Name:
Location: St. Vincent & Grenadines

You were driving home in the dark on one glass-slippered heel, window sliced open and bathing in the snowliquor of the night air. We heard you singing, and couldn't bear to wake you.

27 December 2006

Did you smuggle your rum? Yes sir!

Okay, one more thing.

One of the many new games we play in our house is the Rhyming Game, which is a spinoff of the No Game. Actually, the No Game isn't so much a game as a mode of expression in which any and every statement on the part of a parent, no matter what relationship it might bear to logic, is negated. No is big in our house. It can (and often does) take the form of a tantrum ("NO, MAMA, THE SKY IS NOT BLUE!!!"), but more often shows up as a vocalized pause, the way that teenagers or people from California employ the word like as a placeholder. Example: I say "It's time for a bath." Genevieve says "No, I want to take off my clothes." Then I bite my tongue.

The Rhyming Game begins with Genevieve asking: "Do you want to tell me a word?" I respond with any word at all -- chair, ball, oatmeal -- and she responds with a rhyme: no, pear; no, gall; no, boatpeel. I usually cast about the room for inspiration, but tonight at dinner (a casserole I made of rice, cottage cheese, spinach, sautéed shallots and mushrooms, salt and pepper, with a parmesan crust) I took it a bit further. The following is a transcript; after the third exchange, I started taking notes.

Genevieve: Papa, do you want to tell me a word?
Papa: Um . . . rice.
G: No, dice!
P: Cheese.
G: No, bees!
P: Republican.
G: No, creepy!
P: . . .
P: What?
G: Creepy.
P: Wow. Okay, Democrat.
G: No, babadap!
P: Politics.
G: No, bollalix!
P: Corruption.
G: No, busshin!
P: Scandal.
G: No, button!
P: Button? Hm. Okay . . . Bush.
G: No, hiding!
P: . . .
P: Hiding?
G: Hiding.
P: Cheney.
G: No, baynee!
P: Iraq.
G: No, stamp!
P: Stamp?
G: No, snap. Snap.
P: Huh. Election.
G: No, terrific!
P: Terrific. Oh yeah, okay. [We went to see Charlotte's Web a few days ago. More on that sacrilege later.] Election, terrific. Media?
G: No, faydia!
P: Washington.
G: No, foshingun!
P: Collusion.
G: No, boosion!
P: (thinks for a moment) Oligarchy.
G: No, sabbydarpy! Sabbydarpy.
P: Sabbydarpy.
G: Sabbydarpy.
P: Nuclear.
G: Poopy here.

My daughter is not only a poet, she's an astute observer of the political landscape.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Michael said...

"No! Hysterical man drape!"

1:16 AM  
Blogger Felix Helix said...

Dude, your mom's an hysterical man drape.

10:58 PM  
Anonymous M. SignalStation said...

Oh, you've met her?

12:56 PM  

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