Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Don't Look Now

Interesting to note as your offspring age: Graduating from the protective, padded environment of the back seat to the finally-tall-enough-to-not-get-decapitated-by-the-airbag front passenger seat, they see the road through fresh eyes.

And when it comes to the male gender, this means an immediate fascination with road kill. The first time Connor rode in the front seat, he could not get over how littered the back roads are with the remains of creatures whose decision to cross the road was ultimately their final ill-fated decision.

I tried explaining the nuances of selective vision, whereas one is peripherally aware of the remains on the highway but one’s eye becomes tastefully unfocused, so as to avoid the ensuing gag and vomit reaction that would undoubtedly follow such a spectacle.

His reaction to my detailed explanation was pretty typical:

Connor: “Huh. So…like, who cleans it up anyway?? Or is it more of a ‘circle of life’ kinda thing where you just let vultures and crows have at it?”

Me: “I believe there are specially-trained personnel who handle the removal and clean-up of the remains, dear.”

C: “Why is it that we’ve never seen them actually doing it? Is this some kind of overnight clandestine operation, or what?”

K: “Excuse me, how is it that an eleven-year-old boy knows the word ‘clandestine’?”

C: “It was one of our spelling words last week. So….is it?”

K: “Is what…what? I’ve forgotten the question.”

C: “Forget it. What’s the strangest road kill you’ve ever seen?”

K: “Ew. Why are we having this conversation? Can’t we just talk about something else? I hear A Charlie Brown Christmas was on last night….”

C: (Rolls eyes) “MOM. Puleeze. Can’t you just answer the question?”

K: (Sighs) “FINE. It was one of those mid-sized creatures with a long tail.”

C: “You mean, a beaver?”
K: “Nooooo, not a beaver. Geez. A LONG skinnier tail.”

C: “Was it a groundhog?

...or a woodchuck??”
K: “Um. No….they’re a dime a dozen. This had a long, skinny tail with, like…ridges.”

C: “You mean a possum?”

K: “Maybe. Could’ve been. Noooooo, I think the tail was thicker and bigger….ridge-ier.”

C: (Long pause) “Like….an armadillo?”

K: (Thinks) “Huh. Are they around here? Are they the ones that roll up in a ball…and kinda somersault continually around?”

C: “Are you kidding me? Do you expect me to believe that you actually saw that??”

K: “Nah. I just wanted to see if you were listening. It was more like The Tasmanian De
meets Mary Lou Retton."
C: “WHO?”

K: “What were we talking about again??”

C: “I’m turning my music on now.”

K: “Whatever. Nice talking to you.”

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