Thursday, September 30, 2010

More Common Household Dinner Conversation

You can judge for yourself how much headway I am making in training my children to speak about proper topics at the dinner table. 

As we all know from the movie “Sense and Sensibility” the two appropriate topics for conversation in polite society are The Roads and The Weather.

We do talk about travel during dinner:
Youngest Daughter:  “Our city has the most bridges of any city in the U.S.”
Husband:  “But how many of those bridges actually carry traffic?”
Youngest Daughter:  “Only one. The others are just for terrestrials.”

Oldest Daughter:  “Is there a place we can go to have free yoga classes?”
Husband:  “Yeah.  It’s called India.”

Husband:  “The next lesson in physics will be to land the lunar module on the moon.”
Son, dismissively: “I did that last year.”
(He did, in a simulation.)

* * * * *

Sometimes there are lessons in logic:
Me:  “It looks like we have to go to the store. We’re running out of milk.”
Son:  “Don’t we have a cow?”
Me:  (nasty look)
Son:  “If we had a cow we could also have hamburgers!”
Me:  “But then we wouldn’t be getting milk from that cow any more.”

* * * * *

Usually the dinner conversation reverts to the fun topics that arise when scientists and their progeny are around.  The first three tidbits all come from the same evening.

Friend of Son: “Early humans ate the marrow from the legs of dead animals!”
Son: “I think primitive humans ate grubs.”
(Or maybe it was my husband who said that.  I was too disgusted by the first comment to notice who said the second.)

Youngest Daughter: “Did you know that a potato has the same number of chromosomes as a human?”
(I am not quite sure this is correct.  But it could explain the existence of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.)

Someone brought up the fact that humans have a large number of symbiotic bacteria living in their bodies, making us more like a colony of animals than a single organism.  I said, “So we are more like the Portuguese man-of-war than we would have thought?”  The reply:  “But we don’t eat fish with tubes that stick out of our bodies.”  I admit that one was my fault, for bringing up the Portuguese man-of-war.

We were at dinner, discussing Youngest Daughter’s field trip, where she did science exploration of the river water.  She was describing what she saw in the river mud, but it wasn’t gross enough for her sister.  Oldest Daughter asked, “What about leeches?  And worms that crawl into your body through your fingers?  And through your nose?” 
I protested, “We’re still eating dinner here.”
Then a few minutes later I asked my Son to describe the cybersurgery activity he was planning to attend.  It actually is a pretty tame topic, since it is just a simulation.  But Oldest Daughter couldn’t take it, despite having dished it out earlier, and said, “Oh, please, let’s not talk about surgery! That’s disgusting!”

Youngest Daughter:  “According to cannibals, humans taste like chicken.”

I think they are not quite ready to dine with The Queen.  Or perhaps I should say that The Queen is not ready to dine with them.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Your table talk ROCKS! I like how kids come up with the best questions.

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Carolyn, I'm not kidding, you should write a book.