Friday, January 22, 2010

Sticks, Stones and Bones

George the Younger announced yesterday during our normally spirited dinner conversation that his friends at school call him a "Twinkie." Yellow on the outside. White on the inside. He laughed about it. We laughed with him. Ha ha ha.

Then I got to thinking. Should we think that this is funny? It doesn't seem to bother him. In some way, I think he believes it a badge of honor of sorts. If your friends are taking the time to think of amusing nicknames for you - doesn't that make you part of the group? And yet, there's something about it that is nagging me. I won't Dwell - since it's not what I do. Still, there may come a time when he doesn't think it's so humorous.

We don't linger too much on the whole "adoption" part of our boys lives. We don't celebrate "gotcha day" or spend much time talking about their SE Asian ancestry. They have photo albums that memorialize our trips to go and fetch them. The requisite first photos that we got of them (George the Younger with his HUGE pie hole and stinking up hair. Henry looking like an 80 year old Indian business man with a bald head and wrinkled forehead). Plane tickets, pictures of orphanages and nannies, photos of Phnom Penh and Saigon. But, beyond yanking those out every one in a blue moon - well, the topic doesn't come up much. In our house they're just our kids. No matter where they came from or how they got here.

Reality is though - they were adopted and raised by your run-o-the-mill white folks. Yup. Twinkies. Yellow on the outside. White on the inside. So, while I won't dwell - I think I will noodle on whether this means anything or not and just let it sit for a bit.

In other news, Otto (the dog) got a new bone yesterday. He's a nylabone kind of guy. Being a decent dog sort, he doesn't chew on anything but his bones. Good dog. I got him a new chicken flavored one yesterday. Much excitement. Much chewing. Much showing of the new bone to his brothers when they got home from school.

Later in the aforementioned spirited dinner conversation, I wondered out loud how the dog bone designers tested whether or not the bones actually had the flavor of chicken. Do they have hoards of dog taste testers who rank the chicken flavoring from 1 to 10? Can a dog actually tell you that it tastes like chicken, or ham, or bacon for that matter? Dogs chew shoes and sniff poop for fun. Do they even care whether a bone smacks of chickeny goodness?

George the Elder then challenged George the Younger to take a taste of the bone just to see. The Younger immediately nixed the offer. The Elder starting offering money. It's true that everything has a price, isn't it? $20 was the agreed upon consideration. And, damn if the Younger didn't go over and wrench the bone right from Ottos slobbery mouth! He was about to start his trial chomping on the ends - the same ends that Otto had been chewing for the better part of the afternoon and therefore were already sullied with copious amounts of dog drool. I recommended just starting at the center where the nyla remained pristine. He thanked me for my recommendation. George the Elder glared at me for pruning his fun factor. Obviously he wanted gnawing AND ingestion of Otto spit for his $20.

And the deed was done. Result? No chicken flavor. Tasted "like rubber." Go figure. Henry, didn't believe it, thought maybe George the Younger didn't chew hard or long enough, so he got in on the action too. Same deal $20. He actually chewed longer and harder trying to excavate some of that chickeny goodness. No deal. Still just rubber.

Suffice to say that while all of this masticating was going on - George the Elder and I were laughing. I mean really laughing. And with the enticement of 20 clams, even Henry's germ-a-phob nature wasn't going to get in the way of his claiming that money.

I said to George the Elder in the kitchen later that I thought that they would have done it for $10 bucks a piece. He replied that for that kind of a show, he would have paid $50. Lucky for me the bid didn't go that high. I only had $40 in my wallet.

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