Wednesday, October 3, 2012

We're Putting Those MIT Aspirations On The Back Burner

Sometimes, like Gordie LaChance said about his buddy, Vern, digging under the porch looking for a jar of pennies he buried at the beginning of summer, you don't know whether to laugh or cry.

I was in a rush this evening. The boys had Academic Team practice, and the #1 son said he might be going to work with his robot team afterward. So I stayed after school to make sure The Pony had a ride home. I wanted to be sure to see Survivor. I told the guys yesterday that we were only having hot dogs for supper. Not just any hot dog, though. Giant, Save A Lot hot dogs. I slid a pan of them into the oven while I washed dishes from last night.

When they were ready, I slapped one on a bun for The Pony, mustarded and ketchuped it, and sent him on his way to eat it in front of the TV. I set the pan back in the oven. The Pony does not like black char lines on his dog. Same way when they are grilled. But the others like them a little more incinerated. Farmer H was on the tractor when we got home, his goats running free on the gravel road, eagerly awaiting an accident of their own making. I figured he would come in when he was good and ready. That left only #1 to call stoveside.

He arrived as I was taking the pan out of the oven. The buns were not of the preferred level of freshness for him. In my defense, the expiration date was only September 28. He ripped one in half trying to open it. I told him there was another bag in the cabinet. That he could throw the damaged on away. I showed #1 the proper way to use a pair of tongs. Because knowing him, he would grab the dogs with his fingers.

That boy is more accident prone than Michael Skupin on Survivor. In case you're not a Survivor aficionado, Skupin is the one who fell into the fire in Season 2, Survivor: Australian Outback, and burned the flesh from his hands. If that's what you call strips of skin hanging off his finger bones while he wails in agony. He's back, you know. He's already bashed a gash onto his bald head, cut his hand without knowing how, and sliced his foot open on the sandy ocean bottom. Oh, and I was not at all shocked later in the evening, when I saw that he was crying tears of blood, having shattered a diving mask on his face in a challenge.

The #1 son had seen me take that pan of immense, roasted hot dogs out of the oven and set it on top of the stove. He took the tongs and placed two of them on his buns. Squeezed a little ketchup on them. Picked one up and bit off a fourth of that behemoth while still standing at the kitchen counter.


He sounded just like Flayed-Fingers Skupin. "They're right out of the oven!" I reminded him. Perhaps a bit too late. "I don't know how you're going to survive your first year of college. I hope I can get a refund by the end of September. With you no longer attending classes, you know. It's the least they could do."

So much for his score of 35 out of 36 on the ACT, and his National Merit Scholar commendation certificate. I need to enroll him in the School of Common Sense.


Sioux said...

Yes, the bright ones--academically--often are low wattage when it comes to real life.

our son--while still in high school--drove to Illinois for a concert. He got lost. He kept driving back and forth acrcss the bridge, and finally called us, saying, "The Arch is on the Illinois side, right?"

The same kid thought you had to be invited to a funeral. Oh, my...

Hillbilly Mom said...

Sweet Gummi Mary! And I thought I had directional issues! My aunt once had to ask a taxi driver down on the riverfront how to get to the Casino Queen. But at least we knew it was on the Illinois side. She just couldn't find her way to the bridge. The taxi driver had a heavy accent, and was not much help. So we drove back and forth until she found the way. Which was better than the time she asked directions to Harrah's at a convenience store, and pulled out going the wrong way on a divided section of road at a stoplight. Running a red light to make a left turn got her back on track.

Maybe the forces of the universe were telling us that gambling was not in our cards.

The funeral invitation is a new one on me! I thought it odd that kids around here call the viewing "The Layout." I thought they were planning to sun themselves after school, not visit the funeral home.