My greatest accomplishment of the month is uncovering years of residuals for embarrassing myself as a victim on a syndicated show and stepping up to make Massaman curry without the pre-made can. Truth be told, I couldn’t find the pre-made can and was guilted by a gentle Thai man in Chinatown to buy curry spices in bulk and make it the “nature” way. Apparently all that propaganda about coconut milk and oil being so unhealthy was a ploy to get us all buying corn oil and dairy products. Yet, oddly, the Thai natives are in better physical shape than most Americans. So I’m going to eat my pot of curry until I start packing on the pounds.
This blog has little direction, but I’m stepping away from the self-indulgent darkness of the past few blogs. Being a songwriter, I suppose it all feels the same- the kvetching, self-deprecation and discoveries is all the same shit whether or not it is condensed to lyrics and a pretty melody.
I went upstate to see the family for the weekend, to score a few pounds of ham and easter candy, and to spend time with my favourite 7-year-old on the planet. He promised to turn me into a glitter fairy but warned my wings will only come out when I’m dreaming. He’s convinced I’m more famous than the Plain White Tee’s and whenever in public he won’t hesitate to stop a stranger and ask if they know me, his “famous cousin” with that really good song “You Shoulda.” Some will nod kindly and others will shake their head at the brazen child. It doesn’t stop him from scolding them. “You really should know that song. She’s the famous Michelle!”
I suppose to a child, it’s one in the same. I tend to be the same with children as I am with adults: fun muddled with cynicism, dry sarcastic remarks, and a lack of a censor. My cousin sees this as an open invitation to adult behaviour and you know what that includes? Yep, cursing. He lets his mouth go foul to incite a reaction from me. I don’t mind but being with a seven-year-old dropping the F-bomb in McDonald’s coupled with his insistence that he’s with his ultra-famous cousin doesn’t bode well. On the bus upstate I was engaged in a John Irving novel that chronicles the life of a young boy. Irving has a penchant for the term “doink” and while my cousin began his cursing spree, I mumbled, “Now you’re acting like a doink.”
“What?” he inquired. “What did you say?”
“Nothing,” I said, feigning concern. “Please, don’t tell your mom what I just said. Promise me… it’s the worst word in the world and you really shouldn’t hear it.”
“I heard it! It’s too late! Doink! Doink! Doink!” he screamed with that infectious giggle of a young boy who feels he mastered the English language at once.
“No! Don’t say it. Please, I don’t want your mom to be mad at me,” I told him. Well, we all know what kids do when things are forbidden- they push the envelope further. Fifteen “doinks” later and he wanted to know the meaning of the word. I shook my head and my face went serious as I whispered, “It’s the devil’s penis.”
If anything could conjure such laughter it would be this “secret” word with such an unusual meaning it’s the combination of devils and penises. For the rest of our time spent together, “doink” replaced any legitimate curse word and saved me the humiliation of his sailor talk. All went well until I dropped him off with the family and his 9-year-old cousin started teasing him. He turned to his mom and asked, “Mom, why is he being such a doink?”
“Maybe he’s just doinked out,” his mom responded. My cousin’s eyes widened and face went blank. He couldn’t believe his mother used such a terrible word and didn’t flinch at his usage. To push the envelope further he continued, “What a doink though! He’s always been a doink! I hate doinks!”
When his mother still didn’t react he became confused and said, “Really, mom, what is a doink? You shouldn’t say it!”
“A doink isn’t even a word. It means nothing.” His face contorted and he was shocked his mother didn’t know the truth.
“Mom! It’s the devil’s penis!” he declared to her. At this point I was far beyond guffaws and knew it was my exit cue. I do realize I will not lose this intense need I have to meddle and instigate with children when I’m a mother one day. My friend warned me that someday it may backfire on me and then I’ll be repaid for all my years of pranks.