Act I: Yesterday afternoon
(Scene: Car, filled with dozens of empty pop bottles, sticks and leaves gathered from the entire state of Arizona, various Nickelodeon paraphernalia, one six-year-old and two adults trying to make the most of the few minutes this week during which they might actually converse. Silly them.)
Me: So there was this online discussion about circumcision that was getting kind of out of hand.
Aaron: Well, I really don't see the big deal, I mean, to each their own, right?
Me: Some people were comparing it to female genital mutilation, you know, the total removal of the (I glance to the back seat, see the child who won't listen to 90 percent of what I say paying rapt attention) ... of the C-L-I...
Aaron: (Clearing his throat in embarrassment, cutting me off): Yeah, OK, I know what you mean. But it's not like that at all.
Me: That's what I think. Then too, some people are worried about sons looking like their fathers, the whole locker-room issue...
Aaron: So, what? Like he and I are going to line up in front of the mirror and compare notes?
David: Compare notes on what, Dad?
Aaron: Hairstyles, David. (To me): Besides, it's not like if they [makes the snip-snip motion with his fingers] when they're first born...
David: Why are you making scissors?
Aaron: No reason, David. (To me): So, if they, um, skin the snake...
Aaron: Nothing! It's just a silly phrase!
David: Well, I don't like that phrase. Poor snake!
Me: Yeah, Dad. Poor snake.
Aaron: (Shoots me the death glare; addresses David): I don't like it either. Sorry, David. (To me): So if they, er, remove a particular portion, it's not like they're any worse off or are even going to know the difference.
Me: Some folks are worried about loss of sensitivity.
Aaron: But it's kind of subjective, isn't it? I mean, each P-E-N-I-S...
Me: You do know he's been able to spell that for ages.
David: PENIS! You spelled PENIS! Bwahaha!
Aaron: Yes, I spelled penis. Tee hee.
Me: Hey, David, look at that horse! (Son distracted, I address Aaron): I can see your point, though. It's not like they could conduct a scientific study on that. It couldn't really be objective.
Aaron: Right. What, like, "OK subjects, every time you're H-O-R-N-Y, clock your speed of arousal, your partner's arousal, and how good it was for you?"
Me: Ha. Yeah.
(Conversation moves on to Harry Potter, pasta, and my son's new microscope.)
(Night ends peacefully, full of pasta and free from genital-themed discussions.)
Act II: Very, very early this morning
(Scene: The inside of my eyelids. Or possibly the first floor of a house on a mercilessly bright Arizona morning.)
David: Mom, what's H-O-R-N-Y spell? Could it be like for an animal with horns?
Me: Yeah, I guess it could! Let's just say they have cool horns, though, OK?
David (shrugging): OK, Mom.
David: Oh, and Mom? Don't use the hand towel in the downstairs bathroom. I blew my nose into it.
(He exits stage right in search of Pop Tarts.)
(I exit stage left in search of products with which to scour my face.)