Friday, October 4, 2013

On raising children to think that "cat" means "dog" and we all live inside a giant tomato

I suppose it's a fantasy that a lot of people have had.

My father-in-law Dan cracks himself up thinking about how he wanted to raise a kid with all the wrong words for things, thinking up was down and boys were girls. Megan, hearing about this as an adult, found it fascinating, because she had developed similar plans in high school. Must run in the family, she thought, or be a common funny thought.

Me and my cousin Levi tend to take funny thoughts further.

Our plan was to get a kid and never teach him to walk. He was to be in a wheelchair, and he was to think that all humans were in wheelchairs and walking was impossible. He would also have a keyboard, and communicate Stephen Hawking style, but in a language that we completely made up. He was to believe that the world outside his house was filled with noxious gas, on account of the treacheries wrought by the seventh god of the lunar belt.

And then one day, like when he was like eighteen, we were to stand up from our wheelchairs, start speaking in English with our own vocal chords, laugh maniacally, and open the door and turn him loose on the real world where all of his knowledge was false and he would struggle to even make sense of most of what was in front of his eyes.

Me and Levi forgot about the kid in the wheelchair plan for about ten years, until my father-in-law brought up his similar childhood fantasy.

Remembering it and talking about it, at some point we both stopped and got goosebumps everywhere.

Fucking subconscious.

We were that kid.