Speak for yourself


It’s not just a stringy, carb-loaded, fork-twirler’s dream. It is now my son’s new randomly inserted catchword, as in, “Mom, do you know what I found on the soccer field at practice today? Spaghetti!” with that last word belted out in a tone that will one day split my eardrum, make my eyes bleed, and cause the wood floors of my house to erode as I wear them away with the figure 8 pattern that I will compulsively and repeatedly walk, while simultaneously scratching a bald spot into the back of my head.

I’ve heard the “Spaghetti!” refrain so many times that last night I made the bold move of banning its use in my presence. Unfortunately, I levied said ban when we were on the way to a Boy Scout event, where Jake found all too many willing recruits, whom he trained to taunt me with “Spaghetti!” as I passed by, helpless, in the pot-luck dinner line.

I’ve been told by the children that the “Spaghetti!” thing is funny because it’s random, and random is the new funny. But I’ve also been told that random isn’t random if it’s done intentionally to be random—if you say something random and say that it’s random, it’s not funny anymore. Because then it’s so not random.

So I guess the upshot is that even though my kids and their peers are laughing less and less at my jokes (because, duh, they’re so related to whatever we were talking about), there’s no way I can do a modern comedy makeover, because that would be too intentional, and intentional ain’t random, and random is where the funny is. So I am doomed, unless I come up with something so unexpected, so random, the non sequitur to end all non sequiturs—so expected that it’s unexpected, so unexpected that it’s completely hilarious. At the saying of it, kids will reach for their inhalers, stunned into jiggling, soundless hysteria, hoping against hope that at the end of the unending giggle there is some breath to be had. Dogs will howl, hamsters will dance, kings and queens will put their underwear on their heads and bow down to me, children will tug at my velvet cloak as I walk to my clown car with the square wheels and take my rightful throne as comedy regent.

But what, oh what, to say? What do I have that’s so ground-breaking, so non-mom, so now, so ridiculously random that it will one day take its place in the comedy hall of fame?

I got it.






  1. Lorraine said,

    October 2, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Jake is consistently full of surprises! I wonder if I should try “spaghetti” on the class when we go back. I have one more week of Spring vacation and then 9 weeks until the end of year and we break for Christmas/Summner holiday.
    Growing up, my surname was Fogarty (just a wee bit Irish) and our lovely Italian neighbours always spelled it “Foghetti” as in spaghetti so Jake’s word is especially dear to my heart! Just think, last year Dieter and I were “pot-lucking” with Jake’s scouts. Spaghetti!

  2. scheirmad said,

    October 6, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Lorraine Foghetti–I love it!!

    Just as your spring vacation is coming on, our summer weather is going out. We’re pretty chilly here, leaves are changing colors, and Craig and I made a last minute run for long sleeve under-jersey soccer T-shirts last night. At least it’s not a million degrees anymore like it was this summer (by the way, that’s Fahrenheit–converting to Centigrade, our summer averaged around a thousand degrees!).

    Nice to hear from you!!!


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