Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Times like these......

I’ve been so busy with running a bank, standup comedy and radio that I’ve been remiss in my writing. I was about to shut down this blog figuring I’d written enough to give me material for the next five years when I received several e-mails and comments saying essentially that in “times like these” we need a laugh.

“Times like these.” I wondered if I was ever going to have a good “I lived through the great depression” story that was anything other than my wife missing a Nordstrom Half Off Yearly Sale. Now I do.

The world is very tense right now. Times are tough. We adults stress about finances, 401k plan values and job security, yet kids for the most part are oblivious to what is going on outside of their world. And they see the world a whole lot different than we do.

So I give you a conversation with my oldest grandson, Alex age six, that we had this weekend before the Charger game.


“Yes Alex.”

“My teacher says that humans evolved from monkeys 20 million years ago but I don’t think that’s right.”

“Uh…. What grade are you in again?”

“I’m in the first grade.”

“And they teach you this in the first grade?”


“But you said your teacher said that humans evolved from monkeys 20 million years ago.”

“She did.”

“I’m confused.”

“She said it but she didn’t teach it to us because I didn’t learn it.”

“If you didn’t learn it then how did you remember to tell me?”

“Because I remembered that I didn’t evolve from a monkey.”

“Uh… What did you evolve from?”

“A shark!”

“A shark?”

“Yep. Some people evolved from monkeys. You can just tell. But some of us evolved from other stuff. You know, like sharks.”

“What makes you think you evolved from a shark?”

“Because I like to eat things and I’m mean.”

“You’re mean? I don’t think you’re mean.”

“Well I’m not mean all the time just when I’m dealing with the evil Justin or the evil Lucas.”

“And they evolved from monkeys?”

“Nope, they evolved from spiders.”

“So I take it you have an issue with Justin and Lucas.”

“EVIL Justin and EVIL Lucas. I don’t have a problem with normal Justin and normal Lucas.”

“So you have two kids named Justin and two kids named Lucas in your class?”


“Poppa is a little confused here Alex.”

“Sometimes evil Justin and evil Lucas aren’t evil.”

“They’re normal?”


“So when they’re evil you act mean to them?”

“I used to bite them.”

“Well that would explain the shark thing.”

“But I get in trouble if I bite them so I punch em instead.”

“But sharks don’t have fists.”

“I know that Poppa but I told you that I “EVOLVED” from a shark. I’m not a shark now.”

“That’s true.”

“What did you evolve from Poppa?”

“Your grandmother, she made me what I am today.”

“You’re funny Poppa. You didn’t evolve from Grandma. Grandma has a uterus. She has actual babies. She already evolved so you can’t evolve from her.”

“Um… You know about the uterus?”

“I know about a lot of things Poppa, I’m in first grade now.”

“And they teach you about a woman’s uterus?”

“Nope. Jeffrey taught me about that.”

“Oh… okay.”

“Jeffrey evolved from a snake.”

“It certainly seems that way.”

“I think you evolved from a bear Poppa.”

“A grizzly bear?”

“Nope. I think you evolved from a polar bear.”

“A polar bear?”

“Because you’re big and white.”

“That’s what your grandma keeps telling me.”

“Grandma evolved from a parrot.”

“A parrot?”

“Yep, because she says the same thing over and over again.”

“She does?”

“Yep. Sometimes I don’t listen the first time so she has to tell me again but because I’m a man I don’t listen the second time either so she has to tell me again only that time it’s louder.”

“I know what you mean.”

“I know. Grandma told me. She says you never listen.”

“I listen it’s just that I don’t always hear her.”

“You have to pay attention Poppa. You have to hear with your eyes too. That’s the secret.”

“That’s the secret? I almost spent $39 on a DVD to find out about it when all I had to do was ask you?”

“All you have to do is pay attention to people Poppa and you can learn everything.”

“I think you may be on to something Alex.”

“I know. It’s a first grade thing.”

“That must be it.”

“Poppa, you want to know some of the other stuff I know?”


“I think Angelina evolved from an angel.”

“That’s a very nice thing to say about your baby sister Alex.”

“When angels get mad they shoot lightening bolts and laser “beans” from their eyes and fry people and then they cry a lot.”

“Who told you that?”

“Nobody, some things I just know.”

“So do your mom and dad know about his evolution thing?”

“What’s evolution?

“The stuff you just told me about monkeys and sharks and snakes and stuff.”

“I told you about EVOLVING.”

“Oh… I see… So do your mom and dad know you used to be a shark?”

“I didn’t use to be shark.”

“But you told me you evolved from a shark.”

“I did.”


“You just don’t get this do you Poppa?”

“No I guess I don’t.”

“You need to watch the Discovery Channel.”

“I guess you’re right.”

“And pay attention.”

I give you my pledge to post a new story at least once a week during "times like these". Maybe I'll just let Alex write this for me.