Like they're not timeless enough. Or the morals are a little off. Things like "go get a job and stop complaining," or "don't act like that or people will think you're a communist." It might just be me.

And, in case anyone was wondering why adults write the discussion questions, here's a sample from a lesson plan I found online:

How did Dorothy get the mark on her forehead?
Who did Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman meet next while traveling down the Yellow Brick Road?
How did Dorothy help the Scarecrow?

And here's a sample from our in-house discussion, led by Primo:

Why are Dorothy's aunt and uncle gray?
Dorothy killed the Wicked Witch of the West. I thought Dorothy said she couldn't kill anybody. Why did she kill the witch?
Is the wizard a humbug because he's from Omaha?
Why are the Winkies slaves? Are they like the slaves in America?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

One Shining moment

This is a piranha plant from the Mario games. (Was that too much information about a minor character from a video game? I can't really tell anymore.) It's a Red Baron pizza with a slice of Genoa salami and provolone, broccoli, cucumber for the stem and stars and lettuce leaves (the first harvest from our garden this year!)
Sometimes my schedule dictates that I make these lunches after I drop primo off in the morning. When that's the case, Secundo usually gets an episode or two of Blue's Clues to keep him occupied. His shouted demands for juice and responses to the television's questions limit the need for me to check on him, too, so I end up reasonably free to concentrate.

As I was working on this one, though, I caught something in the corner of my eye and looked up. Secundo stood there, smiling and staring for a moment, and then walked backward out of the kitchen, never breaking eye contact. And he only did it once. He didn't come back to show me the trick again, or start to giggle as he often does when he does something goofy. Just kinda leered and backed out of the room. His smile didn't help. It's not that he has a particularly creepy or menacing smile, but it's like his older brother got to draw it on him. The spacing of his teeth is a little weird, some of them seem sharper than they're supposed to be and he's constantly got his tongue between them. It's actually pretty cute, usually, but waiting, silently, as it was at the top of the stairs when I was bringing a load of laundry up from the darkened basement later on, it was a little freaky. Not pull-out-the-clippers freaky, but freaky.

Maybe some choice babbling would have finished the job. My mother-in-law had a foster kid for a while and one night, while he was maybe three or four, he walked into the living room, looked at one of her guests and said "There's a man in your house. But he doesn't live in your house." It was sing-songy and everything. Then he just went back to playing. Now that was top-shelf. I don't know where that kid is these days, but I know he's not alone.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dropping the hammer

You may not recognize Raymond the firefly here from The Princess and the Frog. If not, check it out because it's really a great movie. He's got a lot of the same ingredients as Tarzan, with the additions of blueberries and bananas for the night sky.
The real fireflies will be out soon, and we've been enjoying the warming evenings and our new lawn (it's possible our house is still a Superfund site, but it isn't because of lead contamination in the backyard anymore!) by playing croquet.
I used to dismiss the idea of Cadillac-diving welfare queens, but once I got a taste of the dole ... *BOOM!* Break out the croquet mallets, Chaz, it turns out easy street is covered in a big sod roll of Kentucky Bluegrass and both tall and fine fescues! (Supa-dupa-fine fescue, if you ask me.)
So, we've been hitting that grass every night, Primo and I, and I have been PWNING him.
I mean, the world hasn't seen hammer-work like mine since Thor vanished in a puff of monotheism. I mean, my game ain't cro-k, it's 24-k. I mean, The Martinez family brought their body-boards over last night because they heard about the str8 playa in the house!
I'm not sure what exactly made it feel right, but almost from the start I've been talking trash about our croquet games to Primo. I've been singing snippets - with revised pronouns - of "Simply the Best," by Tina Turner; "We Are the Champions," by Queen and "You're the Best Around," by Joe Esposito (which gets to him the most- and why not?) I've been holding my mallet aloft Hacksaw Jim-style (and even letting loose with a cross-eyed "HO!" now and then.) I've been rolling around on my back after I knock my ball through a hoop. And he goes along with it. And emulates it. I don't think he completely understands the ridiculousness of it, but I think there's a sense. He smiles for all of it. I'm never belittling him and on the rare occasion it seems to bother him, I back off. And it helps that he wins sometimes and gets to do similarly goofy stuff.
My wife and I basically lay down for him when it comes to a lot of games, and we always stress fun and sportsmanship, which he's really getting (as fast as boys his age grasp such things.) But I think he likes having a chance to be a bad sport and a braggart. And croquet seems a fine place for it. I just hope he can rein it in by the time he goes pro.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Keeping it connected

At right is the Disney version of Tarzan. From the movie so nice, Tarzan's dad dies twice. He's an open-faced sandwich with turkey for the face, provolone eyes and roast beef dreadlocks. And no, you may not use "Roast Beef Dreadlocks" as the name for your indie band. Or "Provolone Eyes," for that matter. The floral embellishments are spinach leaves, kiwi fruit and sliced red and orange sweet peppers. Primo also got a banana AND - in an act of strict self-indulgence, as it was fully expected to go unappreciated by Primo and be possibly off-puttingly supercilious to anyone else - a square of Ghanaian chocolate.
I love the idea of single-origin chocolate. I don't know that I have the palate for it. I got a sampler on clearance at Target that promised hints of mangoes or flowers. As I opened the box I could practically taste the lava from the slopes of the volcanoes on which the Venezuelan plants grew. Mmm ... ashy.
In practice, it all tasted like chocolate.
I'm not sure why the lesson I've learned from wine didn't serve here. If red wine has "notes" of black cherry, "hints" of pomegranate or "had a plum pulled saucily across it's surface before bottling," it's going to taste to me, rather disappointingly thanks to the promises, like red wine. I pretty much need it to have a picture of the fruit it's supposed to taste like on the bottle. With wine, I'm like an African shopping for baby food. Say what you will about Arbor Mist, it's no "stone-fruit" tease ... Kendall Jackson.
Anyway, the vegetation all came back uneaten. Not the chocolate, though. I refrained from asking him whether it was enhanced by the whiffs of banana blossom and instead told him that the chocolate was grown not too far from where the gorillas in Tarzan lived. "That's kinda cool, huh?" "Yeah," he said.
But it was that kind of "yeah" that means "not really."

As of posting time, googling "Roast Beef Dreadlocks" only returns this blog entry.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bob-omb

At right is a "goomba" from the Mario video games made from red Thai rice, homemade naan and rajma masala (red beans in sauce - from a packet.) There are white sesame seeds to separate the head from the feet and the naan is doing double duty since it has light (eyes and teeth) and mottled (eyebrows and pupils) sides.
After the borrowing of the wii, I insisted on a break from Mario talk and got a none-too-subtle reminder to be careful what you wish for.
"Daddy needs a break from Mario for a little while, honey."
"Daddy, are you good at Whac-A-Mole?"
"Um, I'm okay, I guess."
"Have you ever won Whac-A-Mole?"
"I'm not sure I know what you mean."
"Like, I beat mommy at Whac-A-Mole."
"I got one and she got none."
"No, I don't think I've ever beaten anyone at Whac-A-Mole."
"What's your favorite part of Whac-A-Mole?"
"Oh, probably the whacking, I suppose."
***Thoughtful pause***
"What happens if a baby is born with a bad heart?"
"So ... Did Daddy ever tell you about the time he beat Bowzer in four-player Mario Bros.?"

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lost Weekend

At right is Bomberman, a character who briefly wrested Primo's imagination from Mario. He's made of ham, roast beef and turkey on wheat with red and yellow carrot accents, a bomb carved from a BabyBel cheese round and a taro root chip for his body. The black at the lower right is licorice. Bomberman's time at the top lasted about as long as this lunch did.
Primo had a four-day weekend last week and got to borrow his cousins' wii. Sunday night for him was probably like being pulled back out of the light and waking up on the operating table. Maybe with the anaesthesia having worn off, though he was more morose than hysterical. Monday morning saw him returning to school and the wii returning to its owners.
In between the former and latter, though, dad took a turn. Alone.
I had been playing multiplayer Mario with him, at his request, in hour-plus blocks all weekend and my personality needed the closure of beating the thing. Something I just wasn't going to be able to do with him playing. So I took 20 minutes Monday morning, beat the last level and watched the closing cinema screens and credits. Then a message popped up: "your progress has been saved."
This particular Mario game is rather sprawling. It's not something you just sit down and play through from beginning to end at a sitting. More like lots of sittings over a four-day weekend. I'm going to say 1,000 hours worth. Anyway, the programmers know this, and they made it so you have the option to save your game after each level- an option we declined on the rare occasion we'd pass a level that the cousins hadn't (or hadn't saved after.) This time, though, there was no option. It just saved. So, I called my brother-in-law to thank him for letting us borrow the game, to let him know I'd be bringing it by, and to apologize for robbing his family of the sense of accomplishment to which they were entitled.
He, of course, didn't think it was any big deal. "We'd been playing all weekend and I just needed to put it to rest," I told him.
"Yeah, so did you and Primo beat it together?"
"Yeah.. no. We tried and tried, but all it did was make me need to get it done, so I did it without him."
I spent the rest of the school day imagining myself catching a home run ball as it falls toward his glove at our first baseball game. Or painting his pinewood racer while he's sleeping.
Later on, I was telling my wife about the embarassment of the autosave, and Primo overheard and asked what I was talking about. I resisted telling him. "What, you don't want to tell him?" my wife asked. "Tell me what?" came the voice from the backseat. Then there was a momentary silence, because that setup should be followed by something like "daddy spent your college fund" or "daddy's going to have to go away for a while." Or both. So admitting then, after a hushed conversation with his mother and a pregnant pause, that I had played Mario without him because he'd been holding me back ... at a child's video game ... made me all the more sheepish for its rediculousness.
When it didn't seem to bother him, I grasped for some recognition. "Pretty cool, huh? Your dad beat the game!" *Did you ever know that I'm your hero? I am the wind beneath your wings.*
A silence so brief as to preclude the possibility of his appreciating my accomplishment ended, as do so many of the fleeting quiet moments in my life, with the words "One time, [my cousin] was teeny-tiny..." And everything was back to normal usual. No feelings of betrayal or inadequacy. No swelling of filial pride. Just more Mario talk. More *** ******, I-can't-tell-what-day-it-is-anymore Mario talk. It's like we're in a POW camp. Or fugitives shackled together. Or on a life raft. I wonder whether I look like a big, spotted mushroom to him yet.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


This was, admittedly, more topical a week or two ago. It's gold medalist Shaun White in pepperoni, cantaloupe, grapes, carrot, cherry tomato and Cheez-It on a hot dog snowboard. There is some provolone cheese behind him for contrast. The rings are zucchini, pepperoni, egg, nori and yellow squash. The finger food beneath is Cheez-Its, goldfish, strawberries and carrots and the snow is egg.
When the Olympics started, Primo remarked to us that it isn't important who wins as long as everyone has fun. China agrees wholeheartedly. Still, if we were to choose an event that would affirm his faith in that philosophy, snowboarding would probably be it. So that's where we started, and he really liked it. Especially the Half Pipe. From there we branched out to other events, including "one where people wear two skinny snowboards and use sharp sticks," but none matched the appeal of snowboarding.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A father's eyes

I used broccoli to define Big Bird in this dish of macaroni and cheese. His beak is a sweet yellow pepper, his tongue is sweet red pepper and his eyes and detail feathers are Swiss cheese. Big Bird's pupils are tiny bits of nori.
There are a lot of things i couldn't imagine myself saying before I had kids.  Not so much in the sense of giving voice to a feeling I never expected to have. Not like "I don't remember my life before you came along and I don't know what I'd do without you." More in terms of words that I didn't- couldn't, really- foresee coming together in a cohesive, topical and appropriate sentence. Like "Please stop swinging the Sword of Wisdom at me."
That one popped out of my mouth a few weeks ago as Primo waved a foam sword in my face and repeated: "The Sword of Wisdom. The Sword ... of Wisdom."
As my children have grown, so has my fondness for, and desire to protect, my eyes. Just days prior to staring down the Sword of Wisdom, I had been down on all fours digging for one cleanser or another under the sink and had turned to acknowledge Primo's "hey dad," to find him standing at my side, swinging his arms in a wide sweep around his body, a fork in each hand, their paths bringing them within inches of my face now that I had turned.
And that's what he wanted to show me. "Hey dad, look at me! Watch me swing these forks around! Wasn't that a cool last thing to ever see?"
Maybe it's been too long since I've read them Oedipus Rex. I'm supposed to end up dead, not blind. You couldn't tell it by my sons, though.
The latest effort was by Secundo as I was buckling him into his car seat recently. He punched me in the eyeball. That may seem like a sentence that came back from Babelfish. I know the phrasing is usually "hit me in the eye" when concerning kids, maybe "punched me in the eye" when there's intent. Well, it's a considered description. I was leaning over him, buckling his harness when he swung his little fist at me and said "punch!" milliseconds before it hit my open- though directed at the task of ensuring his safety- eye. There was a little wet squishy sound and everything. Like dropping a fish onto a cutting board. Not a tuna or anything, maybe a goldfish, but still. I jerked my head back and banged it on the doorframe. If only he could have winged his sippy cup at my groin when I finally reared up outside the car and started trying to blink my vision back... Rule of Three, son! Well, comedy's something you have to work at.
Maybe that's what kept him from laughing. Oh, he had a big smile on his face, to be sure, but he didn't laugh the way he usually does when someone gets hit with something or falls over. Just the smile a guy gets when he realizes he can finally take the old man.
Things were still blurry enough a minute or so after dropping heavily into the driver's seat that I considered going to the hospital.
"Can you tell us what happened?"
"Oh, I walked into the door. Clumsy!"
"We both know there was no door."
"Okay, he hit me. But it was my own fault. We were already late for his nap, but I just kept pushing. I..."
"Mr. Wilken- Kai, this time it was just his endearingly tiny fist, but next time it could be a crayon, or scissors, or..."
"Toy car keys? A handful of gravel? A plastic pterodactyl? I know. He's not my first son."
"Then why do you keep covering for him? We can find someplace safe for you. Somewhere he could never find you or hurt you again."
"I love him, alright? And he... he loves me. Hang on, did you say he'd never be able to find me? Maybe let's talk about that part."
As my eye slowly returned to normal, I thought of my own father. And of his glasses. And I wondered, for the first time, whether he actually had a prescription.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Time for jumpin' overboard

Are you a fireman who wants to know what's in the dish above, but the fire alarm is going off, so you kinda feel guilty reading this, but you know if you went to the fire wondering about what my son had for lunch it would distract you enough that it might interfere with your job, and that could end up being worse than just being late? If so, I'm sorry I didn't respond directly to your emails - there were just too many, and my time's pretty valuable, so I figured I'd just let all of you know at once that TODAY IS YOUR LUCKY DAY! That there is whole wheat penne and homemade meatballs in bottled red sauce topped with mozzarella and baked. Mickey is a couple of said meatballs with provolone and a sliver of tomato skin for the tongue.
Now get out there and do what you still can to help! And guys (not intended to be gender-specific)... thanks.
For reading this.

There's a PSA on the radio right now about never really knowing what moments are going to stick in your kids' heads. The intent from there seems to be to remind dads to do stuff with their kids, but what it reminds me is to not try too hard to "have a moment" with mine.
When Primo was three, he really liked fire trucks. He liked to wave at them, liked to climb on the one at our local children's museum, loved to see them on the way to a fire. So I arranged a tour of our local firehouse. It was easy and I recommend it. Anyway, we got to the station and Primo was borderline petrified. He wouldn't talk to the firemen (who were super-nice,) shook his head and buried his face in my hip when they asked whether he wanted to climb on the fire engine ... didn't even ask about whether they had a dog. When we were done, he ran to the car. Not "where next?" running. "Fight or flight" running. I still don't know what was wrong. Maybe he thought there was going to be a fire. Maybe it was "stranger-danger." Maybe it was overload. Whatever it was, it actually left me feeling a little bad.
Then, a couple months ago, we drove by the fire station and from the backseat he said "Daddy? Thank you for taking me to the fire station. It was really fun." So, put another tick in the "better" column of the "I remember that as being _____ than it was" tally board.
Maybe if I can figure out a way to be sure the firemen who didn't have to respond to an alarm earlier aren't reading I can write about something else I did so Primo could see a fire truck. And an M-1 Abrams tank! Twofer!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What starts with "P," and soon?

Primo's class had a pajama party, so this is what I sent with him. The P's are pineapple, the puppy's head is cheddar, his ears and the stars and moons on his pajamas are Havarti. The pajamas themselves are black forest ham, the nightcap is corned beef. The tablecloth is Muenster cheese with corned beef overlay. There are radish slices underneath it. The pear on the plate is ... pear. There's a turkey-breast base beneath it all and the yellow stripes are mustard. I intended them as lines on wallpaper, but they also kind of look like the headboard of a brass bed. My wife suggests, and I agree, that they also resemble prison bars, which would score me a bonus P. Honey-roasted peanuts round things out up top.
Primo was able to correctly identify it as a puppy in pajamas. He even recognized the pear, but not that it was on a plate. I got an unearned "P" credit because Primo thought the checkered tablecloth meant the puppy was on a picnic. Secundo looked at it and said "that's a woman."
Primo is lucky enough to go to the same school as two of his cousins, and we often wait for them after school lets out so we can say hello. That's usually about the extent of what gets said, but it's a nice routine nonetheless. Sometimes, depending on where everyone is parked, we'll walk together toward our cars, which is what we did on pj party day.
His oldest cousin is one of the sweetest, most earnest girls you'd want to meet. She is also a sixth-grader and on this occasion she was brandishing a pink folder with the sort of intricate doodling that suggested having to listen for a long time to talk about a subject that couldn't completely hold her attention. It's hard to understand what took the lecturer so long, as she summed everything up for me, her probably-not-close-enough-for-this uncle, during the 30 to 45 seconds it took for us to walk to my car.
"Hi, Uncle Kai."
"Hey, kiddo, how are you?"
"I'm okay. I've got to bring this folder home with me, though."
She's a little bit put-upon when it comes to homework. No biggie.
"Oh, yeah?"
"It's about puberty."
When is it not, really?
"My teacher says that when we get to high school we're going to talk about sexual relations."
Sometimes in class, even.
"And how if you have sexual relations with someone who has AIDS, you can get AIDS, too."
 I'm not sure what they're saving for that high school lecture they told you about. That pretty much covers it, I think.
"That's true."
"The girls got this folder. It shows how your period happens. I think the boys got one that talks about boy stuff, and I think the girls will look at the boy folder and the boys will look at the girl folder later."
Again, maybe in class, even.
"Well, it's good for boys and girls to ... understand ... each ... other ... better?"
Ah, my car!
"Yeah. Is Primo in his pajamas?"

And she was off to ask Primo about his pajamas for the final seconds of our walk together.

Maybe I'll borrow that pink folder so Secundo can have a look before I make another puppy lunch.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Roll out the barrel. Please.

You know what's a part of parenthood? Sacrifice.
Not the ritual kind, so far, but still, sacrifice.
Exhibit A: right.
Mario is seasoned rice with minced shrimp and accented with nori. His hat is a carved BabyBel cheese round. The mushrooms - "bigs," as my son calls them - are corned beef and Laughing Cow on an organic version of Ritz crackers. Cara Cara oranges are (finally) in season and they join stars of fresh pineapple and carrot to give a sunny, warm feel to a cold January day. Blueberries round out the list of "more or less natural" ingredients. Mario's irises are blue fruit roll-up and the green globes are lime-flavored maraschino cherries. But what are you gonna do?
I was really pretty much neutral in my feelings toward Mario until about two weeks ago. Now, I'm firmly in Donkey Kong's camp.

About two weeks ago, Primo got a big, heaping dose of New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii. Since then, it's been all he's talked about. Not in the way your friend means when she tells you that you're all the co-worker she set you up with has talked about. I mean in a literal, use-the-Webster's-definition-of-the-words-in-that-sentence way. All. He. Has. Talked. About.

"Hey dad?"
"In Mario, there's a haunted house level."
"Yeah, and all the turtles there are skeletons. You press the '1' button to jump."
"I bet you didn't know this, but when you have the helicopter, and you lose it, and you're Mario, you lose your hat! But only Mario! Luigi still has his hat! And I'm like, 'What the heck?'"
"You probably don't remember this*, but my favorite is the penguin suit."
"But when you finish the level with the penguin suit, you do a backflip!"
"Daddy, if you see a big, get it! Unless you're teeny-tiny. Then, a big won't even work!"
[Insert x-y hours here where x=hours Primo is awake and y=hyperbole allowance, currently zero.]
"Son, Daddy really needs a break from Mario. This can't be about Mario, okay?"
"... Nevermind. (Pause) Dad?"
"Can we go see [my cousins who have the Wii] tonight?"
"Good night, son."

Why does he get a Mario lunch, then? Won't that just stoke the fire?

Well, probably, but interspersed throughout the hours of prattling are musings about all of the cool things we'll be able to do in four-player mode. Yes, he's prepping me. Getting me, and, possibly, Mom or Secundo, ready to play this game he loves so much along with him. We're going to be the nameless mushroom-person partners to Mario and Luigi, a point he goes to lengths to make sure we're clear on, but we're going to be playing as one big family, nonetheless.

Well, maybe not all at once. His cousin is going to be Mario, so Mommy, Secundo or myself will have to sit out.

Still, it's a lot of Mario talk to listen to, so I've found a little balm. In case you don't recognize it, it's the sound of Mario dying in the original Donkey Kong.

Oh yeah. That's the stuff.

* This phrase is getting it's own entry.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm blowin' up, y'all!

So, I was on the Yahoo! portal page today, and it wasn't a story about my arraignment. Looks like someone owes me a *double* cheeseburger and an apology. In that order, please and thank you very much, Fr. Dornan.
It was, as one might expect if one is reading about it here, for making lunches like the one at right for Primo. You've got your PB&J sandwich adorned with carrot and wasabi peas (which, as I knew they would be, were picked off and eaten separately,) your BabyBel round cut to look like a peppermint candy, your broccoli tree with radish garland held to a club cracker by Garlic Herb Rondele cheese spread, your blueberry and maraschino cherry "festive baubles" and your baby corn snowflakes.
This one was from before winter break, so, like 6 weeks ago, which makes me wonder why they won't refill my prescription yet. Don't they know I'm "SuperDad?" that guy on internet TV said so himself!
Well, today SuperDad was trying to put Secundo down for a nap when he heard a loud bang from downstairs. It was a snow day, so Primo was, I knew, watching television and had not yet exceeded the "one-unidentifiable-loud-bang-or-crash-from-another-part-of-the-house-per-day" rule. Guideline, really, he gets enough "rules" at school. It had obviously not been a gunshot - Miss Lucy was tucked safely under my pillow and it had too full a report to be Primo's derringer, it's just a .22. But then the faint smell of smoke brought me downstairs.
"There's stuff all over the kitchen," was my greeting. I regarded Primo for a second and then ventured in, not sure what to expect.
I hadn't a clue what would be burning until I remembered an instant before it was obvious: there had been an eggsplosion. I'm sorry, it still seems precious to call it that, but like Brangelina or Chad Ochocinco, that's just the way it is now. That is what you call an explosion involving an egg. I don't want to call it that, but we don't always get want we want. (Obey the hyperlink and PLAY VIDEO.)
Anyway, I had been boiling some eggs, had actually thought to myself "If I'm warming up the eggs along with the water, I wonder when they'd be soft-boiled?" and then promptly forgotten all about them.
There are a lot of horrible stories from parents that start with "I was only gone for a minute," or "I didn't know sugargliders moved that fast." But pretty much anything can happen in 25-30 minutes. You can get braces, lose your date to the dance, get introduced to a bunch of other possible dates and then end up going with the original guy who got braces, too. You can get hired and fired from a chocolate factory. You can write a story about drugs at your school, refuse to divulge your sources and get a visit from Nancy Reagan. Basically, as long as it doesn't have to happen in Hawaii, it can happen in 25-30 minutes. I just didn't really appreciate that all of the water could evaporate from a pot and then eggs left behind could literally eggsplode.
But eggsplode they can. There are still bits clinging to the ceiling.
Lucky I can fly, I guess.