With the sky thick with snow-spewing clouds and the icy layers building upon the satellite dish, our weekly family TV ritual was called on account of premature winter. The Uncools scattered to their separate rooms and separate personal electronic devices because we had enough weather-related togetherness last week to hold us through the spring. The spring of 2015.
The exception was Excitable. He punched remote buttons for the Flatscreen of Awesomeness and maneuvered the drop-down menus to dip into the raging stream of online videos. He called up one of my favorites, Mythbusters, which he also enjoys even if it not for all the same comely, red-headed nerdy reasons as his old man. But the rest will come soon enough.
Together we sat and laughed and learned with Adam and Jamie as they explored the scientific truths behind legends such as “Can a penny thrown off the top of The Empire State building kill a pedestrian on the sidewalk?” and “Could a person be buried alive and live?”
Then came the episodes on “cola myths.”
Will a tooth left in a glass of cola overnight dissolve? (No, but it will turn a shade of brown not seen since the diaper days.)
Is cola an effective chrome polish? (Yes, but who has much chrome to polish these days?)
Is cola an effective spermicide?
“What spermicide?” Excitable asked.
“Something that kills sperm.”
“What’s sperm?” he said to my surprise. My surprise because, at 10, he is the smarty pants about all things flora- and fauna-wise and … and … and -- hey, don’t I pay my taxes so public schools cover this touchy stuff so I don’t have to?
“Um, well …
“Oh, wait,” he said. “Sperm. Like a sperm whale.”
“Yep. Like a sperm whale.”
And the episode played on.
The day is rapidly approaching when we will have to discuss all things male and female, birds and bees. But not now. Let him stay innocent and wondrous and child-like a little longer before it disappears forever into the adult world of sex and cynicism and snark. That’s all I ask.
The rest will come soon enough.