Friday, November 13, 2009

Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun. ~ George Scialabba

“Skittle's Pool Hall, Eight Ball speaking.”



“You should not be allowed to have caller ID.”

“What’s up?”

“I think something’s wrong with John.”

“He didn’t get the flu did he?”

“No… It’s… well… He’s talking to himself.”

“He’s three! All three year olds talk to themselves.”

“Yeah but dad he’s having actual arguments.”


“He’s arguing with himself. He takes both sides of the argument and battles it out with himself.”

“Uh… I got nothing.”

“Dad I think me and Kim breaking up is making John a little…well… I think it’s affecting him… you know in his head.”

“Anthony he’s three. I’m sure it’s one of those phases we men go through. You know, like when your brother liked girls with big noses.”

“I’m being serious here. I’m worried.”

“Well what does he argue about?”

“This morning he had a toy plane in his hand and he said it was a dinosaur and then he said it was a Transformer and he kept going back and forth. “Your supposed to be a Transformer. No you’re a dinosaur. I’m a Transformer. I’m a dinosaur, I’m a T-Rex. No you’re not a T-Rex can’t fly….” Dad this went on for an hour.”

“Well he was right; a T-Rex can’t fly. Son he’s not arguing with himself the toy is arguing with itself.”

“Dad you have to see it.”

“It seems normal to me. I mean if a toy plane thought it was a dinosaur then I think there needs to be some kind of discussion.”

“Dad he looks at me like I’m supposed to solve the argument.”

“I wouldn’t get in the middle of it. You might pick the wrong side.”

“Why can’t he have an imaginary friend like every other kid?”

“How do you know he’s not arguing with an imaginary friend?”


“I still have an imaginary friend myself. I use him to listen to your mother and to go to Pottery Village.”

“I should use one to argue with Kim.”

“Why not? Give him a good name though. I named mine “Armando”.


“He doesn’t speak English. That way when I make him listen to your mother his head doesn’t explode.”

“You have an imaginary friend that doesn’t speak English?”

“Sure. I found him outside a Home Depot. I used him to listen to you and your brother when you guys tried to get me to help with your math homework.”

“That explains a lot.”

“Sometimes I send him to board meetings for me.”

“Please Dad. Can we be serious for one minute?”

“Son you are totally over reacting. He’s a happy imaginative three year old. If he was thirty then I think we might, I say “might” have a problem.”

“It’s freaking me out dad. I think it’s my fault because of…you know… me and Kim.”

“Son, there will be plenty of time for you to freak out. Just wait until he’s four and wants his own iPhone. Look, people break up all the time. It’s sad and it can be tough on the kids but you both love your son. Try and treat each other with respect and understanding. He’ll see that and even though you won’t be together he’ll be fine.”

“I guess… It’s hard… It sucks…”

“Don’t worry son. No matter what happens I will always be there to give him advice and consul. And if for any reason I’m not around he can always borrow Armando.”

“Perfect. Maybe Armando can argue with him in Spanish.”

“Why would Armando argue with him in Spanish?”

“You said he doesn’t speak English.”

“He doesn’t.”


“I never said he was Mexican.”

“But you said you found him outside of Home Depot.”

"What are you racist?"

"Dad! No! I just assumed..."

“You realize were discussing the language skills of my fake imaginary friend here right?”

“Yes but…”

“Ukrainian. Armando is Ukrainian. He was in the Ukrainian special forces before the wall came down and then he immigrated to the United States and worked as a private investigator and bouncer in a comedy club. But he always felt a yearning to build things so he got into construction. He tried to get his contractors license but he couldn’t read English so he became a cake decorator instead but then he lost that job during the Atkins Diet craze. So he became a parking lot space stripe painter at Home Depot.”

“Dad… I… How in the hell does your mind work like that?”

“I guess it’s from the discussions I used to have with myself when I was three.”