Queerer than we can suppose—Q&A with the kiddies

My Fellow Inebriates,

I fell asleep huddled among the empties last night, which meant I was in the kitchen for the following breakfast conversations.

V: Mummy, did the Easter Bunny write my name on this Kit Kat bunny?

Mum: Yup.

V: Oh. Because I thought you wrote it.

Mum: Nope. And it’s not for eating right now.

V: I know that. The puppy knows everything.

Even though V likes to refer to herself in the third person, her bullshit meter is sharp. My parents will get away with Easter Bunny activities for another year maybe, if that—and it won’t be their eldest who drops the bomb; it’ll be four-year-old Miss V.

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If you’ve ever tried to get a grade one and a preschooler off to school by 8:31 (yes, union regulations dictate that school starts not at 8:30 but 8:31), you know what a scramble it is. I’m not usually awake for it, but since I’d made my nest among the beer bottles, I had a listening post.

P: Mummy, do we believe in God?

Mum: Well, you can if you want, it’s up to you. What do you want, cereal or toast?

P: I mean, is God real?

Mum: Well, a lot of kids in your class probably go to church, right?

P: Uh huh. Do we go to church?

Mum: Nope. Cereal or toast?

P: Why not?

Mum: Because it’s totally boring. You have to sit still for, like, an hour and be really quiet.

P: I think I’ll believe whatever you believe.

Mum: That’s usually the way it works in families. But it’s up to you. Cereal?

This isn’t as negligent as it sounds. If P really wanted to go to church, my mum would find a churchgoing acquaintance to take her. And then she’d bore the shit out of the kid deconstructing the whole thing afterwards. My mum loves religion. She just doesn’t believe in it.

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P: Mummy, why do grown-ups smell?

Mum: Like, why do they have body odor and bad breath and stuff?

P: Yeah.

Mum: Well, it all comes down to hormones. Where are your shoes? Grab your shoes.

P: Hormones?

Mum: Yeah, body odor is all about territoriality and mating. Got the black shoes?

P: Mating?

Mum: Yeah, you know, because humans are basically animals, and animals like each other’s smells; that’s why they mate. Three minutes, guys, we gotta go.

P: You mean, like get together?

[And P mimes a big hug. Three minutes is not enough to get into this.]

Mum: Kind of like getting married—animals getting married. They like each other’s smells so they get together and have babies. Just like Daddy and I have babies. Got your shoes? Okay, which jacket?

P: Oh, but Daddy has showers so he can smell good.

Mum: I know, isn’t it awesome?

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Whatever contradictions manage to coexist in our brains, the kids’ questions do not stop. Get this one.

P: Mummy, is LB real?

Mum: Of course he’s real. Look at him.

P: I mean, is he alive?

Mum: Yeah. Of course.

P: But he’s a stuffie!

Mum: A what?

P: He’s a stuffed animal.

Mum: Oh. Then how did he wink that day when we bought him?

P: But he doesn’t move.

Mum: Sure he moves.

P: No, you move him!

Mum: What are you talking about? That’s crazy.

P: Mummy!

Mum: He’s perfectly real. There’s a whole construct called “LB.” He’s as solid an idea as anything else. The notion of LB exists, and the people around him support it.

[At which point P is moved to hug yours truly. This either represents a point for a mother trying to score points off her child, or the indulgence of a child who knows her mother is batshit crazy.]

Mum: Stranger things are believed in by more people based on a lot less evidence. LB has a blog. Of course he exists.

[And then she makes it weirder.]

Mum: I even saw a bunch of little bears that look just like LB in Save-On Foods. Just like him, only really small, for $2.99. They’re probably his offspring.


(While walking to school)
V: Mummy, I wish that person wouldn’t leave dog shit all over the ground.

Dear dad—buy some liquor

I sent my dad a chat message today but he didn’t answer it. Maybe he’ll check his email or Facebook or the blog—or maybe he’ll hear me crying. Or maybe not. So I’m writing him an open letter.

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Hi dad, I know you think I’m too drunk to pay attention but guess what—I know you changed jobs and that things are going to change at LBHQ. Have you considered upgrading our liquor budget yet?

I know running your own business has been a wild ride, but I haven’t enjoyed its feast-or-famine aspect. Whenever you and mum say you have to wait for clients to pay you before you can spend any “silly” money, I just feel misunderstood. Surely you know that liquor spending is not frivolous—that for physiologically addicted bears it is a necessity, and that the animal keening from wherever the kids abandoned him on the floor after practically ripping him a new orifice while completely oblivious to his delirium tremens is your friend LB.

So let’s get serious. The liquor cabinet is in an embarrassing state. Mere drops of Malibu remain, and medical friends have advised us not to drink the worm-polluted mescale (although I would if I could get the bottle open).

I sent you a proper list but I haven’t heard back from you. Mum gave me some very unsatisfactory answers, and even suggested that dentistry should precede a booze spree. (I thought we hated dentists.) I realize you are excited about other aspects of your new job such as getting to know your team and organizing that big project they sent you right away, but seriously, dad, have a little compassion and buy some booze.

Here’s a touching picture to help you get your empathy flowing. 

Medo the bear plays with a family dog in Slovenia. Photo: Reuters

Monday morning pick-me-up

My Fellow Inebriates,

I’m a big fan of Drinks Mixer, so I often find myself there on Monday morning looking for a pick-me-up. The question is, am I going to acquire any gin anytime soon?

You see, the random drink function on Drinks Mixer has commanded me to fix myself a Dick Cheney shooter. Now, this is a relatively new drink, originated by ShotDrinks.com eponymously after a certain hunting incident in the US, and containing these ingredients:

  • 1 part gin
  • 1 part lemon lime soda
  • 1/2 part rum
  • splash grenadine

Instructions say to use just enough grenadine to give the drink a reddish tint, not make it as “red as the blood that Dick Cheney inflicted on his hunting partner.” Ouch!

I don’t have any grenadine, so my drink—should my gin arrive today—is going to be bloodless, which is fine, because blood really, really freaks me out. Also, I don’t have a clue who Dick Cheney is. I’m just a bear, after all.

I spent a few minutes trying to contact him this morning but learned he is uncontactable (is that like “unaccountable”?). I thought, if I managed to get hold of him, I would ask him to send me some gin. But then I started worrying that he might have some bear-hunting experience and come after me. I would probably be easier to hit than a quail but slightly more difficult than Harry Whittington.

I started worrying about bears getting shot, then, and went ahead and resorted to drinking leftover Malibu, my fallback in a household where liquor shopping is not sufficiently prioritized and my cries for spirits go heedless. And through the Malibu blur I started wondering how I could help animals, especially animals staring down the barrel of a gun, punk animals who don’t feel so lucky. So I dicked around with my site a bit and learned that I could add a charity area that you guys can click on to support animals. I’m excited about being able to support the World Wildlife Fund, and I hope you’ll do your bit and click your support as well. Cheers, friends!