I enjoy pretending that I’m more intelligent than I really am.
One thing I notice about people I assume are intelligent is that they like to talk about current events, particularly politics and what not.
So when I fired up the iPad this morning and saw that Margaret Thatcher had passed away, I knew that I would find myself discussing her life and death with someone today, even if only in order to make myself feel like a man who’s up on things (do the cool kids still say that?).
So as to include my own family in the act of sounding smarter than I really am, I pestered my daughter while she tried to enjoy her bowl of cereal in peace.
“Hey, Margaret Thatcher just died. What do you think about that?” I asked like a cool cat.
I got a frumpy look and sneer that was clearly asking why I wasn’t already out of the house and on my way to work.
“Do you think you guys will talk about her in school today?”
“I doubt it dad,” Ace said. “We’re learning state capitals and don’t have time to talk about other things unless they’re very important.”
“Well la di freakin’ dah to you! Since when is the death of the Queen of Canada not important?”
She furrowed her brow while taking another bite of her Frosted Flakes and shook her head.
“Flah monent thon wit,” she said with a mouth full of cereal and chin drippng with milk. Classy girl.
“That doesn’t sound right, dad. I’m pretty sure there is no queen of Canada. Some Harper guy is running that place. He’s the prime minister or something.”
“That’s ridiculous, dear. You’re just a silly 9 year old. You should ask your teacher about it and distract her from her lesson plan. Teachers like to be sidetracked by current events.”
I made my way to the couch and fired up the iPad again, just to be sure.
I’m glad I had this conversation with my daughter. It turns out that I need to read more than just the headlines of Yahoo news articles because, apparently, she was Prime Minister of the United Kindom and not the Queen of Canada.
I sat on my couch and contemplated the potential embarrassment I avoided. All day long, I was going to say things to fellow bus riders and coworkers such as, “She was the best Queen Canada has ever known and she had freakishly strong thighs.”
Now that I’m looking, I’m not even sure that she had strong thighs. It’s not mentioned on Wikipedia at all! That may have been something I read on Onion.com (which is apparently NOT a reliable news source!) or seen in a Saturday Night Live skit.
It’s difficult to properly process all the information I take in.
As I sat there relieved that I could now better fake my days worth of Margaret Thatcher conversations, I noticed Cool sitting on the other end of the couch gawking at me in disgust. Jesus, where did he come from!?
He had a strange look on his face, the sort of look I’d imagine a child would have were he to walk in on his mom and dad doing the nasty outside the covers!
It dawned on me, after a few seconds, that he was watching me cram my finger up my nose.
“What?” I asked anyway. “How long have you been sitting there?”
“You say, you say not to do that, daddy.”
“Do what?” I ask defensively.
“Pick my nose.”
“No, no, no!! That’s not what I say, Cool. I say that you shouldn’t pick your nose while other people are watching you, and that you should never eat whatever you pick!”
That’s good parenting advice right there, since they’re gonna do it anyway.
He continued to look at me in disgust so I told him something or other about my nose having an itch that needed scratching and left for work with my tail between my legs and feeling a little dumber and more disgusting than I did when I woke up.