Monday, August 24, 2009

If I Might Interject At This Juncture

Here's Jonah at breakfast on his first day of 3rd grade.

He's doing his Timid Pirate voice, which is like a bookish elf crossed with Woody Allen as Broadway Danny Rose. The basic Timid Pirate construction is: "If I, uh, might interject at this" or "Could someone please, uh, tie that scurvy dog to the, um, yard arm?" Always with the index finger raised.

We're working on a long skit for the cub scout den, in which all the other boys are regular pirates and Jonah is the Timid Pirate. It goes like so: "12 pirates walk into a BARRRRRR (all the boys chime in with ARRRR). Bartender says, 'What's your pleasuRRRRRe?' And the pirates all say (three groups of boys yell in sequence, 'MARRRRRGARITA!' and 'MARRRRTINI!' and "GROG!"). But one pirate steps up and says, (Jonah, index finger aloft): "Could I perhaps, uh, order a Wild Berry Capri Sun?" And the pirates all go, "ARRRRR! Stupid timid pirate...." Bartender says, "It's Happy HouRRRRR. Would you like any appetizeRRRRs?" And the pirates all order, "CalamARRRRRRRi!" Except for the timid pirate: "Um, could I trouble you for a small house salad with lite ranch dressing on the side?" (Jonah came up with these lines himself--priceless, in his high little voice.) Eventually the other pirates beat him up with their wooden legs...

We're still working on an ending that kind of reverses the roles. Please submit ideas if you have them. (First pack meeting is tonight. My love-hate relationship with this stuff remains intact, but a good skit can transcend the venue.) Seriously. Help me finish this goddamn skit.

In the above photo from August 17 (weird, summer being over so early), he's the Timid Eater: "If I might make a small, could I eat this pancake without being photographed?"

This, along with fart humor (both real and armpit-generated), faking like he's just taken a painful shot to the crotch (we probably hear " groin!" at least a couple of times per day), and anything having to do with pineapples (beats me, but he's talking about going as one for Halloween--I think he just likes the randomness of it), currently constitute 90% of the kid's comedic stylings. The rest is on-the-fly wackiness.

He really is one of the most spontaneously funny kids I've ever known. I hope he can keep that alive through the next decade of public school. It's been weird to watch him grow more like other boys as he adjusts to social pressures, the need to be cool. Yep, already. He was always way ahead of everybody his age, verbally, but was a late-bloomer emotionally, a strange combination of oversensitive and under-aware, as if the membrane between him and the world was too thin in some places and too thick in others. He seems closer to the middle of the spectrum now, as other kids have narrowed the gap intellectually and he's learned to deal a little better with what life throws at him.

I can't imagine that he won't always be exceptionally bright and at least somewhat acerbic. This is the kid who, having been called a "know-it-all" by several of his classmates last year, said, "They don't even know what a know-it-all is." I hope he can develop social grace without losing his unique perspective.

If I might make a small, um, addendum to all this, uh...I love you, kiddo.


Kellybelle said...

He's EIGHT!!! OMG! He's adorable!

Trish Berrong said...

What your boy is working on is a sketch, not a skit. Respect the craft, man.

scotland said...

Hi ya'
I'm pleased as ever to have you share insights into the "Kindergarten". As inspiration I'd toss out the basic idea that pirates, as well as simply being on the run as renegades, rebels and outcasts;pirates were in it for the Booty,the treasure,the big score and a sweet dream vacation retirement check in Bali Hai. Pirates/Treasure, gotta have it.

After looking at the photo of Jonah,what I'd really like to comment on is the size of the adult world and how incredibly small that pancake looks in proportion to the size of the plate it sits on.

When my kid Abraham came along I,from my own experience, realized that the adult world was largely put out of reach and didn't lean toward accommodating children.

Does anyone really think that kids lives are easier than grown ups? I observe that they are left with as much or more of a psychological dilemma to resolve as their adult counterparts.

If we want our kids to relate from the very beginning of parenting we need to make the effort, and this effort needs to be in proportion to the size and dimension of a young persons world.

Jumping to the quick of my point, I'll assert that there is little kids can't or won't comprehend or manage if you just take the time to bend both knees, jump off your elevator in the sky and meet them face to face where they are simply because of physical size. This can and should take may forms as they grow but in principle it holds good and after parenting shouldn't we have come to a place where we are better human beings having learned something we can take and put to work as we deal with the pancake on our own plate.

Unknown said...

Still with the pineapples? Anyway, this had me laughing in a puddle of my own piss and spit. Yes, was, uh, very hurtful. Thank you, kind sir.

Sooo...elf/Allen/Rosenberg. Perhaps after they beat him with their wooden legs, he morphs into some sorta The Hulk pirate, and all the other once brazen pirates turn into little Wimpy pirates: "Yes,, if you could kindly beat me next Thursday for a non-beating today, please and a-thank you.

pls said...

That is one seriously funny lad.

Screenplay thought: The Timid Pirate, starring Paul Giammati (or Will Farrell, depending).

Anyway, the Scout skit. Sketch. Skitch? The Timid Pirate gets beaten with the legs, then Jonah chugs his froo-froo drink and gets super untimid powers, and commences to kick (pirate) booty with his man purse. They're all in a scurvy heap, tattered and cowering. Just as he's about to finish them off he whistles--or reverts to timidness with a "Yoo-hoo!" or something--and in swaggers Barack Opirate, offering them all universal healthcare (with public pirate option), which of course they've never been privy to before (like Canadian pirates). In true conservative scallywag fashion they roundly reject the offer and finish themselves off with their own wooden limbs.

Jasph said...


OK, improv boss lady, it's a sketch!

Scotland: There were three pancakes on that plate when he started--and not in a stack. He doesn't go for the stack. The kid loves the pancakes. Just so you know. I love your ruminations.

And I love all the skit--nay, sketch--suggestions. Maybe there should be a critique of scouting's don't-ask-don't-tell policy.

I could write the whole thing so it ends up being our official resignation from scouts. "If I might interject at this juncture, uh...see ya, paramilitary suckers!"

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