D’oh. Too much skating and too many naps make Jack a dull boy, it would seem. And by Jack I mean me.

First day back for us after a blissful two weeks, and everybody in Homie Base has lots to share. It heartens me that so few of  the stories were mere bragging about gifts. Back in my day it was all about the loot, I hate to say, and comparing your haul to your siblings’ and friends’ piles. This year only one really talked about the stuff, and it wasn’t to brag, really.

“Ok, so… My favorite thing in the whole world is gummi vitamins, and so my parents got this me giant, giant jar of gummi vitamins for Christmas, and–”

“You know you really shouldn’t eat more than a couple of those per day, because they can be tox–”

“…I ate almost the whole thing at once and got really sick, and they thought they might have to pump my stomach, but I grossed out at that, so they didn’t, and so… yeah. But I still really love gummi vitamins.”

Of course I wasn’t the only one wondering why they had to be the vitamin kind, but she insisted “they just taste different!”

Uh huh.

Also the part about the parents enabling/allowing such behavior raised more eyebrows than mine. She claims the lesson was learned. Let’s hope everyone learned it.

Before the holidays, another kid had been telling us about sheep his family had acquired. Noticed the word acquired. In normal conversation, I would probably use the word got or gotten or some such. This, as I have said before, was an anathema to my old master teacher back in the day. He would subtract an entire grade from papers that used the word got. He never used the word in conversation either.

“It’s a meaningless word!”

Would that I had such linguistic fortitude. Would that it were really a meaningless word.

Today “Matt” was telling us about an unexpected gift they received from said sheep. Received. Received. Received. Not got.

The sheep unexpectedly had a lamb!

“And it’s weird because we only have one sheep… so.”

So. The theories start flying.

“Did it look like it was half donkey?” This from one future geneticist. Matt’s family had also recently acquired a donkey. We had been hearing all kinds of donkey stories too.


“Maybe another sheep snuck in at night and…”



Through it all, nobody comes up with the theory that it might have already been pregnant when they go-errr, received it.

So I wade in to the conversation. I should have done more weighing (of my words) and less wading.

Sigh; the one time they are all actually listening to me. I think I actually made a grasping motion in front of me as the words escaped.

“Maybe Matt, you got it pregnant.”

Those of you who deal with middle schoolers on a daily basis have only to close your eyes and picture what came next.

It was like throwing a lighted match on a pool of gasoline… with firecrackers around the perimeter. Our old shop teacher, way back when, actually burned all his facial hair off lighting a water heater. I felt a little singed myself.