Sunday, October 02, 2005

Watch Out for Worms

I’m sure that if the previous owners of our home had known that the split-level, 1970s, gray, three-bedroom house they were offering us had a genuine wormhole in the crawl space they’d have asked a lot more for it. Yes, an honest-to-goodness gateway to another dimension, bypassing space and time as we know it and linking the fabric of our fragile world with the far-reaches of our universe.

Pretty impressive, given the asking price.

Perhaps I should back up a bit. You see I lost Spencer at one point this week. I went looking for my Number Two when he disappeared after school one day this week and couldn’t find him in any of the usual places (which in itself is not unusual). I looked and looked, working my way downstairs until I hit the garage (which is really where I should have started, given Spencer’s propensity for dismantling and banging and gluing) but regardless, it dawned on me that I hadn’t checked the garage so that was my next destination.

I opened the door and there, standing in front of me facing the door with his feet in first position with that “I’m not doin’ anything!” look was Spencer. However, you can’t appreciate the scene until I fill you in on a few details. On his back was his brand-new backpack, the one he got for his birthday with all the straps and hooks and zippers and bungee cords, loaded up so full and tight he looked like some strange modern camel (well, a camel whose hump was dangling a canteen and a latrine shovel). He had every piece of camping gear he owned, which in this family can mean no small collection, with all the assorted buckles and straps securely fastened around his chest and waist. The man was ready to go.

Then, in his hands dangled my big claw hammer, a serious piece of hardware that has survived several generations and probably used to build the Great Wall of China.

I eyed the hammer suspiciously and asked the obvious question, “So, uh, what are you doing?”

He looked rather nervous (not a good sign) and fidgeted with his hammer a bit until I had repeated the question a few more times and he realized that I was not something that was just going to vaporize and go away to leave him to his Big Plans.

Finally, I broke him down enough that he swore me to secrecy and said he didn’t want Grace to know because she wouldn't understand and would make fun of him (now my curiosity was getting aroused). After another minute of prodding and coaxing he grudgingly admitted that he was on his way to the crawl space where he fully expected to find a wormhole to another world awaiting him.

I waited to see if he was for real and he waited to see if I’d laugh. But when I could tell he was serious I started asking serious questions: i.e. “So where is this wormhole?” “How did you figure out it was there?” and of course, “How long will you be gone?”

After my motherly curiosity was satisfied I smiled and said, “Hey, have a good trip!” and left him to his own devices. On one condition. He was not to use that hammer under ANY circumstances on the walls, floor, pipes, wires, boxes, sheetrock, studs, cinderblocks, etc. that he might encounter on this fantastic voyage. I don’t care if there’s another world hiding in my crawl space he’d better not mess with my plumbing down there.

I went through quite a list of things he wasn’t to use the hammer on, trying to think like an eight year-old boy and what he might encounter down there. Bottom line: it was to be a defensive weapon, used ONLY against any space creatures he might meet but not to so much as touch a thing on this side of the galaxy.

He seemed satisfied and I shut the door and pretty much forgot about him. Later that night when he showed up for dinner looking rather disappointed I asked him if he’d been successful in his interstellar voyaging. He looked dejected and admitted that he’d not been able to find much down there except our emergency food storage and several spiders.

I felt bad for him. Not that I expected him to find anything, but wow, that would be something to find a real wormhole in our basement. That’s something that would make the six o’clock news for sure. Guess I’m a little disappointed.


Your hot tub companion said...

Hey - I'm disappointed. I checked in to see the latest update and instead found last weeks! I feel jipped!

Anonymous said...

Oh I could just see my eight year old doing that! How brave of you to let him continue with the hammer.

Jenny Ryan said...

How fun!

Here from Carnival of Family Life.

kailani said...

I think that was so great of you to play along! What we sometimes think is funny could be totally serious to our kids!

Here via Carnival of Family Life.

Anonymous said...

Ditto, Kailani. I also loved that you played along, that was very sweet. I guess I can be greatful for 2 things: I have 2 very girly daughters... the very possibility that there could even be spider webs would leave worm hole exploring out of the question. Also we have a basement, no crwal space. Phew! :D