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5:23 a.m. - 2003-02-06


Yesterday at lunch, Susie and I met at the Speech Clinic to watch a video that would help us teach Andrew how to speak.

The name of the video was "Oh Say What You See", a spoof on the first line of "The Star Spangled Banner".

...Or the National Anthem.

...Or Cyndi Lauper's "She Bop". I have a terrible time with song lyrics these days.

Anyhooooo...we meet there to watch it. It was my job to bring lunch so that we could eat lunch while we watched it.

I guess Susie thought I'd grab us a burger from McDonalds or something. I stopped and got Chili in a Boule Bread Bowl from McAllister's Deli.

Basically it's this meaty chili in a bowl made of bread. You eat the chili and then the bowl. It's scrumpdillyumptious. You can eat the spoon too, but it's made of plastic and has the potential to make your next bathroom visit a bit discomforting.

Anyway, what I completely forgot was...this chili is kinda messy. You're eating it out of a bread bowl and then eating the bowl. You're bound to get something on you. It's the law of physics.

So we're TRYING to watch this video while we sit at a table that's maybe 18 inches high in these little tiny baby chairs. We're so conscious of not trying to spill any chili on our clothes that we're barely paying attention to the video.

Scratch that. I'm trying to pay attention to the chili and not the video.

Susie's absorbed in the video. And as a result, her shirt looked like she had been stabbed in the heart multiple times when we left.

As far as the video ....ewwww.

Have you noticed that any video made before say...1981...they really give you the creeps today?

This one was maybe 1980 or so. The "Doctor" in the video had feathered hair that covered both his ears. His "assistant" looked like a flower child.

So they're in this room with this woman and her child Miguel. Miguel was probably two and had the language capabilities of a tongue-less ape.

First we see footage of the Mom interacting with Miguel as he plays with toys.

"Are you pushing the car? What sound does the car make? Does it go 'Vroom, Vroom'? Can you talk to Mommy? Please Miguel, say something. The cameras are on us. Please say something. Say something you brainless little shit. Say something before I punch you in the balls. Hard. Mommy loves you, Miguel. Don't be a bad boy and make Mommy punch your nuts off. Can you say something, Miguel?"

"I think she did good," I said, admiring the woman's technique but not her late 70s hairstyle.

"Me too," Susie said, dabbing the remains of her bread bowl on her chest to sop up some chili.

The doctor came on the screen.

"This was SOOOOOO wrong," he says.

"Huh?!?" we say in unison.

Apparently something like 95% of what Miguel's Mom said consisted of questions and demands.

You don't ask the kid questions. The kid can't communicate and will retreat from ever talking.

You don't tell him what to do. He doesn't want to be told what to do. He's merely trying to comprehend what stuff is and doesn't want to be a slave or put on parade for everyone's amusement.

Instead, you describe everything he's doing in four and five word sentences.

So then we go back to the doctor and his assistant who are going to be playing the role of Miguel and his mother.

The role of Miguel goes to the assistant. Dr. Feelgood plays the mother.

So we watch this lady playing with these cheap assed toys while the doctor talks to her like she's the most sensitive child in the world.

"You are pushing the red car. Back and forth. Back and forth. Now you are playing with an airplane. Airplanes fly. Fly,fly, fly. Watch the airplane fly. That is a ball. It is a blue ball. It needs some special sexual loving from the doctor's assistant. Squeeze the blue ball, Miguel. And grip the pee-pee while you're down there. That's it, Miguel. Back and forth, back and forth. Up and down. Up and down."

Okay...the doctor didn't really get a handjob from his assistant. But as strange as this video was, it wouldn't have shocked me in the least if all of a sudden it took a sharp turn and ended up in porno-land.

So anyway, we learned that we ask Andrew way too many questions that he's not capable of answering yet.

Stuff like "Who do you think the Democratic nominee for President will be in 2004?"

I mean...he's a smart kid. But I don't think political analysis is in the cards for him just yet.

And the video said that this sort of talk is only required for about 30 minutes a day. So we took him to his playroom and did a running commentary on everything he did last night, like a couple of sportscasters.

"You're playing with your flash cards. You just put the 'Clown' card down. The Clown's face is white. Probably due to alcohol poisoning. Clowns are scary people. They will eat your spine. Stay away from clowns. Evil, evil clowns."

I just hope we're not warping the poor boy.

I'd hate for him to grow up into an adult and talk like this.

I could just imagine him showing up at a business meeting.

"I'm Andrew. I have many papers in my case. They are white. White papers are good. You are very fat. You need to lose weight. Being fat is bad. Bad, bad, bad. You will die soon. Because you are fat. What? What did you say?Why? Why am I fired? Being fired is bad. Bad, bad, bad. I have a gun. I told you that you would die soon. Blam blam. I shoot the gun at you. Die, mean fat man."

I just...I just hope I'm not the father of Sling Blade II.

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