Monday, September 17, 2007

Tractors is so dumb

We had dinner at Andrew's parents' house twice this week. Once was just sheer happenstance--we came to borrow a VCR player so that we could watch Lawrence of Arabia and they happened to be eating French toast, and we all know how I feel about French cuisine. The other was relatively planned. Reid wanted Andrew to show him the ropes of Windows Vista and we opted to do that over at their place...where the food is.

Karen went to get pizza (apparently she felt like cooking about as much as I did that night) from Little Caesars.

She came back with pizza and cheesy bread. Yum.

"Every time I order cheesy bread, there's a piece missing when I get home. I don't know what it is. I just walk in the door, open the box and...there's a piece missing."

I thought for a minute and laughed. Andrew thought for a minute, and then a minute more. He didn't laugh, so Reid pressed on,

"Yeah, once I came home and two pieces were missing!"

Andrew started get a look of baffled indignation on his face. He couldn't understand why anyone else wasn't upset with the, and I quote, "punk kids working at Little Caesars who are stealing our food!"

Without completely uncovering the joke, Karen said,

"Why? Was someone in the car with you?"

"Wait," Andrew said, starting to put everything together, "You eat the missing piece in the car? No one steals it? Because I was picturing these kids stealing pizza in the back. One piece might be okay, but two?"

Yeah, Andrew...they pulled a fast one on you. Don't look now, but gullible is written on the ceiling.

We have to be very careful about what we say around Andrew. Research shows that it's more difficult than previously thought to debunk myths. In fact, if a reliable source proves a myth false, people will believe it anywhere from 12 minutes to 3 days before they somehow revert back to believing in the myth--and attribute their incorrect information to the reliable source, which makes me think that we really shouldn't use True/False questions in school.

This would explain why, for years, Andrew thought that a levee was a gas station.

We were recently married and were driving in our car listening to music when American Pie came on.

Sounding all proud of himself, Andrew quizzed me, "Do you know what a levee is?"

"Yeah," I said, "It's kind of like a dam, only it's built beside a river to keep it from overflowing...or..."

"Uh, no, it's not," Andrew interrupted me, "It's a gas station."

"No, it's like a dam. Remember New Orleans. Their levees broke...and water came...and flooded everything."

"'s a gas station."

"No, it's a dike. Remember the story of the boy who stuck his finger in the dike and saved the whole town because water didn't come in and flood everything? That's a levee."

"No, it's a gas station," he insisted, "My mom told me. It's because there was a gas shortage and the guy was driving his car to the gas station and gas pumps have levers and so they called them' levees' for short...and the levee was dry because there was no gas at the station."

I didn't reply to this. How could I? His counter-argument was too strong. Instead I just burst out laughing.

"She told you wha-ha-hat?" I giggled.

Andrew repeated himself.

"And you believed her?" I asked.

"Yeah, I was like...10...why would she lie to me?"

Probably so that 12 years down the road your wife would get a good laugh.

We stopped by his parents' house later that same week. Andrew had to get it all out on the table.

"Mom," Andrew asked innocently, as if she suspected something, "What's a levee?"

She told him what a levee is. An embankment used to keep water in its course...and away from vulnerable cities and towns, like New Orleans and Haarlem.

"But you told me..." he told her what she told him.

She also laughed at him.

"Why did you tell me that?" Andrew asked, honestly hurt. Poor, innocent, gullible little Andrew.

Hey, Andrew, I hear from a very reliable source that tractors have the smallest brains of all the vehicles.


  1. I can't stop laughing! You have told the story so well. Maybe I'm a bad mom, but I've enjoyed my gullible Andrew for so many years!

  2. What did you think of Lawrence? I tried to be serious about the whole thing but the eye makeup was just too much for me.

  3. Ahh, yes...the eye make-up was a little strong.

    My favorite lines were:

    Bentley: What is it, Mr. Lawrence, that attracts you, personally to the desert?

    Lawrence: It's clean.

    Of course, I went to bed shortly after that line because I was so tired and the movie is four hours long...

  4. PS...Andrew confessed that when the news about the levees breaking and flooding N.O. came out, he thought the gas stations broke and were spilling gas.

    PSS...He knew I was writing this story and he's ok with it...he thinks it's funny.

  5. Yep. Seriously. I still to this day think of gas stations when people, talk (or sing) about levees.


  6. Nah... I've heard it's actually semis that have the smallest brains of all vehicles... ;)

  7. Hey, Nancy, in the top picture of Rachel, where she is upside down--she looks a lot like little baby Nancy once looked. Usually i think she resembles her dad, but I can see a lot of you in that picture. Mom.