Wednesday, August 15, 2007


My stay in Portland was a dizzying stretch of leisure and bliss. Whether it was accompanying the crew to swimming lessons or mediating duels fought with plastic knights' swords and collapsable light sabers, it was always a monumentally terrific time. While there, I got to re-visit some of my very favorite Roald Dahl-isms (they were reading Matilda). My brother spoke Miss Honey's dialogue in a piercing falsetto, which I claimed sounded much like the speech of a stroke victim. Although my latest Bartholomew and Leopold bedtime story wasn't the very finest yet (this one was about a tyrannical Abraham Lincoln and a fearsome rebellion of lobsters), I did manage to spin one pretty successful yarn, which was the story of the Tooth Grunion, a grubby, distant relation to the tooth fairy whose hearing is particularly sensitive to the little squeak caused when children wiggle loose teeth. According to the story, the Grunion climbs into children's rooms at night, brandishing pliers, and prematurely plucks out the kid's tooth, thereby depriving them of their tooth fairy reward. I thought the story was great; my nephew was less convinced of its awesomeness. At nights, I tried (often unsuccessfully) to stay awake through multiple episodes of Veronica Mars, which got better, funnier, and scarier as we kept watching. Magnificent. Who can complain when your only duties for the day are to read Peter Pan and Lady and the Tramp multiple times, push a cute baby in the swing while he recites the noises that each farm animal makes in turn, and think of something impressive for the family talent show? It's a dream come true when your only complaints are a sore elbow from too much Nintendo wii tennis and that your afternoon nap made you miss snack time.

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