Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Bad Dog

Last night the youngest asked if he could go to a new friend's house to play. I'm always looking for a reason to get rid of my kids, if only for a while, so I agreed to drive him there. I thought the name sounded familiar, and when we got to his friend's I realized, yes, it was the local fundamentalists. Oh well, he needed a bath and a baptism would do the trick.

I went back to pick him up a couple of hours later and made small talk with the dad while my kid got his stuff together.

"You gave him a Bible name," he said.

"Yep," I answered, thinking, I didn't know "shut your pie hole" was in the Old Testament.

"That's great. You can tell a lot about someone by what he calls his children."

That's for sure. "Yep," I said again, a little more nervously. I don't like talking religion with strangers. It leads to nothing but trouble. My son was ready now and we left without having to delve any further into the issue.

Sometimes, though, I think I should do a better job of teaching our kids about religion, if for no other reason than to inoculate them against unwanted interference. As it is, I suspect they have some strange ideas.

Take this morning. The youngest is at the breakfast table when I come downstairs.

"Hey, bud, how's it going?" I ask.

"Bad."

"Why?"

He points to the newspaper. Ouch. Our team took a beating yesterday.

Our dog Katie stands up and nuzzles his hand. She's pretty good about trying to cheer up the boys.

"Hey dad, if Katie died would we get a new dog?"

"Are you thinking of killing her?" I ask.

"No, but you hate dogs so if Katie died you probably wouldn't let us."

"I don't hate dogs," I reply. Jesus, I spend a fortune on the damn thing. I should hate her. "Besides, she's not going to die."

"Yes she will," he says. "Everything dies."

Not the people I don't like. "She won't. She's Satan's pup. She'll live forever."

He grimaces at me and says, "Don't be stupid."

"It's true," I say, assuming my teaching voice. "When we decided to get a dog we drew a pentagram on the floor and cast a spell, just like 'Harry Potter.' There was a puff of smoke and then Katie appeared. It was cheaper that way, but now we have a hell hound living with us."

He's holding his hands over the dog's ears so she can't hear me. I talk louder.

"It also means she has a special kind of rabies. Most dogs have to bite in order to infect someone, but she's got special venom glands and she can spit like a cobra."

He's telling Katie she's a good dog and she should ignore me. Katie's on her back, happy for the attention.

I continue. "We've trained her so she doesn't attack the family any more, but it was touch and go for a while. In fact, you used to have a sister until the dog got her."

My Lovely Bride comes in to get Katie and the boy ready for the walk to school. She looks at me suspiciously as my son carefully stays between the dog and me. They leave, and I finish getting ready, confident that our little talk will help keep him the little skeptic I'm trying to raise.

5 comments:

Jennifer said...

Don't forget, Snag, dog backwards is god!

I can't wait until the youngest snaglet tells his new fundamental friend that you summoned up your dog using black magic... they'll be over at your house trying to save you before you know it... or taking away your children. I guess your plan is working. :)

teh l4m3 said...

Don't let your kids hang out with the fundamentalists, unless you want them to catch the gay. And the aids. Okay, not the aids, but it's the syphilis-infected aids crabs smothered in ghonorrhea that will really get them.

billy pilgrim said...

We could have used that pentagram mumbo jumbo a while back. Mieshka did what your son said everything does.

The lovely Mrs. Pilgrim lasted 4 days before we got a new pup. Superhuman effort, that.

I've found that Penn and Teller's Bullshit has been handy in cultivating skepticism in a certain twelve year old.

And do let your kids hang out with teh.

Snag said...

Jennifer's been smoking dope in the dorms again.

I take it that Mieshka was not a flushable pet. You should have told the twelve-year old that the fundies killed the pet with God crabs. See how that went.

Pinko Punko said...

Hell hound gets me every time.

"And Lucifer beat his wings and bleated "thou shalt belch forth thy stench, and it shall be frito the fullest!"