If You Wanna Surf, You Have to Buy Your Own Board (Waterboarding is Different)

Somehow, we began speaking of snowboarding, and how fun it would be to go this winter. I gave the simple version to the children as we were driving, Man or Astro-man? quietly cranking along with the windows down:

"Snowboarding is where you're riding on a board on top of the snow. Really fun. What do you call it when you're riding on a board on top of the ocean?"

My daughter immediately piped in.
- "Waterboarding?"

I started laughing, and couldn't stop for a few moments. Tried to move on, but she is as stubborn and intuitive as her parents and refused to let me move on.

I said,
"is...something else for a conversation in the future. Surfing. That's what we call it when you're riding a board on the ocean -"

I started to launch into a short history, starting with Duke Kahanamoku, but she would have none of it.

- "But what is waterboarding?"

"That's kind of an adult conversation."

-"Okay...but just tell me what it is."

(There's no walk-through for explaining waterboarding to six-year olds, and she is uncannily precocious in gliding past my conversational-evasion tactics)

I began.
"Sometimes, umm, okay, well- there is...there are people who help protect the United States from other people who want to do bad things, like blow buildings and people up. Some of the people protecting the U.S. work for organizations like the CIA. It stands for Central Intelligence Agency"

- "Is the CIA good?"

"Well...in general, they...want to protect the United States."

- "Oh."

"Sometimes they capture people who want to do bad things, and then THEY do bad things to try to get the bad people to give them information about the bad things they're trying to do. Kind of confusing."

- "What is waterboarding though?"

"Well, that's one of the awful things that they've done to people before."

- "Who?"

"Mostly some people at the CIA."

- "The CIA? I thought they were good!"

"Well...there's some good people who work there. But sometimes good people do bad things because they think it's the right thing. And waterboarding is an awful thing that people should not do to each other. It is very different from snowboarding. Or surfing. How about we chat more about this in a few years?"

- "You're just a baby, Daddy."

"Actually, I'm not a baby. I'm an adult."

- "You're a baby. A little tiny baby."

"Then you're a zygote."

- "You're a zygote."

"That is such a sloppy comeback! That's what I just called you!"

- "Okay. You're a tiny little baby zygote."

"Slightly better. Wanna hear more about surfing?"

- "No.


Also, my favourite Sound of Music song today is The Lonely Goatherd. Yodeling is so rad.

Self-plagiarism is style.

- Alfred Hitchcock

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