Things that are scary:

  • dolls
  • clowns
  • police men stepping out of unmarked vehicles

The last one was probably the most frightening for the late-20-something apologizing a little too profusely to seem properly innocent.

Bug took that moment to decide that he was too tired to continue walking. He sat on a nearby bench and said so. It wasn’t until I saw the way his eyes kept shifting back to the cop that I realized he was eavesdropping. I took his hand, said a few magic words (“There are cookies and milk at home”) and we were on our way.

We had just rounded the corner when the 20-something stomped past us like a six-year-old whose parents said they weren’t buying him a PS3 and a Wii and a DS just because Little Johnny down the street had one. My son managed to squelch a snicker at the way the man’s arms were pumping exaggeratedly at his sides and the way his footsteps were unnecessarily loud. He couldn’t suppress a fit of giggles when that same man was half a block away but yelled, “FUCK!”

To be honest, I kind of wanted to laugh. I don’t know why I’m so amused by people who try to get in the last word when the authority figure is just out of earshot. I also found it funny that my son – who is only four – found some twisted humor in realizing that grown ups can get in trouble, too.

It was less funny when I’d put him to bed for the night and heard his standard pre-bedtime babble interrupted by a giggle and, “Fuck. FUCK!” I stepped in, let him know that was a grown up word – but still not a very good word – and that I don’t want to hear him use it. He’s a really good kid, and that’s the last he mentioned about that.

In other news, I have a plethora of postcards to mail out this afternoon. I’m excited! Hooray for snail mail that isn’t a bill.


  1. -Why are Dolls scary?
    -I hear that a lot of people find clowns scary. Not sure why.
    -Unmarked cops? Yeah, a little scary./ Fortunately, most of my encounters with them have not ended (too) badly.

    You’re kid sounds pretty clever. I think we’ll all be in trouble when he learns “context”!

  2. -Ever since I was small, I couldn’t look at a doll without realizing that it is only a few steps away from becoming something that would end up here.

    -I read a study in one of my psychology classes that showed many people find clowns scary because the makeup conceals expressions, which we humans (and apparently some animals) use to “read” people.

    -Thank you! I think my kid is clever, too, but I am admittedly biased. It’s hard not to be when he’s hinted at such gems as Mommy gets to live with him in his old age but Daddy just gets the embarrassed silence as far as his future whereabouts (to be fair, I think all of that came out the day I took my son out for cupcakes while his dad was at work).

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