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January 5, 2009

Flying, from the mouths of babes

On our way from Portland to Minneapolis on Christmas Day, we sat one row in front of an 8-year-old boy, his mom and another stray 8-year-old separated from his family. The flight foster child spent much of the air time describing all the electronics he received for Christmas, and then claiming he wasn't spoiled; his infant sister was. He explained to his new friend that Santa squeezes into chimneys using a patented mixture of elf magic, ghost magic and South Pole magic. Halfway through the flight the mom traded places with her husband, who I had overheard quizzing his children hours before on such facts as the square footage of the Portland terminal.

As we began our descent and were a few thousand feet off the ground, the stray proclaimed that we were exactly 200 above ground. He knew this for a fact after palming the window and doing a complex internal computation of the relation of its temperature to proximity to the earth. "I question the precision of your methodology," responded Killjoy Dad. Then one of the boys said he knew definitively that we were 100 feet from touchdown because two canoes could fit under the plane if stacked vertically. Canoes were more like 15 feet long, not 50, Killjoy Dad said. The boy vehemently insisted they were 50 feet long because he had just spent MONTHS studying Indians and they DEFINITELY made 50-foot canoes from all the nearby 50-foot trees.


We landed back in the Rose City at about 11:30 local time last night. At the baggage claim carousel a toddler vocalized my internal feelings in one of those fake-crying-whiny voices that kids do when they're just itching to be put up for adoption.

"Where's our suitcases? Daddy! Where's our suitcases?!?! Where are they?? Where's our SUITCASES???????? Daddy, I don't see them!!!! Where ARE they? Are they lost? WHEERRRRRRREEEEE'S OUUUUUUUUUUUUR SUITCASSSSSSSSSSSES?????"


Then we had to take a shuttle to the hotel where the boyf's car has been parked this past week-and-change. At this point it was midnight Portland time, 2 a.m. Minnesota time. Once again, an infant managed to vocalize my exact feelings.


This is unrelated.

I think I'm going insane. Here's my proof:

A pen exploded in my pocket last Thursday. Every time I put my hand in said pocket, it emerges stained blue as Babe. And every time, every stinking time, I'm surprised. Baffled might be a better word.

In sum, I am doing the same thing repeatedly expecting different results. According to Ben Franklin/Albert Einstein/an old Chinese proverb, that makes me a prime candidate for the loony bin.


  1. I heart you Neenuh. You and your Nina Totin'bag.

  2. At first sight, I thought that your knuckles had been bruised in a fist fight with Mr. Killjoy Dad, or his overly-knowledged children.

    Lovely hands though. Perhaps you once played a stringed instrument?

  3. Those are lovely, albeit discolored, hands. Really...ever thought of becoming a hand model?