A few weeks ago, I was driving a van load of kids towards sweet treats. In addition to massaging the New York Times crossword puzzle, pushing back my cuticles, and pouring Malbec down my gullet, this is what I do. I drive the small people. Towards the ice cream.
Right around the Lake Street exit off the highway, 8-year-old Girl-o-mine advised me, “Mom, don’t close the windows right now with your magical driver’s seat electronic wizardry; I have my fingers hanging out one of them.”
Triggered thusly back into the annals of his five vast years of memory, Niblet then chimed in with a dramatic tale of near finger-loss eons ago when he was a mere boy of four, recounting a story that gisted, “One time I had my hand in the window, and then the window started going up, and then I pulled my hand out really fast, and for a minute it seemed like my hand was going to get caught, but then it didn’t.”
At this point, Brain Trust Neighbor Child, age 6 and strapped securely into the seat next to Niblet (but loosely enough to draw mind-renewing breaf into her lungs), dislodged her finger from her nostril long enough to ask, “So, did one of your hands get chopped off?”
She threw out her query while staring directly at the live, animated version of this clearly double-pawed popsicle sucker:
Up front, suddenly entertaining the idea of cranking up every gadzookian window in the van–especially if Brain Trust’s paw wandered near one–I rolled my eyes and pictured this girl’s future as a visual merchandiser at The Gap, should all expectations be exceeded.
Yea, Fluffernutter. You got it. Ever since that fateful day, we’ve had to call the lad Stumpy. He used to be a regular General Grievous, but now, since the amputation, well, he’s been relegated to a life of single-light-saber battle.
Fortunately, Niblet piped up with a kinder explanation, “No, look, Brain Trust Girl, I have all ten fingers, and they still wiggle. See me right here next to you with two hands?”
She nodded slowly, still a bit bewildered, and reinserted her finger into the neglected nostril.