Why They Keep My Cage Locked

Ma, if you read this, you will be saying, in a shocked voice, “Robert Scott…”. You’ll be grinning, but you’ll say it. That’s as much warning as anyone gets, and more than most. In fact, here’s more, compliments of the house:


Othello and his Imaginary Friend, piddlesdeus, were – for reasons it is best not to examine too closely – discussing whether Othello was circumcised. Othello claimed he was, and, perhaps just for the argument, IF refused to believe him. The subject became heated and finally came to a head (ahem) with Othello waving his free hand and nearly shouting, “–then you can ask Dad. He’ll tell anybody anything.”

I was ready for a break. “Bring him on! I’ll kick his — what am I telling who?”

Othello brought me the phone. “Tell him.”

I grabbed it cheerfully (ah, wine and words tapping onto the screen, an uplifting combination) and quickly snapped out some words of wisdom concerning lubrication. There was shocked silence. Fast-moving angst left cold tire marks down my spine. “Who is this and what are we talking about?” The imaginary friend identified himself. “Oh, good. I was worried it was my mother. What are we talking about?”

“Is Othello cut?”

“Yes! Oh, ye – listen, do you know how small a newborn’s winky is?”

(Othello, in the background: “Hey! I was hung like a five year old right from birth!”
Me: “And you still are. Hush, I’m talking.”)

I continued. “So they slip him the knife, see, and everybody’s clustering around the kid with the new boo-boo, so I kind of make off with the leftovers, if you get me. I’ve got this little tiny ring of the softest uncured leather anybody will ever see, so I soak it in salt and dry it out, a couple of times, and end up with this half-inch wide leather pinky ring. It was great, and if I rubbed it I had a cured leather bracelet, instead!”

More silence.

I had more words to type, so I passed the phone back. Catatonic teenagers are the best kind, but they’re not terribly entertaining. I don’t recall teens being that easy to shock, back in the day.

Bridgette’s probably glad she went to bed early.

Oh — and I’m writing tonight, a very happy thing. I seem to have a system that is working reliably to have me get work done. Good, good, goodgoodgood.

20 thoughts on “Why They Keep My Cage Locked”

  1. I thought you meant the teens were shocking, rather than being shocked by you.

    Nice wallet! (*)

    ***The version I’d heard involved a rabbi and a wallet that became a suitcase.

    1. In fact, that was the ancestral joke I experienced, as well, but I only had one son; even hung like a five year old, he couldn’t supply me with enough skin for a change purse, let alone a wallet.

  2. (Othello, in the background: “Hey! I was hung like a five year old right from birth!”
    Me: “And you still are. Hush, I’m talking.”)


    1. Wisdom is not attained from a position of comfort; I seek to spread wisdom.

      (It keeps the stuff from piling up around me. So messy, those piles of wisdom, and the smell – phew!)

          1. But everything feline that I meet claims to be a tiger. Except for our Alpha Kitty, Shadow, who claims to be a jagular when he is lurking in the roof beams.

            (Important Safety Tip, Egon: When Shadow is lurking in the beams, if you hear an “Oho!” don’t look up. I learned that from Pooh, so it must be true.)

        1. Oops – I wasn’t opaque enough to support the whole “wisdom” schtick. Let me try again.

          Wisdom smells like thunder in under a clear sky. There. That’s koan enough for anyone.

  3. Sure. From The House At Pooh Corner:

    “It’s a Jagular,” he said.

    “What do Jagulars do?” asked Piglet, hoping that they wouldn’t.

    “They hide in the branches of trees, and drop on you as you go underneath,” said Pooh. “Christopher Robin told me.”

    “Perhaps we better hadn’t go underneath, Pooh. In case he dropped and hurt himself.”

    “They don’t hurt themselves,” said Pooh. “They’re such very good droppers.”

    Piglet still felt that to be underneath a Very Good Dropper would be a Mistake, and he was just going to hurry back for something which he had forgotten when the Jagular called out to them.

    “Help! Help!” it called.

    “That’s what Jagulars always do,” said Pooh, much interested. “They call ‘Help! Help!’ and then when you look up, they drop on you.”

    “I’m looking down,” cried Piglet loudly, so as the Jagular shouldn’t do the wrong thing by accident.

    As you can see, Jagulars have to get you to look up before they can drop on you. It’s How Things Are Done. The accepted wisdom around our house is that Jagulars cry out “Oho!” and, when you look up, they drop.

    Frightening prospect, being dropped on by a Jagular.

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