Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Ancient Mariner regales the Wedding Guest with stories of his kid.

* * *

Got home from work late tonight to an impromptu concert in the next-door-neighbor's back yard, our four year old and their four year old and two year old jamming together. Our kid played drum, the next-door 4-year-old played bells and finger cymbals, and the next-door 2-year-old played tambourine; the two 4-year-olds sang.

The first song was a joyous chant, "Wingy dodo," I thought it was, though my beloved spouse thinks it may have been "Dingy bobo." Our son would remember, but he's asleep right now.

The next-door 4-year-old announced that the next song was from Africa. Our 4-year-old was enthusiastic about that and made up the words. I paraphrase from memory.

The rain forest in Africa is warm
But not as warm as the desert in Africa
The rain forest in Africa has banana trees
The rain forest in Africa has monkeys
The rain forest in Africa has plants
The rain forest in Africa has plants
The rain forest in Africa has plants
The rain forest in Africa has plants

I don't remember the other songs, but I danced.

* * *

One of my chores when we visited my mom in July was to go through my late father's clothes, keep what I wanted, and bag the rest to give away. It was a melancholy, happy experience; many happy memories of my dad wearing these clothes, and of course I missed him. He was a duck hunter, and one of the T-shirts I kept says "DUCK!" on the front and has a painting of a duck on the back.

I showed it to the kid.

He read the shirt.

"Duck!" he said.

I showed him the back.

"Duck!" he said. He liked it. But then he asked whether the word on the front meant the bird or the action. "That's the joke," I said. "It means both."

* * *

One afternoon on that same trip, I was walking into my mom's house after playing in the water, and missing my dad acutely, when the phone rang. I went to answer it, and just as I picked up, the answering machine clicked on and the caller hung up, and I picked up the phone to hear Dad's warm voice on the machine. A coincidence that felt uncanny.

* * *

Lots going on the next couple of weeks. Light blogging, if I know what's good for me.

Correction: If I act on what I know to be good for me.

* * *

Image: J. Noel Paton, Coleridge's
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (London: Art-Union of London, 1863), courtesy of jperez.

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