Saturday, September 12, 2020

Good clean (sterilized) humour

Andrew believing Zoë needed to "stabilize" her feather is...not something we've let go of very easily in our house. It was the topic of dinner conversation last night when Rachel came up with a joke. She said something like, "There's a man named Bill and he's got lazy eyes with a propensity toward wandering. What do you say to get Bill's eyes to focus?"

Answer: "Stay, Bill eyes!"

Andrew then challenged her little joke by calling it nothing but "horse gossip."

"Horse gossip?" she wondered.

"Yeah," he said. "Stable lies."

It was a rather entertaining dinner. 

Later in the evening I was asking him—for real though—how he just assumed that his five-year-old knew what she was talking about when she said she was going to stabilize her feather. 

"I just assumed you'd taught her something about What's the thing called when they stuff stuff and...?"


"That's the one! I knew there was a 'derm' in there. I figured feather stabilization was some taxidermy thing you were teaching her."

"Why would I be teaching her taxidermy? I don't know the first thing about taxidermy."

"I don't know," he said. "You teach them all kinds of weird things."

"Like what?! Square roots?"

"Like what foods they can eat," he said.

"Like what foods they can eat?" I echoed.

"I mean plants," he said.

"Plants are food," I said. "That's not weird."

"The rules of cricket, then," he said.

"Rules of crickets?" I asked, thinking of the insect crickets (crickets may only chirp after 7 PM and must stop chirping after 7 AM?) before realizing he was talking about the movie Lagaan. "We weren't learning about cricket! We were learning about the social structure of India and the ills of colonialism...through cricket. That's not weird."

Anyway, speaking of 'derms,' Zoë likes to explain 'derms' to everyone she meets. She has a little speech she gives to everyone we come across (usually just anyone who comes to swim at the pool, though we're very careful to keep our distance and always leave before it gets too crowded). 

"My name is Zoë," she'll say. "I'm five. My birthday is in May and I was born in North Carolina—in Durham! My sister Rachel was born in Utah—in Orem. Durham, Orem, Durham, Orem, Durham, Orem! They sound like they could be the same place, but they're not the same place because one is in Utah and one is in North Carolina. But we don't live in either of those places anymore because now we live here in Georgia. This is Alexander. He's two..."

Her Durham-Orem-Durham-Orem bit gets me every time. 

And, speaking of Lagaan, did I ever write down Zoë's lagaan pun here? 

लगान (lagaan) means "tax" in English, and the movie Lagaan is about a community fighting against an unjust tax. They say lagaan a lot and so the word "tax" pops up as a subtitle a lot. There's one song in particular where the people chant something like "no tax" over and over again. We heard the word lagaan a billion times while watching that movie (at the beginning of August (I blog about watching the movie on August 2)). 

Still, I was surprised when at the end of August (the 29th, to be precise), Zoë pulled a lagaan joke out of thin air.

I told the kids I was going to go "log on" to some platform or other (probably for them to do some weird learning activity (maybe related to taxidermy (but probably not))) and Zoë chirped, "Oh, so now you're going to tax us? Lagaan! Log on! Hahahahaha!"

And I just... 

It was a very proud moment. How many five year olds are making bilingual puns about taxes? 

I understand that it's a very niche joke, but I thought it was hilarious and that's all that matters.

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