I was out back of the CowChows a little while ago poking around in my collection of undetermined purposes. I’m working on a new project. I got the idea from the Lazy-Susan in the kitchen, but in my design my La-Z-Boy sits on a giant turntable in the center of a donut shaped desk. On top of the donut will be two laptop computers, a television, a compact refrigerator, a toaster oven, a coffee maker, and of course the universal remote control. I call it the Youniverse. It’s going to be revolutionary.
While I was poking around in the pile looking for parts a couple of kids were playing shoot-em-up next door. They were running around chasing each other, making “p-keww” and “kapow” sounds, and arguing about who got who. I wasn’t too concerned about the outcome of the game so long as someone got shot, but then I suddenly realized they had gone silent. I first thought they had simply gone inside but a stealthy giggle told me that was not the case.
I turned to discover two young boys peering over the retaining wall that divides the properties. One I recognized as my neighbor, Mason. He’s the little brother of the little blond haired girl who regularly torments me. The other boy I didn’t recognize; possibly because I didn’t know him but more likely because both boys were making their best horror face. With their nose pushed up and their eyes pulled down and tongues sticking out and heads waggling from side to side they did look barely human.
I watched them for a moment wondering if I had a face in my own arsenal that could send them screaming for Mommy, but decided instead to take the tack of an adult. “You should be careful,” I said, “Your face could freeze like that and then you’d look that way forever.”
“Hunh unhh,” they replied in unison.
“It’s true,” I said. “Every time you make a face at someone you run the risk of your face freezing like that, and then you’ll have to wear that face for the rest of your life.”
“How do you know?” asked the little stranger boy.
“Well, that’s what my Mommy told me,” I said, “and Mommies don’t lie.”
Mason’s eyes grew wide, and then he shrugged his little shoulders and said, “Well, can’t say she didn’t warn ya.” And they ran off laughing and shooting at each other.
I think it’s going to be a long year.