Travelling with Boys (Part 2)


Me watching the fish who are watching Moonman making supper

It’s suppertime at Moonhouse. Moonman is a really good cook, and I always look forward to his hearty meals – sometimes just the two of us, sometimes us and Moonbugs. This is a time for talking about events of the day, what happened at school or work, our plans for tomorrow, and just getting in touch with each other. Wholesome family time. A safe space for sharing feelings, where every contribution is taken seriously.

Dynamo Boy has a medical question: “Why do dogs never pee when they poo?”

“Well,” replies his father, after a moment of solemn contemplation. “I’ve never really thought about that. As for me, I always find that when I p….”

“Hey, guys, I’m trying to eat!” I exclaim.

No-one takes much notice.

I could try singing “Happy Birthday” at top volume, which is one of the Moonbug methods of drowning out your opposition in a debate, but I don’t think it will work. What follows is a technical discussion of pee/fart/poo combinations, anatomical reasons for their occurrence and general colon knowledge.

I’ve noticed that matters of the colon are somehow never far off at the table – an average of four and a half minutes after dishing up. I guess eating leads to full stomachs, which leads to thoughts of digestion, which leads to thoughts of what comes just after digestion. And while you’re in that region of the body, other fascinating topics often arise.

“Guess what we learnt at school today,” says Surfer Dude. “You can buy sperm on eBay!”

“Whoa, really? In which subject do they teach that?”

“Life Orientation.”

I tell them about the guy who advertised his imaginary friend on eBay, and actually found a buyer. My story is not quite finished, when an unmistakable noise is heard fromunder the table. Without missing a beat, Moonman says, “Skootle! Honestly. How rude. Some people’s children!” and shakes his head disapprovingly. The boys laugh uproariously, even though they’ve heard this one many times before. The guilty party, sitting to my left, is never brought to book.

It’s my turn to have a question – philosophical rather than medical: “Why do you apologise for burping, but not for farting?”

“Because burping is rude!”

PS: Does this kind of conversation take place when travelling with GIRLS? Somehow I think not…


Erica Neser (c) 2011


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