Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Son, The Biologist

SpermWhale 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.


  1. "We had enough weather-related togetherness last week to hold us through the spring. The spring of 2015"

    That literally made me laugh out loud.

    1. Since that is almost in the intro, I hope the rest of the post wasn't downhill from there.

  2. Was it just me or was this post link heavy? Almost like you're trying to spam yourself...

    and... at 9, I'm trying to figure out how to tell August. We have a great book which I need to find about the subject. Full of cartoons, but not cartoony. It's very comprehensive, exhaustive and matter of fact. that seemed to work best with our oldest.

    1. I cop to overlinking. Just trying to let newbie get the whole story.

    2. Took me FOREVER to find it. Couldn't remember the author or illustrator. Turns out there are two of them.

  3. Hmm. I seem to recall long bizarre passages in Moby-Dick (who says that's not a double-entendre?!) in which Ishmael waxes eloquent about the spermicetti harvested from whales, as he squeezes it luxuriously through his fingers...

    Might want to limit too much study of whales before the birds/bees talk, too.

  4. God help you when he does learn what sperm are and his brain still maintains the whale connection. Nightmare fodder, that is.

    1. Wow. That was not any where near my thoughts. I'mnot look forward to my own bed time now.

  5. Your posts and the guys who comment on them always crack me up! If I could be half as witty.... And yes, enjoy the innocent years. If I ever morph into a blogger I will tell you about the momentus day I took my ravishing daughter to get her braces off then to the pediatrician's office to get a prescription for the Pill...yes, for her. I'm still getting over it. Then there was the day she fainted on me in the tattoo may be sure I never thought I'd utter THAT sentence in my lifetime.
    Beth...beleagured Mom

    1. Beth - it sounds like you are on the way. Thanks, on behalf of me and my witty commenters.

  6. This brings back the haunting memories of one 45 minute time span when I had to clear up:
    "What is sexy?" (Over used advertising term)
    "What is sex?" (Get on the internet to find a book)
    "Is Santa real?" (Of course, look at my credit card statement)
    "I guess the Easter Bunny is out too" (Let me ask Harvey)

  7. As a first time reader, I can't get over how your family comes off as something out of a Tim Burton movie. (I mean that in the best way.) The way you refer to yourselves as "The Uncools" and your son as "Excitable" is terrific, and will cause these "characters" to stick with me much longer than any ol' Steve and Ed.

    Anyways, this was hilarious. And now I've got quite a backlog of posts to read, so thanks for ruining what could have been a productive day with your wittiness!

    1. Jacob, I'm flattered. Also, I'm a bit lopsided in certain areas, but nonetheless, flattered.

  8. Hey, funny male blogger, I am glad I found you. Thanks for the laughs! I don't need a personal email-but I'd love a visit to my blog. Sometimes I'm funny, too.

  9. Well, that's one way to bust life's biggest questions and episode at a time.

  10. Sup, Uncool. I'm dreading the "birds and bees" talk myself. Since my oldest girl was stung by a bee recently and thinks birds do nothing but crap on your car,....I don't think the conversation will start off on the right foot when the time comes.

    Thanks for a funny post. Needed that today.


  11. oh those awkward moments and questions, that seem to be happening on an ever increasing basis as I'm the Dad to four rapidly growing boys! my eldest son is 8 and half and saw his first pair of naked breast on a film on the movie channel that happen to be on(a comedy not about sex), well what could I do tell him, to stop and make a big deal of it. he told me "I'm Just looking" I told him "it o.k. mate" and we carried on the day.



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