Category Archives: Uncategorized

On Gilgamesh.

[Allie is about to begin her study of the Epic of Gilgamesh.]

So, kiddo – you get to read Gilamesh tomorrow!


I mean, not the whole thing – it’s quite long.

Right. Obviously. IT IS AN EPIC, AFTER ALL. [Rolls eyes.]

On posterity.

You know, Mum, it wouldn’t be too bad to die* because then I would go down in history as a hero who fought valiantly. Just like Coriolanus, but with more zombies and skeletons.

*In Minecraft.

On opening lines.

Allie is apparently writing a novel. This is the opening line:

Once there was a Universe. A universe that abhorred superheroes.”

On information.

[Watching documentary on the origins of the universe]

I love it when they go over the data.

On genuinely spectacular eyerolls.

[We are leaving dance, and Allie is not pleased about it.]

Argggg I wish I could stay all night – now I have to wait until TOMORROW to go back.

That’s true, but you have modern to look forward to in the meantime.

Mum. You are aware, aren’t you, that just saying a word with particular emphasis doesn’t make my frustration any easier, or tomorrow arrive any faster. You cannot alter space-time with a mere word.

On water pressure.

[Allie is running through the new sprinkler.]


On procrastination, of a sort.

Hey, Allie, are you getting ready to wrap up your independent work today?

Y-e-ssss, but just now I’m making a schematic for one of my inventions. In fact, I will be embroiled in this work all week, so you will need to remind me to switch over to school every so often.

On literary greats.

Mum. When I am older, like – an actual adult with my own computer and email program – the first thing I am going to do is email famous authors.

Oh! That sounds fun – who will you contact?

JK Rowling. Lemony Snicket. [A pause]

It’s really unfortunate about Shakespeare being dead.

On characterizations.

[Cue the incensed voice from the bedroom]

Oh, you – you – you – are just a power-hungry, good-for-nothing, family-disowning….. MORON!!!!!!!!

Uh, who are you talking about, kiddo?


On stating the obvious.

Oh, right! That is the book where her hair grows really long…

Uh, Mum… I thought you might discern that – you know, based on the cover artwork.

On being derivative.


Why is there a character in this book called “Stephano!” EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT STEPHANO IS FROM SHAKESPEARE.

COME ON, Snicket! Be original!

On volatility.

[I am rambling on about Allie’s recent emotional outbursts…]

And I think another thing about your catalysts is – oh wait, do you know what “catalyst” means?

Of course I do. A catalyst causes a chemical reaction to speed up. Like with fireflies and Luciferase – the Luciferase combines with oxygen to produce the light.

Ah, yes. That’s a chemical catalyst – and it’s very interesting! But I’m talking about emotional catalysts.

Right. You are using the term figuratively.

On limits.

You cannot treat me this way!

This is a free country!

And I! Am! A! Person!


On autopsies.

I think the doctors who do autopsies are lucky.

Oh! Why is that?

It would be the very best time to touch a person’s eyeballs. The doctor could feel how weird and squishy the eyeballs were, and the patient wouldn’t mind at all… as they would be dead.

On specific instructions.

Ok, Mum. In this game, we will pull the squeezy toys away from each other in opposite directions, until we reconvene over here under my knees.

On practical clothing.



On that which cannot be unseen.

Mum. These small pieces of ice that are dripping down the car window are neat. They slide into the melted channels made by the ones before them. Do you want to know what they remind me of?


Many tiny colons. Like with tiny little bowel movements moving through them like all the ones that came before.

On verbs.

So the squid releases a jet of ink to confuse the predator. That way, the predator cannot see it squidding away.


Just so you know, I used “squidding” deliberately.

On experiments.

Mum. What is ethanol and where would I find some?

Uhhhh, it’s a kind of alcohol. What do you need it for?

I’m collecting my materials for DNA experiments. Obviously, I should do that before I start.

On credit, where credit is due.

[Also in the change room at the pool, continued from the bit about the report cards.]

…And when I go to the Olympics for swimming, I will look back and remember my instructor from this session, because this is really where it all began.