My 6-year-old son Jack has been learning how to write stories the past few weeks. Almost every day he comes home from school with a manhandled piece of paper filled with his (quite adorable) handwriting. Of course this makes me very proud, and I couldn’t be more thrilled that he enjoys writing.
However, I recently noticed what I’m going to call his “trademark line.” His “signature sentence.” Meaning, the one thing he seems to throw into every single story no matter what it’s about. It’s a little risky, perhaps even a little ballsy, of him to do this, but at least his now well-known recurring sentence lets everyone know they’re reading from The Collected Works of Jack.
For example, here’s a story he wrote about sports:
“One thing that I’m really good at is sports and games like baseball and fireball. Do you know what fireball is? We play it in PE. It is a FUN game that is fast. OK, let’s get this over with. I am also good at climbing!”
A story he wrote about dynamite:
“I wanted to go see what dynamite was. But it was just a dream. Then I saw a picture in a book of dynamite. OK, let’s get this over with. I now know dynamite is cool!”
And finally, a story he wrote about chipmunks:
“Chipmunks are mess makeing eaters. They make crums. They live in the woodlands. OK, let’s get this over with. I am good at drawing chipmunks!”
Apparently, Jack has so many other things on his plate—recess, hot lunch, illegal Silly Band trading—that he just cannot be bothered to sit at his desk and write prose for an hour. No, he needs to move. He’s not a 100,000 words a day machine like that robot Stephen King. Plus, does Stephen King’s hand ever get “icky crampish” after trying really, really hard to not write his E’s backwards with a Spongebob pencil?
Jack’s got a life, man. He’s a f*#@ing first grader who can tie his own shoes and go to the boy’s restroom without getting any pee on his feet. (Usually.) AND JACK WILL NOT WRITE WHEN JACK NO LONGER WANTS TO WRITE!
I just received an email from my dermatologist’s office inviting me to a charity event they’re having in a couple of weeks. I don’t know why they think I would be interested in such a thing since I only go in once a year for my “Healthy Skin, Healthy Woman!” screening, but maybe my surly expression and my unwillingness to hold the elevator for others makes me seem old and wealthy. Who knows.
Anyway, the charity event is your standard food/drinks/small talk thing, but the difference is that this party will have doctors milling about who will be providing discount Botox and Juvaderm treatments for the guests. Yep, discount Botox. A phrase just about as enticing as “Bargain Pacemakers!” Or “Priced to Move Brain Surgery!” Apparently even cheap bastards want to look worry-free.
To make matters even worse, the whole purpose of this big event is to raise money—for the poor women and children of Ethiopia. The email even shows pictures of the smiling Ethiopians in their one room school made out of mud and old UNICEF bags. While I’m sure this is a wonderful and worthy cause, it just doesn’t seem to sit right with me the more I think about it. Maybe it’s because rich, American vanity shouldn’t be tied to poverty in the third world. Maybe it’s because I don’t like their definition of “Beauty” and find it a little exploitative. Or maybe it’s just because I keep thinking the tagline for the soiree should be: “A Night of Botox: Because We’re Really Upset About Africa, But We Sure As Hell Don’t Want to Look That Way, Y’all!”
Obviously, I’m not planning to attend this event or, for that matter, any other events like it at my dermatologist’s office. Instead I’m choosing to stay home where I can just sit on top of my high horse and scowl. I’m actually pretty good at the super annoyed, self righteous scowling bit. In fact, I’ve now done so much of it throughout my life that I’m fairly certain the two deep lines between my eyes make me the perfect candidate for—OK, let’s get this over with— discount Botox!
Like you didn’t see that one coming.