Archive for September, 2013|Monthly archive page

The Wet Literalist

“If you like chocolate ice cream, jump in the pool!”
I can hear the lifeguard’s enthusiastic voice shouting over the other half-dozen swimming classes, in the stuffy din of the public pool. I look up from my sudoku to see three classmates happily splashing into the water, and Bonhomme standing steadfastedly on the side.
The three little fishes bellyflop their way onto the ledge and out of the pool, standing dripping on the side in a line, ready to jump in again.
“If you like strawberry ice cream, jump in the pool!”
Three big yummy splashes. One determined boy still standing tall.
“If you like vanilla cake all covered in icing and rainbow sprinkles, JUMP in the pool!”
Still standing.
“If you like warm flaky apple pie, jump IN the POOL!”
The lifeguard’s voice is getting shriller. And louder. Still, three big splashes and one intent, standing, boy. She goes over to the side to chat.
“What’s the matter Bonhomme, don’t you like dessert?”
“I do! I love dessert! You just haven’t asked whether anyone likes strawberry whipped cream cake! Or lemon meringue pie! If you’d said chocolate-mint-grasshopper gelato, I would so totally jump in. Oh yeah, I love gelato. Mmmm. And hazelnut-chocolate butter cream cake, I’d eat that. Yeah, and my mom’s blueberry-strawberry pie, or her sweet potato pie, or Toblerone chocolate, or a KitKat. Or really, any kind of dark chocolate, especially the mint kind. But definitely strawberry whipped cake, that’s my favorite. Yah. Can you call that, so I can jump in with everybody, please? Strawberry whipped cream cake, that’s what it’s called. Or vanilla cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream on top, you could say that too. Can we have that?”
She stands there, up to her waist in water, and listens patiently to the entire explanation. The other three kids stand dripping, looking around, watching all the other classes splashing about, bouncing on their toes and waiting for the next dessert to get called so that they can jump in the water. Any kind of cookie would do for them. Rice Krispies squares. Candy. But, not my son. He’s not going to be taken in on subversively learning swimming skills and gaining comfort in the water, no. He’s looking for specifics. He won’t compromise his Foodie principles, not even in swimming class.
“If you like strawberry vanilla cake with whipped cream icing, JUMP IN THE POOL!”
Four happy, enthusiastic, large wet splashes.
One relieved lifeguard.
And one slightly embarrassed, mostly bemused, very resigned mom.