Despite the ticking clock, they move with all the slow deliberation of moon-walkers, blissfully unsullied by the merest touch of urgency. (Why can't a nine-year-old make tart and irrelevant comments without pausing in the middle of tying his shoelaces?)
Primus belatedly reminds Tertius that socks and sneakers are required for an activity today, Tertius refuses to believe it, clings to flip-flops, unable to grasp the concept of wearing sneakers anyway as insurance, in case of the dim possibility that his older brother may actually be right. Daddy now quite exasperated, spinning car keys like worry beads, snapping orders.
I might have had more authority if it hadn't come out as "put on your snocks and seekers." Twice.
|Last sacerdotal appearance, about five years ago.|
That evening, Primus commits one of those childhood sins, long forgotten and no doubt fueled by high-fructose corn syrup, that requires a serious parental scolding. (When did every overhyped American tradition become a kids' candy-fest?) Having removed my Halloween costume, I sit him down on the living room sofa and lecture him for ten minutes on his behavior. And it's only as I draw to the end of my brilliant fatherly peroration that I realize I'm still wearing the clown nose.
I now go trick-or-treating dressed as a monk. You don't need to wear pants, and neighbors offer you beer.
*Are you talkin' to me? (I love footnotes. They're like P.S.'s)
**My former Citibank colleagues and I decided years ago that a "Grim Reaper" should be the name of a cocktail, although we were unable to come up with anything sufficiently lethal. We did agree, from frequent caipirinha-oiled business lunches (it was the 80s) at the nearby "Brazilian Pavilion" in midtown (it was the 80s), that it should have a cachaça base. But the next ingredient foundered on the current legal status of absinthe. (Not to mention the abandonment of New Coke.)