Okay, so maybe your kid can swim like a crocodile, or maybe your son runs like Ben Johnson, or maybe your child has a 5.0 GPA. I'll tell you what, it's my turn to brag:
So we're driving along, having just concluded an enormous argument that left me seething with fury at my children and their meanness over the blow-up we had over the relative merits of Bob Dylan versus Leonard Cohen, and there is a short period of quiet, and then my daughter, with no context, asks me this:
"Daddy, which do you like better: gas stations...or pie?"
My scowling face turned upside down and I almost reconsidered my angry vow to never let Leonard Cohen sing at her birthday part.
(Almost, but not quite.)
I looked back at her and said: "That is one of the best questions I have ever heard in my life. Wow. I am impressed."
- "So which one?"
"Gonna go with...pie."
- "HA HA HA HA HA!"
she shrieked annoyingly.
"We were playing the Opposites Game, so you just said you like gas stations more than pie!"
I said with quiet fury, yet a strange sense of pride.
The trouble started when I pulled rank on my children, which is something a superb parent should do at least a billion times a day. The order of events was this:
A. We got in the automobile and I asked "what shall we listen to?"
B. The response was deafening: "Bob Dylan! Bob Dylan!"
C. The world knows few bigger Bob Dylan fans than myself...but I was approaching saturation point for the week, so I did the following:
D.1 I said "Okay."
D.2 And then I put on Leonard Cohen instead.
E. The confusion was immediate as soon as the opening vocals of "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye" came on.
F. Chaos. "THIS IS NOT BOB DYLAN...WHO IS THIS!?!?"
G. More fury, while I laughed.
H. "This is Leonard Cohen," I chuckled. "You'll learn to love him too."
I. More fury, juxtaposed with the gentle zen-coolness of Leonard.
J. I appropriately dealt with their disgruntlement by ignoring them, and hum-singing along.
K. That is when the disgruntlement turned into revolution. I will tell you about it sometime.
Have you ever been in the position of driving your automobile down the highway, trying to listen to classic Cohen, but having him drowned by the chanting of two children at Who-level volume:
"Joseph and Leonard Cohen are the worst singers in the world /
Joseph and Leonard Cohen are the worst singers in the world /
Joseph and Leonard Cohen are the worst singers in the world / "
(Again and again and again)
You're probably wondering if I've ever been in that position, and I don't know if I want to answer that.
"Daddy, I like Leonard Cohen better than I like you. But I still don't like Leonard Cohen."
- my daughter, in an exhilarating moment of fatherhood