Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Episode 18: Super Heroes and Flatulence

This weekend I learned my daughter has super hero-like hearing. It was very exciting until I figured out the horrible truth. As we were driving home from somewhere (somewhere very fun like the zoo or the park, not the dentist or something not fun like that) the kids were secured snuggly in their car seats trying to open and close the windows with their toes and singing along with something in the cd player (probably music).

Suddenly Ani stopped her banter abruptly to announce, “I hear smoke.”

Oh, I tried with all my auditory might, but all I could hear was traffic and the wind blowing past the partially open sunroof. I was so proud. My daughter, a super hero with a super human sense of hearing, which only seemed to be diminished by the sound of her parents’ voices asking her to do something she preferred not to do or not to do something she preferred to do. How would I try to cultivate her gift and at the same time protect her from thinking herself a freak of nature? How would I teach her to use her powers for good instead of evil? So many questions flapped around my brain like birds startled by a gigantic mangy dog running through their midst.

Then it happened. I smelled smoke. My world came crashing back down. Ani was no super hero. She did not have a super human sense of smell. She just thought her ears were for smelling.

Speaking of super heroes and the like, someone this week brought my attention to aardvarks (thanks John). Have you ever really noticed them? They live in Africa and you live in Indiana (or somewhere else that is not Indiana) so I assume you have not (unless the somewhere else you live happens to be Africa). They have no enamel on their teeth, so their teeth continually wear down and then grow back. Man, that surely would save on expenses at the dentist. They also have the ability to seal their nostrils, in case they are attacked by skunks or something. They really are very interesting hairless funny-looking termite-eating critters.

Since not all of us can do cool things like hear smoke, grow new teeth all the time, or seal our noses, here is some good news for us average folks. You use more than 70 muscles just to say a single word. That word is Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, but that is beside the point. Think of all the exercise telemarketers are getting. Don’t be mad next time they call you; they are just trying to get some exercise. Ask them about their lives, their grandmothers, their pets, their past criminal activities, anything to keep them talking. Think of their health, and don’t pay any attention to the nonsense about what they are selling.