Friday, February 13, 2004

Kid question.

Don’t worry – this won’t be a kid story. It’ll start that way – but end way off of it. Here goes.
Last week Dara (the one on the right) and I were on an extended mission. First – computer help to Uncle Rich, then appliance purchasing at Sears, with a surprise visit to Wendy’s for a snack. Snacktime proved to be most thought provoking, as conversations with a nearly five-year-old can go just about anywhere. And this one did. It was my fault – I succumbed to my own weaknesses of parental mollycoddling and purchased the “kiddie” meal, complete with cartoon character-themed meal bag and Asian mass-produced toy. The cartoon character in the spotlight was Clifford. The Big Red Dog was all over the bag, in puzzles and pictures and other methods of child distraction. After working out a couple of the word games, Dara made the announcement that I’ve been thinking about since.
“Dad, Clifford needs a girlfriend.”
Stop right there. I’ll let you, casual web-reader, figure out some of the implications of such a statement before I proceed.
Deep breath.
“Why what?”
“Why does Clifford need a girlfriend?”
“Oh. Because he’s probably lonely, and he needs someone to be with.”
I can respect that answer. Not bad for a 5 year old, either. It’s been on my mind since – I can’t quite get the picture of this giant red beast looking for a mate and possibly settling with whatever might come close enough to fulfill the needs. After all – we all know that Clifford was unique. Bad news, pal – yer it. Go find something else that looks big and red. Firefighters everywhere just locked the garage door. They even stopped calling Engine 4 “Bessie”. Dogs hear real well, y’know. I would hate to be an elephant with a rash, too. But let’s just contemplate the idea that there was some other genetic happenstance out there and we have ourselves another big red dog. The odds were crazy enough that we have one, but we have to skim the odds by half to the fact that it came out female. I’m making that supposition, because the other condition makes for bad reading here.
Ok – Clifford meets Claudia. If we know anything about dogs – we know that they don’t do things small, especially in this case. What comes just isn’t a puppy – we get puppIES. Litters. Lots and lots of BIG RED PUPPIES. Never mind the noise pollution from the incessant yelping – the actual pollution from big red puppy waste. We can only pray that they receive discipline from the very beginning much akin to that which Clifford received, or there will be rampant destruction. Somehow, though – I really don’t think that Dara thought of all this. Good thing she has us parents to help out. Good luck, Clifford – Happy Valentine’s Day – which you’ll probably endure alone – again.


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