Tuesday, December 16, 2008

rhetorical flourish


I am friends with a young fellow who I'll call M. M is four years old, tall for his age, blonde in a Dennis the Menace kind of way, and uncannily clever. He has a way with words far beyond his years and has a gentle, sensitive, inquisitive nature that often disarms people. He is so amicable people often do not know what to make of him. He is one of my favorite people.

One of the most delightful things about this young character is his penchant for describing and naming things in fabulous detail and with words you'd never expect out of the mouth of a four-year-old. A few weeks after Halloween he pointed out his family's forgotten jack-o-lanterns wasting away in the yard, and told me that those pumpkins were "decaying." Recently his mom told me a story about him explaining to her that he wanted to share his "loves" with her and then described his loves according to the colors and degrees of sparkliness as he saw them.

Today, while playing a game in which he attempts to surprise his mom and she is supposed to act scared, she overdid it and yelled out. M told his mom that her reaction was too loud and that he didn't like it. She asked him how she was supposed to act scared. "Maybe you could just cower," he told her. Yeah mom. Duh. Just cower next time.

But a different incident recently topped them all.

I was visiting with M a couple weeks back, and he wanted to show me one of his robots. He is quite into Transformers (one can hardly blame him; those guys are badass), and he introduced me to a battle worn robot he called Rhetorical Flourish.

"What?" I said, and looked to his mom for confirmation.

"Rhetorical Flourish," M said, with literal flourish. "This is Rhetorical Flourish and he likes to......" and whatever it is that M went on to tell me about Rhetorical Flourish I totally don't recall because I was in shock that I had heard what he had just said.

"What the hell?!" I asked his mom.

You see, M's parents are pretty serious Obama supporters. During the election they had the TV turned to MSNBC most nights taking in all the punditry they could in anticipation and hope for Obama's election. M was there, listening passively, and began endearingly referring to Obama as the president before the election ever happened. At some point M must have picked up that phrase and decided it was an apt name for his Transformer. He shocked his mother, though, the first day he asked her if she had seen Rhetorical Flourish. She said she reacted in much the way I did, asking "What?" with her jaw agape.

So yeah. Rhetorical Flourish. There's not much more I can say to compete with that.

3 comments:

Miyanovich said...

I enjoyed this Just. It is amazing what can be channeled through a child when you expose them to the right tools, early.

Rhetorical Flourish reminds me of stories that Garrett tells me of himself as a lad.

Garrett was given a plastic Lobster when he was a child and he instantaneously named him "Lermis".

:)

This also reminds me of an interaction that I had in 2003. It was at the close of the Lord of the Rings phenomenon, but smack dab in the middle of the Pirates of the Caribbean madness. Orlando Bloom was on the cover of every magazine imaginable.

It was vomitous.

Anyhoo, I was in line at the grocery with a friend, and "Orli" made the cover of something else that week. I belted out "christ, not again! Orlando Bloom is on the cover of another magazine!"

No sooner had the word "magazine" fell from my lips when a 10 year old boy, who was in front of us in line, turned to me and said:

"You see, the thing about Orlando Bloom is, he can't really act. He's just very good looking and was in a few very popular movies. That's why people like him. But, honestly, he cant act at all."

I was shocked.

Ten minutes later I pissed my pants laughing.

peasantsoul said...

This child sounds like the wunderkind of the indigo into crystal transition. His consciousness is our teacher: the guide to the soggy old 'wise man' I have became. "Colors" as his "loves"? Our current school system could never compete with that.

Anonymous said...

best. toy name. ever