Monday, December 24, 2001

Ghost Squirrel

Jean wrote up a conversation we had with Kelly while driving to swim class a couple of weeks ago. Since Jean is the humor columnist for a local paper, she embellished it somewhat, but the general shape of the conversation and the ideas therein are actually pretty close to what was actually said.

I don't actually talk the way she writes me (do I?), but the bit with the crutches is mine. Missing is my more evil and insane commentary (and he had a hook!). Just click on the link at the bottom of this article to get to Jean's actual article...

These 10-minute drives can drive you crazy

by Jean Wakefield

We're heading down Tualatin-Sherwood Road to the YMCA for Kelly's swimming class.

Kelly: "Mom, how do you spell sprite?"

Me: "S-p-r-i-t-e. If you mean the pop, then you capitalize it because it's a name. Why?"

Kelly: "It's from Scrooge. You know, the Sprite of Christmas Past."

Me: "I think you mean spirit. Were you watching it in the basement? The acoustics down there are terrible. Bryant Gumble sounds like Bob Dylan."

My husband: "There's no Sprite in the basement. Only Mr. Pibb, and I drank it."

Kelly: "Not in the basement. In the hallway. There's such a thing as spirits, you know. I saw them last night going past my room."

My husband: "Those are boxelder bugs."

Kelly: "No, ghosts. But only children can see them. Did you ever see a ghost a hundred years ago when you were little, Mom?"

Me: "I know someone who saw a ghost when she was a kid. But if there is such a thing as a ghost, I think it's just a spot like the hallway playing the memory of a person over and over like a tape recording. A ghost isn't a person who's out to get you. That's spelled l-a-w-y-e-r."

Kelly: "Well, I saw a young ghost. A 15-year-old. She didn't die regular. It was a car accident. Yup, what a pity. Can I have a Cremesaver?"

Me: "Her parents must've been devastated."

Kelly: "Her mother caught cancer and her father died of the dog flu. That's a bad kind of flu. Her brother got the chicken pox, a very serious kind, and he died."

My husband: "Sign that family up for the Good Health Plan."

Kelly: "Then her pet squirrel died from polio. But he didn't die right away. It took him a while."

My husband: "What a sad sight, that poor squirrel dragging himself around the neighborhood with a tin cup."

Kelly: "It was only in his toe. His toe didn't work because of polio."

Me: "Ah. So he had toe-lio."

My husband: "They rubbed it with oleo to see if it would grow-lio."

Kelly: "Did not. They had to amputate it."

My husband: "It must have been hard for him to scamper up trees with a bum toe."

Kelly: "He didn't go up trees. He was a ground squirrel."

Me: "At least we can take comfort knowing that he now has a rich spirit life surrounded by nuts."

Kelly: "And he used crutches."

My husband; "Now that he's dead, do you hear his ghost clambering around on the roof?"

Me: "Scamper-scamper clunk. Scamper-scamper clunk. Hey, I'm allergic to ghosts. We should call in an exorcist."

Kelly: "You could ask at the YMCA. They've got exercisists there."

Me: "Okay. I'll sign you up for a swimming class and an exorcism."

My husband: "Hey! If you pass this session, maybe you'll be moved up to ground squirrel."

Kelly: "Dad. Don't be silly. Squirrels can't swim!"

My husband: "But you better work hard. If you flunk you get dropped down to drowned squirrel."

Kelly: "Can we just have quiet in this car? You're giving me a headache."

Me: "I'd like to point out that this whole conversation could've been avoided if our country would initiate a comprehensive rodent vaccination program. Please give generously. Thank you."

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