“Hey, Daddy!” called my son, strutting into the kitchen while I was stirring a pot of pasta on the stove for dinner. “Do you want to play a game wiff me?”
“Sure, Buddy,” I replied, putting down the spoon. “What game should we play?”
Lately everything I play with him is a “game.” My personal favorite is “Which One Is Loud?”—a game in which Daddy is presented with a host of toy animals and must choose which of the animals is the loudest. Once a champion is named, next comes the second loudest, the third loudest, and so on, until all animals have been properly ranked in decreasing decibel order. In the early rounds, I always find it particularly challenging to decide between a lion’s roar or tiger’s roar, and then later, between a sea turtle and a goldfish. (I guess the turtle splashes louder?) As the Final Judge of Loudness, my son often illogically overrules my decisions—sometimes claiming a shark is louder than an elephant—but as he is the creator of “Which One Is Loud?” I must respect his authority.
Yeah, I choose my battles.
. . .
My son wasted no time and gave me my first game instruction.
“Roar like a lion!”
I happily and enthusiastically obliged. “Raaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwhhh!” Was this game a derivative of “Which One Is Loud?”
“Okay, Buddy,” I said. “Now what?”
“Zoom like a car!”
“Vvvvvvrrrrrrrrrrooooooooooommmmm!” I was actually pretty proud of this one. I even did a little vibrato at the end to create an idling engine effect. Surely I was winning the game. “Okay, what’s next?”
This story originally appeared as a guest post on EduDad. I wrote an edge-of-your-seat introduction to it here, but the short version is that I penned it in 2006 when I was still a middle school English teacher, as part of a collection of true classroom tales I intended to publish and become a kajillionaire. Unfortunately, the project soon fizzled out as I moved on to another kajillion-dollar idea that also failed. However, the story remains, and it offers you, O Loyal Reader, a unique glimpse at my daily pre-Twinfamy shenanigans. Enjoy!
Do You Like Pie?
In an über-rare moment, my seventh-graders were actually working diligently on an assignment, so after a quick, discreet touchdown dance, I’d sprinted to my computer to capitalize on the situation, starting to finally enter the piles of grading cluttering my desk.
Just as I was getting into a groove, the classroom door opened and a student from one of my other classes meandered up to my desk.
“Do you like pie?” she asked.
My mind still in data-entry mode, I was dumbfounded. “What?” I replied.
“Do you like pie? Like, the dessert?”
“Um, yeah. I do. Why?”
“Want a free pie?”
“Okay…sure…I would like a free pie.” I just had to see where this was going.