Wednesday, December 22, 2004


There are no immediate Grandparental prospects (kinahora) facing us at the moment, unless either Elder Daughter or the Mistress of Sarcasm has something lurking up their sleeves. Gawd, I hope not. But I can tell you, we’ll be ready when the time comes.

That’s because visiting our two-year-old nephew William is both vacation and a sort of Grandparent Boot Camp. Since both Morry (the Brother of She Who Must Be Obeyed) and his wife Rebecca have full-time Day Jobs, SWMBO happily volunteered our services looking after His Nibs while they did their daily stints at their respective Places of Employment. For once, I had to agree. Seeing William was a major reason for our trip, and it would have been ridiculous to warehouse him in day care school all day while we sat around and drank adult beverages hot cocoa and watched DVD movies.

I have to say, our little fella has a (mostly) sunny disposition and is a pleasure to be with. He knows shapes, colors, and he can count to eleven. He sleeps through the night and takes a solid two-hour nap during the day. And he is intimately familiar with Thomas the Tank Engine and all of his transportation-related pals. Hey, I’m impressed!

A bit about Thomas. It appears that there is a vaguely Australia-shaped island somewhere, yclept Sodor. The island, despite its small size, has a well-developed transportation infrastructure: passenger and heavy rail, roadways, mass transit, the works. Probably the only major inconvenience of living on Sodor is having to put up with Booming Voices from the Heavens – the voice-over narrations of Ringo Starr and my homeboy Alec Baldwin.

Oh, yeah. And the trains all have faces. Big-eyed, expressive faces. And they talk.

Holy shit. How bizarre is that?

Anyway, each of these little trains has a personality. You have the doughty Thomas; prissy, nervous Percy; evil-intentioned Diesel. And some capitalist-looking dude in a top hat who appears to control the Means of Transportation, if not Production as well.

It’s curiously addictive, this Thomas stuff, in a way that Mr. Rogers might have been. For sure, it’s a whole lot better than that fucking Purple Dinosaur That Shall Not Be Named On This Blog.

I would sooner face an army of turd-filled diapers than deal with that dinosaur, thankyouverymuch.

But after watching Thomas and his pals for eight hours straight, I will be needing some Porn ’n’ Violence. Paris Hilton in a woodchipper, anyone?

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