In looking at the post that immediately precedes this one, the only phrase that comes to mind is from the sublime to the ridiculous. So, if you’ll pardon the cliché, join me on a little journey on the way home from August’s celebratory lunch on Friday.
We were all in a mild torpor brought on by the relief of the finalization of August’s adoption and the carbohydrate- and fat-laden lunch we had just consumed. Everything was quiet, too quiet.
OSCAR: “Mom? Dad? I think we should get a new pet.”
ME: “Are you thinking about a dog? Do you think we should start looking for a dog?”
OSCAR: “No, I think we should get a jackass!”
The two shocked parents, the two very reasonable, very appropriate over-forty adults in the car look at each other. Their eyes widen. Laughter is stifled.
OSCAR: “Edgar, don’t you want a jackass?”
EDGAR: “No! I want a baby jackass!”
ME: “We can’t get a donkey!”
OSCAR: “Raise your hand if you want a jackass!”
EDGAR: “Raise Baby August’s hand! Baby August, don’t you want a jackass?”
Oscar gently raises August’s hand, who giggles at the attention (or perhaps at the prospect of owning a mule). The two parents now have tears streaming down their eyes, trying to hide their amusement from their very attentive children.
OSCAR: “That’s it! Three to two. We’re getting a jackass!”
[DISCLAIMER: You might be wondering where such nice children learned such a cheeky word. It’s simple, really. Edgar loves horses. So, we naturally thought the boys would enjoy the 1960’s masterpiece Mr. Ed, forgetting for a moment that Ed is at times a naughty little Palomino. Couple his most inappropriate ramblings with a laugh track and you have young viewers who don’t know why something is funny but sense that it is. Oscar only knows the word as something Mr. Ed said to describe a donkey and that it produced a laugh on the television show. Being the dutiful parents we are, however, we did explain that “jackass” is not a word that you can say in polite company, that it has other meanings that are not very nice. The boys bought it and seemed to understand, but I’m fairly certain they still want one for a pet! And I am equally certain that this won’t be the last time they say something we shouldn’t laugh at but will nonetheless–because they’re silly, because they’re funny, and because we’re human.]