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Torquening Pistoners and the King of Non Sequiturs

April 29, 2009

We were halfway up an old mining road in Bland canyon, this past weekend, with all four kids and my mom, when a crazy large rock (that didn’t look quite so crazy large in the high-noon sunlight) caught the undercarriage of our ’85 Landcruiser.

The scrape of metal on stone made us all wince.

“Uh-oh, that didn’t sound good,” said Chris, my husband and fearless pilot of the vehicle we call “The Moose.”

We’re not used to high-centering The Moose.

He jumped out to take a look for gushing fluids, exposed vital organs … stuff like that. Came back looking relieved.

“Nothing major, just scratched the pumpkins.”

“The pumpkins?” I asked, then braced myself for what I call the “torquening  pistoners” explanation.

You see, I don’t get cars. I know they have parts. They need gas and oil. Sometimes they also need … parts. They need pistons and, uh, torqueners.

They also cost a lot, break down at inopportune times, pollute the atmosphere and get too easily scratched by wayward mailbox handles (oops).

Beyond those facts, though, I also know this: two of my guys absolutely love them.

Graysen is the newest car geek in the family. This is his paternal heritage — Chris’s dad is into cars and two of his brothers work professionally with them.

The other thing he gets from that side of the family: a propensity for speaking in code.

For example: Chris’s comment about scratching the pumpkins …. on the car.

Then a short while later, after we were back on the road with the scratched pumpkins continuing to do whatever it is they do, we heard a smallish voice in the very back seat remark on the scenery.

“This looks like a Bokugon!” Graysen squealed in delight. Then added, “where the wild animals fight!”

With thanks to both my guys, I was hit in that moment by a surreal realization. I hadn’t planned on it, but there I was, spending my Sunday explore bouncing along a rutted road through a Bokugon on a set of pumpkins.

I couldn’t have planned something more … interesting.

Cars aside, Graysen long ago earned the nickname “The King of Non Sequiturs.” This couldn’t be a more fitting title for my small boy.

Recently, Graysen was drawing what appeared to be the 10th in a series of airplanes. Perhaps it was his father’s constant business travels that inspired his art that night. Or maybe it was his recent deep need to fly on an airplane, sparked by accompanying me to pick up his aunt Jen and his 4 year-old cousin, Chloe, from the airport (which was exciting but subsequently depressing when he realized that we wouldn’t be getting on a plane).

Whatever it was, he was happily drawing planes and runways and little stick figure pilots and I asked, simply, “Why are you so into planes right now?”

Without missing a beat he replied: “well ‘cause everyone closed their windows and me too.”

Which, of course, explained everything, namely this: the boy has a reputation to maintain.

A couple of months ago, I found a mother-themed “interview” on Facebook that another mom wrote to use on her kids. Delighted by the possibilities for uber weirdness, I popped the questions into a Word document and sat Graysen down on a chair across from me, and posed the first question.

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Graysen: Um like, go to the car, go to the door, and uh … eat when you have cookie doughs. And take out your eyeballs … and take out your hair! That’s what mommy says! (Hmmm. Okay … next question.)

2. What makes mom happy?
Graysen: I don’t know … flipping the socks? (Huh?)

3. How tall is your mom?
Graysen: Uh like 60 lbs or 70 hundred. No, 600. (Wow, that’s … tall.)

4. What is her favorite thing to do?
Graysen: Jumping on my head! (?!?!?)

5. What does your mom do for her job?
Graysen: Like jumping like a frog …? (Maybe I should try that on the next deadline day!)

And, the final question …
8. What makes you proud of your mom?
Graysen: Yep, I was a talking dog!

And … yep! I can believe it. Nothing surprises me anymore with this kid. But the best part is that he keeps ‘em coming — he’s full of these random quips and bits of wisdom that makes me scratch my head.

And during our great Sunday explore through the Bokugon on the scratched pumpkins, my little King of Non Sequiturs wrapped my surreal experience up all nicely when he suddenly shouted “OW!”

“What happened?” we all asked.

“I bit my narder nipple cheek!” came the reply.

Um … of course. In fact … that happens to me all the time. Those narder nipple cheeks can be a real pain. Especially if you take out your eyeballs and jump like a frog in the Bokugon.

Trust me.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Lucy Calhoun permalink
    June 4, 2009 4:52 pm

    Ana,
    I love this.
    I read this to my son and he will forever call that thing a “narder nipple cheek.”

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