• Richard Scrimger

teens, teens, good for your heart


To finish my last post here, my son's second choice for living arrangements next year requires an even greater suspension of disbelief than his first choice, which, you will recall, involved him and his buddies aboard a version of Nansen's Fram, frozen into the waters of the St Lawrence near the foot of Albert Street in Kingston. Scenario Two involves -- get this -- an RV. Yes, that's what I said. A rolling house party, three or more boys, one parking permit, one steering wheel. He correctly interpreted my pause down the phone line when he broached the idea. I know it sounds dumb, he said, but I want you to consider how surprisingly practical an RV is Cheaper than a house. Faster to clean. And think how easy it will be to get to class. I'll be able to roll right up to the building. Then cruise to my next class and do the same thing. I can come home for the weekends. Or (correctly interpreting another pause) not.


There is an element of irony in virtually everything Sam says, so I didn't how serious he was about the RV. I suspected the existence of an ad, and a vendor who was prepared to consider a rental agreement ... but I wondered if the boy knew how goofy his idea sounded?


Laugh all you want, he told me. Just remember what'll happen if I don't find a place to live soon.

I knew he wasn't talking about another year in residence. That'd be too easy.


I walked past a house today that was flying the quarantine flag, Dad. Big yellow Q flag in the front window.


That doesn't mean it's typhus, I said.


Doesn't mean it isn't typhus, though. More likely to be typhus than if the flag wasn't there.Which was a point, I suppose.


You know how they treat typhus, Dad? They spray you all over with this vile chemical. Do you want to put me through that?


And that did it. I laughed some more. Everyone should have teenagers in their lives. They keep you elastic. They are so big, so capable, so ridiculous. Nothing is impossible, nothing is quite what it seems.

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Richard Scrimger | scrimgerr@gmail.com | Toronto, ON, Canada