Monday, May 22, 2006

Having a kid

You go into the kitchen to pluck a piece of leftover steak from the platter. Or get a beer. Or an aspirin. Or to retrieve the phone.

You find this on the countertop.

The discovery eclipses your yen for a mouthful of steak.

First there is bewilderment, then curiosity. Further inspection reveals the ensemble to be an unidentified pink blob floating in clear liquid (presumably water) in a plastic bag in a bowl.

Your power of deductive reasoning kicks in. Since the atrocity is not in your best crystal bowl, it is unlikely that your Dearly Beloved is the creative force behind it. Your nine-year-old, however, has enough sense to put the grossness in a plastic dish. Plus, the elaborate nature of the containment smacks of, well, you, and therefore your offspring.

"Kid?" you holler in your Mom Voice. "Kid?" It always takes three repititions to pull same from the gravitational force of Spongebob Squarepants*.


Your kid comes into the kitchen and stands before you in mud-covered ill-fitting jeans and a tee-shirt stained with magic maker. She's looks up at you, blinking. "Yeah, Mom?"

Your skills of Inquisition reveal that the unidentified blob is no less than ten pieces of Berrylicious gum chewed "a lot--but not to the no-flavor part, but to like just before that."

"Why is it in a bag of water?" you ask.

"See if it grows."

You look at the blob. You look at your kid. Your kids looks at you.

You sigh.

The ten pieces of Berrylicious gum that have not been chewed all the way to the no-flavor part in a bag of water on your kitchen counter have not grown yet.

It's been ten days.

* * *

*Despite my flippant tone, I believe Spongebob Squarepants to be one of the finest cartoons of our day, with fully realized characters, dry wit and good storyboards.


jungle jane said...

Why do i have to have a kid to conduct this exercise? surely that is an extreme length to go to? can't i just pop some gum in a cup for 10 days myself???

Of course my lovely little pixie would never chew gum. she's a real little lady...

nadina said...

that story made me miss my daughter at that age.

PDD said...


You know, your daughter is going to love the fact that you wrote about this and kept it for so many years when she becomes an adult. That or utterly embarrasses when you show her boyfriends/fiance/husband. Not that there's anything to be embarrassed about, but you know how some people get from the mere mention of being a kid. I went out with a guy that never wanted to admit he was ever a baby. He kept saying, I was never a baby nor a kid. This has been me for always.

I don't know anything of that squarepants dude. I just know it's a sponge.

Toby said...


Vince said...

Can't get much cuter than that...I wonder what would happen if you mix in some cheese and cola?

PDD said...

Toby: Saw that. Holly crap! That takes some skill; placing all that gum in ones mouth. It was kind of disgusting also. The guy clearly looked sick and seemed as though he couldn't wait to get the hell outa there.

I hope he won some money. If I was capable of doing that I wouldn't take less than 100,000.

Karen Little said...

As a kid we used to sing a song that went 'If you plant a pomegranate pip, soon a pomegranate will grow.... (blah blah blah blah blah) so tell me why can't I plant... A CHEWING GUM TREE?'

It was quite long, complicated and boring, but it had a moral. Gum doesn't grow.

I'm sort of wondering why she didn't plant it between two moist pieces of cotton wool, or in a small quantity of soil?

She sounds very cute though.

Me said...

I wonder what gave her the idea that it would grow?

Erin O'Brien said...

Jane, I hate to break this to you, but I saw Pixie with ... er ... another sort of wad in her mouth.

Have you had that talk with her yet?

Nadina: everything's going so damn fast ...

PDD: What, did that guy pop from Zeus's head or something?

Toby: That is some talent.

Vince: You might change your mind if you saw this effing thing. (ew!)

PDD: Hell, how much you offering?

KL: Please, don't give her any ideas!

Me: I wonder what gave her the idea to fill her underwear drawer with leaves.

Zen Wizard said...

If you flush Berrylicious gum down the toilet, it will grow into a Berrylicious master race in the sewer system and come back and take over the world.

I mean, unless Steve McQueen or George Clooney or somebody can stop them.

Le Chitelier said...

Yes Jane, don't go thinking Pixie is all that innocent. She is after all, an imp.

Toby said...

I was never a candy or gum lover. The thing that made my mom wonder about me most was when I cooked bugs in the microwave. But, I was not trying to cook them. I thought the radiation would mutate them and then I could train them for my army.

Erin O'Brien said...

Zen: No worries, I'll send my Dearly Beloved down there to do battle. He'll slay the mother effers.

Chit: One of the stupidest things about me (and there are many) is that I named my tattoo. I call it "the imp."

toby: Did the bugs serve with valor? Did you eat the ones that did not? Let's you and me get together and nuke bugs!

Roxi said...

yeah I dont think we need a kid to do this one.. I am sooo right along with that.. I think it will take 14 days to grow.. find out for me hon will ya?

Toby said...

The bugs fought valiantly, but not for my army. They never made it out of the microwave alive. I was very experimentive as a kid, but not so much as to eat my experiments. Is nuking bugs a euphemism for slapping nasties?

zanytwo said...

Erin = curiosity Erin's daughter = curiosity~Very wonderful trait I might add. I remember leaving chewed gum on the counter or in the freezer. I like the idea of putting it in water. May keep it fresh or maybe it will make it grow.

Stephanie Powers said...

I think we should check in with Judy on some of your youthfull incarnations. I know with a 10, 7, and 3 year old, I am always finding the most hideous of concoctions in both the frige and freezer - many spices amix ice cream, juices, left over food reminents and the like. I do; however, give great credit to J.R.'s marvelous experimentations with blobs of gum. Chip off the old blarney, isin't she?

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