Blesok no. 82, January-February, 2012
Down with Adults
Down with Adults
Mother went to the Tupperware party
and came back with an air-tight container.
I wasn’t invited. Mother said no children
were allowed. I could have easily dressed
up as an adult and pretended to become
one by speaking in clichés when
original thoughts were required.
Adults were older but not necessarily
smarter. Peter Pan’s “I Won’t Grow Up,’
was my anthem. I recited it under my breath
while the other kids were pledging allegiance
to the flag. If the best grown-up toy adults
could come up with were Tupperware,
then I was looking for a society where
children were valued and had inalienable
rights, like Sweden where I heard it was
against the law to smack kids. I’d have
asked for asylum, but then I’d have
to learn Swedish to live there.
I had enough trouble with English.
You Should Have Listened
Confucius, or some other Asian sage
with a lot of charisma, said even a fish
wouldn’t get in trouble if it kept its
big mouth shut, father said. Most
of his sayings belong in unopened
Chinese fortune cookies. But it
seems more relevant than others
because we’re going to have fish
tonight. In some ways I’m glad
this fish didn’t listen to ancient
wisdom and opened his mouth,
because I’m tired of beef
and chicken. But just because
the fish didn’t listen doesn’t mean
you shouldn’t. I’m sorry if I
insulted the size of your mouth.
Keep your typical size mouth shut.
Like they say, two
is company, three
is a crowd, which is
what happens, father said,
when a married couple has
a child – crowded conditions.
And the more children you have,
the more crowded it becomes
until you’re forced to find a house
with more bedrooms and bathrooms.
And it only stops when you stop
having children, provided they
don’t move into your house when
they become older with their families.
The Problem of Getting too Close
They say when you lie down
with a cat, father said, you get
up with fleas, which is the reason
you don’t see me lying down with
any animals. I slowly bend my back
until my hand is low enough to touch
the cat. Then I make sure to wash
my hands before I eat. Otherwise,
I’ll start looking like a dishevelled
cat, scratching myself constantly.
It doesn’t matter what the cat has
as long as I don’t catch it. So I
advise you to keep the cat off your bed.