Friday, June 01, 2007

Burning Questions

Little-known fact about the Geneva Convention: It expressly forbids the use of children as soldiers in war. That doesn’t seem to be surprising given the fact Whitney Houston’s 1985 hit “Greatest Love of All” explains that “children are our future/teach them well and let them lead the way” – the conventioneers are big Whitney fans, although there’s a faction who believes Bobby Brown was treated unfairly in the divorce. At any rate, some of you who have children may have already guessed at the reasoning behind such a prohibition: employing a miniature militia would give you an unfair advantage, and we all know that war is so much better when everyone plays by the rules.

Imagine little Johnny captured by the enemy and taken to a remote area for questioning. Before they even get the blindfold off of his eyes, Johnny’s already on the offensive – not with any weapon involving flint or steel but his tireless 9-year-old curiosity, his Weapon of Mass Distraction.

“What kind of fabric is this blindfold made of? It feels scratchy. My mom says that I shouldn’t put anything sharp near my eyes. Have you ever been poked in the eye? My cousin Philip threw a Hot Wheel at me once – well it was an accident, he was pretending he was Evil Knievel jumping the Grand Canyon – and it hit me right here above my eye. I’m glad he didn’t hit me in the eye because it could have blinded me. Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon? What kind of car were we riding in? Does it get good gas mileage? I hope it’s not making the hole in the ozone layer any bigger. Do you think the hole’s always been there and scientists are just noticing now?”

Although your average youngster could probably deliver the preceding soliloquy in about twenty seconds and in one breath, it would be just enough time for the enemies to lay their guns down and tie themselves up – but not before finding something to jam in their ears. It would seem to be a great idea to give a kid a microphone and broadcast his musings over a loud speaker on the field of battle – the other side would most certainly surrender without firing a shot. However – and this is what the conventioneers foresaw – if both sides were to use this ploy, war would never end!

Although I don’t remember it this way, I must have been hellishly inquisitive as a child, and my parents have found the ultimate revenge. I’m the fourth of four children. My sister, who is the oldest, used to work with lawyers all day and now she works with commercial real estate brokers – she’s bound to have thick skin after all that. My oldest brother is successfully self-employed, so he’s clearly demonstrated his ability to see tough times through. My other brother had the tenacity to make it through West Point and Harvard, and he and his wife are expecting their eighth child ON PURPOSE, so it goes without saying that he’s got grit. Me? I write a humor column and wear pants as infrequently as possible because they make me feel hot – and not in a sexy way. And yet my mom and dad have decided to make me responsible for pulling the plug if they’re ever on life support. Not the sister who works in a cutthroat environment day in and day out, nor the brother who went to West Point and learned to kill. No, apparently I’m the one who has ice water flowing through his veins.

All I know is that if it ever comes to that, I’m going to be asking a lot of questions

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?