December 11, 2017

 

Oort Cloud Oddities: Peevil Knievel

 
 
 

Watch closely and you will see this truism: Little girls grow up to become women. Little boys grow up to become taller, stronger little boys.

A case in point: the family was spending some time together this past weekend. While the rest of us chatted, my dad was reading to my daughter from her new favorite book. The conversation was about kids in the neighborhood. The book was about space flight.

"Look, Lillian," we could hear my dad in the background. "Kennedy Space Center is where the space shuttle lives. It's also a national wildlife refuge, where lots of endangered species live, like manatees, whooping cranes and the space program. Can you say 'budget cuts'?"

I was busy trying to tell my mother and my husband, John, about a club that one of my neighbors found out her boys have joined. "They said it was the 'Far Pee Club'. When she asked what that was, they told her that in order to make it in, you have to be able to hit the toilet from a certain distance."

"Boys will be boys," my mother rolled her eyes. "Maybe you should write a series of children's books about it. 'The Babysitters Club' was such a successful little franchise."

"Kids these days," John scoffed. "If they want to do it right, they need to get their friends to lay down in front of the toilet in a row, then see who can make it over them into the toilet. Now that takes skill!"

"Okay, Peevil Knievel," I shook my head.

"You had some strange friends growing up, John," my mother observed.

"Nah," he said. "Just some gullible ones."

Meanwhile, my father could still be heard. "See the clouds of superheated steam coming off the launch pad as the shuttle goes into the sky? They go rolling through the wildlife refuge. Every time the shuttle launches, there is one less endangered species in the reserve. Isn't that nice? After every launch, the Mission Control cafeteria serves manatee minestrone as the soup of the day. See the picture? The launch tower gets flooded with water to keep it cool. Whooping cranes do not get flooded with water, but that's okay; they taste better when they're crispy."

My mother looked over at him with pursed lips. "What are you reading, Bernie?"

"Lillian's space book. Look, it says here that astronauts can keep food inside their helmets to snack on during spacewalks. It also says that after that horrible sizzling fajita accident in '79, nine out of ten astronauts prefer freeze dried foods to scalding liquids and sear-temperature meats."

"I hear they used to supply our astronauts with gourmet meals, but there were too many complaints about working with fresh, live Maine lobsters in the helmet," John nodded.

"Isn't it time to go play outside?" my mother asked. I think she was referring to Lillian.

"Ooo, look, Lillian. Boom! The space shuttle breaks the sound barrier when it comes in for a landing! See the little man in Mission Control? He's saying, 'Endeavour, this is Houston. You have broken the sound barrier. Be advised that the cost for replacing it will be deducted from your paychecks.'"

"I think Lillian wants to play in the pool," my mother said in a tone that meant the decision had already been made.

John and my father took Lillian out to play in the water while I stayed to help my mother finish up in the kitchen. "I'm so glad I had a daughter," I sighed as we walked out back to join them. My daughter was picking flowers from the patio and passing them around. "Girls are so much more couth than boys."

My mother nodded agreement, and we smiled as we watched Lillian hand a flower to Grandpa and tuck it in his hat. She picked a flower for Daddy and put it in his shirt pocket. She picked a flower for herself and then paused, stymied. Without bathing suit or diaper, my little naturalist found herself without anywhere to tuck her flower. Thoughtfully, she reached around behind her and began to wedge the stem in what I'm sure seemed to her to be a fairly convenient spot.

"LILLIAN!" I said, shouting to be heard over the laughter from my husband and my father. "Try tucking the flower behind your ear instead."

"You were saying?" my mother asked dryly.

"She's John's daughter."

"Come on, Lillian," smiled my father. "Let's play 'Cape Canaveral clean up'. I'll get the skimmer, you pretend the bugs floating on the water are sea turtles after shuttle liftoff."

Most little girls grow up to be mature women. And maybe the men in my family are the only ones who grew up to be extra tall fourth graders. But as long as my daughter doesn't grow up to become the next Peevil Knievel, I wouldn't have my family any other way.

This article first appeared in the Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin

Article © Alexandra Queen. All rights reserved.
Published on 2004-06-26


0 Reader Comments
Add your own comments!
The Piker Press moderates all comments. The commenting policy can be found
here.
Name

Email

Comments




In the same series:

Oort Cloud Oddities: Who wears the dress in this kitchen?
Oort Cloud Oddities: Shoe sizes
Oort Cloud Oddities: A Woman Who Likes Football
Oort Cloud Oddities: Alternative Pest Control
Oort Cloud Oddities: Bathrooms
Oort Cloud Oddities: Art is suffering
Oort Cloud Oddities: James Lick's Monument
Oort Cloud Oddities: Efficiency Kitchen
Oort Cloud Oddities: Bird Flu
Oort Cloud Oddities: Ford
Oort Cloud Oddities: Women's Equality Day
Oort Cloud Oddities: Spring Horoscopes 1
Oort Cloud Oddities: Name Branding
Oort Cloud Oddities: Florida Pizza
Oort Cloud Oddities: Off the Path
Oort Cloud Oddities: Coffee Feng Shui
Oort Cloud Oddities: Family Travels
Oort Cloud Oddities: April 15
Oort Cloud Oddities: Skidmarks and Gay Cowboys
Oort Cloud Oddities: Birthday Worms
Oort Cloud Oddities: Pizza Parent Pain
Oort Cloud Oddities: Sharkey the Impaler
Oort Cloud Oddities: Internet Birthday
Oort Cloud Oddities: Fourmyle and the Hat
Oort Cloud Oddities: Cupid and the Tomkitten
Oort Cloud Oddities: 50 is better
Oort Cloud Oddities: Smarter Clothes
Oort Cloud Oddities: Worm Guy
Oort Cloud Oddities: Scary Workout Videos
Oort Cloud Oddities: 2005 in review
Oort Cloud Oddities: Kentucky Fried Christmas
Oort Cloud Oddities: Gross Gifts
Oort Cloud Oddities: State Slogans
Oort Cloud Oddities: Black Friday
Oort Cloud: Pot and Brain Growth
Oort Cloud Oddities: Naughty Wasp
Oort Cloud Oddities: Cats Hate Winter
Oort Cloud Oddities: Potty Helmet Laws
Oort Cloud Oddities: Foraging
Oort Cloud Oddities: Two-Stroke Engine Man
Oort Cloud Oddities: Corrupting Games
Oort Cloud Oddities: Spinach!!
Oort Cloud Oddities: Talk Like A Pirate Day
Oort Cloud Oddities: Mutant Mice
Oort Cloud Oddities: Beer and Football
Oort Cloud Oddities: Dragonfly Swarm
Oort Cloud Oddities: Miss Plastic Surgery
Oort Cloud Oddities: Hydrophobic Felines
Oort Cloud Oddities: Forum Fonts
Oort Cloud Oddities: Astrological Hair
Oort Cloud Oddities: Martong Theme Restaurant
Oort Cloud Oddities: Axing the TV
Oort Cloud Oddities: Hempopotamus
Oort Cloud Oddities: Growing Pains
Oort Cloud Oddities: British Sporks
Oort Cloud Oddities: Night of the Living 'Do
Oort Cloud Oddities: Stuck in a Tree
Oort Cloud Oddities: Picasso
Oort Cloud Oddities: Finger Food
Oort Cloud Oddities: Safe Surfing
Oort Cloud Oddities: DIY Therapy
Oort Cloud Oddities: Steroids and Baseball
Oort Cloud Oddities: Mrs. Mike
Oort Cloud Oddities: Oscar Birthday
Oort Cloud Oddities: Gift Enema
Oort Cloud Oddities: Cry Room
Oort Cloud Oddities: HMO blues
Oort Cloud Oddities: FishinFoo
Oort Cloud Oddities: Squid Eye
Oort Cloud Oddities: Cantina
Oort Cloud Oddities: Beese
Oort Cloud Oddities: Health Care
Oort Cloud Oddities: Squid-Eye Love
Oort Cloud Oddities:LibraryDay
Oort Cloud Oddities: Yeast
Oort Cloud Oddities: Fantasy Playoffs
Oort Cloud Oddities: 2004 In Review
Oort Cloud Oddities: Kid Rock Dog Farts
Oort Cloud Oddities: Rainy Day Raiders
Oort Cloud Oddities: Birthright Pie
Oort Cloud Oddities: Bruce-Free Thanksgiving
Oort Cloud Oddities: Napoleon
Oort Cloud Oddities: Meaningful Books
Oort Cloud Oddities: Viking Sanchez
Oort Cloud Oddities: Halloween Costumes
Oort Cloud Oddities: Key Ring Synergy
Oort Cloud Oddities: Mohawk Mommy
Oort Cloud Oddities: Clerihews
Oort Cloud Oddities: Learning Poetry
Oort Cloud Oddities: The Genesis of Gender
Oort Cloud Oddities: Sightseeing
Oort Cloud Oddities: Movie Merchandise
Oort Cloud Oddities: Lotion
Oort Cloud Oddities: Writers Online
Oort Cloud Oddities: Clothing
Oort Cloud Oddities: Summer Movies
Oort Cloud Oddities: Cheap Summer Travel
Oort Cloud Oddities: Galapagos TV
Oort Cloud Oddities: The Horse Whisperer
Oort Cloud Oddities: Nazgul Gardeners
Oort Cloud Oddities: Peevil Knievel
Oort Cloud Oddities: Body Image
Oort Cloud Oddities: The Pickle Jar
Oort Cloud Oddities: Ground Squirrels
Oort Cloud Oddities: CAPTCHAs
Oort Cloud Oddities: Zombie Infection
Oort Cloud Oddities: Haiku War
Oort Cloud Oddities: 2004 Campaign Advice
Oort Cloud Oddities: Child rearing
Oort Cloud Oddities: Hemingway
Oort Cloud Oddities: Clarence Darrow
Oort Cloud Oddities: The 55 MPH Pig
Oort Cloud Oddities: The Mommy Voice
Oort Cloud Oddities: Extreme Hobbies
Oort Cloud Oddities: Presidential Candidates 2004
Oort Cloud Oddities: Free-verse Neanderthal
Oort Cloud Oddities: Coffee Shop Offices
Oort Cloud Oddities: Mad cow
Oort Cloud Oddities: The Enzo vs. the Metro
Oort Cloud Oddities: Real Estate Crocs
Oort Cloud Oddities: Christmas Gifts
Oort Cloud Oddities: Bodice-Rippers and Football
Oort Cloud Oddities: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Oort Cloud Oddities: Aunt Mary and the Pumpkin Pie
Oort Cloud Oddities: Eat or be eaten
Oort Cloud Oddities: New Year's Resolutions
Oort Cloud Oddities: World Beard and Mustache Championships
Oort Cloud Oddities: Grandpa Queen and the Chicken of Doom
Oort Cloud Oddities: Night of the Satanists
Oort Cloud Oddities: Uncle Buddy
Oort Cloud Oddities: Mes de los Muertos
Oort Cloud Oddities: Weapons of Mouse Destruction
Oort Cloud Oddities: Pride comes before a wet pants leg.
Oort Cloud Oddities: Celebrity Relationships
Oort cloud oddities: The rise and fall of the gastropod Mafia
Oort Cloud Oddities: The Devil's Agent
Oort Cloud Oddities: National Nude Recreation Week 2003

Other articles by Alexandra Queen you might enjoy...

Unfit Mother Goose
Eternal Monday Afternoon
Growing Up Wrong
Isoflavones and Black Cohosh
WikiWikiWebster 07
&#%*in' Harvest
Rain, Rain Go Away.
Riding in Cars with Cherries
Peek of the Week 333
Raccoon Mansion
Blair Witch Snail Swap Project
With No Announcement
Monkey Business
Peek of the Week 285
Heart Brake
Food for Thought
Peek of the Week 244
Red Shirt
My Friend Clucka
Peek of the Week 229
Peek of the Week 224
Random Comic
Lichloved 88
Review: Death Race (2008)
Lichloved 87
Lichloved 85
Lichloved 86 - Bonus!
Lichloved 84
Lichloved 83
Lichloved 80-somethin' Synopsis