The Hess Report


Sunday, January 11, 2004

The War Begins

We were straightening up the house this afternoon so we could face the coming week with a modicum of post-holiday house-ordered dignity. Maddie was playing Barbie.com on the kitchen computer. She mentioned, quite off-hand, that a girl in her school had told her a grown-up joke. Of course, that could be anything from "What do you call a guy with no arms and no legs in a ditch?" to "Three gay guys are having drinks and discussing the disposition of their dead lover's ashes..." to "Wrecked 'em? Damn near killed 'em!" Whatever the case, I acted like that it was nothing at all and said "You give me her name! HER NAME! GIVE IT UP!" Wait. That wasn't it. I said "Oh. Was it funny?"

"I didn't understand it."

"Oh. Did she think it was funny?"

"She didn't understand it either."

"Right. If you tell me, maybe I'll get it."

"I told you. I didn't understand it. I can't remember."

Fair enough. I don't remember differential equations, and I actually used to understand those.

But it leaves me wondering about the parental equivalent of a defensive array of C-130 gunships.

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