We drive home from school in a whirlpool of words.
“A banana has two uses, food and entertainment!” he chortles.
I am immediately aware that someone has stolen my child and replaced him with someone with verbal diarrhea. I turn to my daughter for clarification, “he's been like that all day, since first thing, since assembly.”
He hangs out the window to shout at the traffic guard, “hey give me yur lollipop and I'll lick it fur you!” I hit the automatic window button and try not to amputate his arms in the exercise.
“What happened in assembly?”
“Popcorn, get yur popcorn here!”
“He won the award thing, you know, 'caught in the act of doing something good.'”
“Gosh! Did he…….that's …….wonderful…….isn't it?”
“Well it would have been.” I hardly dare ask, but I have to know, “what happened?”
“Well he goes roaring up onto the stage, to the Principal…….she gives him a certificate for a pizza party…”
“Oh no…..he hates pizza….”
“The hardest thing in the world is John's left over frozen pizza!” I swear he's memorized every line in Garfield.
“Not a problem mom, he didn't care…..”
“Didn't care? He won a prize that he hated and he didn't care?”
“No…..instead…..he starts doing like this victory dance thing, stomping all over the stage shouting 'I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man,' with all these hand movements like he's some kinda rock star or something.”
“Gosh…..were you perhaps……a little embarrassed?”
“Nope. He was having a whale of a time, everyone was laughing……his teacher had to drag him off.”
“I'm fat and lazy and I'm proud of that!”
“Ever since……I saw him at recess…..and lunch recess……he's been non-stop jokes….”
“Oh…..I wonder why……”
“It's your fault mom.”
“He's finally got the message.”
“Seafood diets man! I see food, I eat food!”
“The one you've been lecturing him about for months!”
“I'm gonna erase you! You are be gone forever!”
“Yeah, you know the one.”
“Cut out the potty talk, the name callin and the teasin.”
“Ah, well that really has been out of hand lately, hasn't it. That constant barrage of raspberry noises, burps and f …..well…….completely inappropriate.”
“He did say excuse me straight after though.”
“Quite mind numbing.”
“I know, but you said he should be positive not negative, tell jokes instead. Jokes are friendly, tothers like bullyin.”
“Hmm…… I see……I think?”
“So that was the final straw!”
“You know what is a “diet” is, don’t you? It’s “die” with a “t,” that’s what it is!” I think he must have swallowed that Garfield book in the night.
“The movie you chose this week, coz you don't want em watching too many cartoons, coz you want em to watch movies with real people in em……?”
“Ah…..I see what you mean.”
“What were you thinking mom?”
“Dontcha see, he's connected the dots! That 'Dennis the Menace' movie was the clincher, a serious error of judgment mom!”
“Mom?” I turn to the chortler.
“You are being my favourite adult woman in the whole wide world.”
“Oh…..well thank you so much for telling me dear.” I wonder if he's still in joke mode?
“Sometimes life jus comes up and kisses you on the lips.”
Another direct quote from Garfield!
He was completely silent the next day of course!