“He’ll probably climb a tree too tall and ride his bike too fast/End up every summer wearin’ something in a cast/He’s gonna throw a ball and break some glass in a window down the street/He’s gonna get in trouble, oh he’s gonna get in fights/I’m gonna lose my temper and some sleep/It’s safe to say that I’m gonna get my payback if he’s anything like me”
“Anything Like Me” – Brad Paisley
If life is a play acted out by all of us, I’ve decided that this day’s act features two and only two characters. Please allow me to set the stage and get this show underway!
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I am pleased to introduce to you our main characters for today’s drama. The part of the immovable object will by played one Benjamin M. Cossel aka Dad.
(Queue spotlight and applause, some boos from the right side of the crowd)
But wait, ladies and gentlemen, boy do we have a show for you today. Fresh from his gig at Pine Bluffs Elementary where he starred in the feature role of youthful ringleader, ladies and gentlemen, playing the part of the unstoppable force, I give you eight-year old Kerouac Cossel!
(Loud applause from the right side of the crowd, hushed whispers from the left side)
Yes, today is one of those days when father and son seem to be doing their absolute best to get on each other’s nerves. There’s just something about the innate nature of a human being that chaffs when someone else is trying to mold them.
“Kerouac, didn’t you just make a sandwich?”
“Um, yes,” comes the meek reply.
“Hmm, right, and so this bread sitting here, not wrapped up and thrown back in the breadbox, would that be your doing?”
“I don’t know,” the little me says, a completely dumbfounded look on his face.
Now, at that moment about a million retorts are flying through your brain; not a single one of them is probably appropriate to respond to an eight-year-old but that doesn’t really stop you from thinking them.
“Really dad, I’m pretty sure I put the bread away the right way,” he says to me, apparently giving nary a thought to the preposterousness of his statement.
“So, what goblins or gremlins or something came behind you and left all this bread open?” I ask, going for the dramatic coup de grace. I’m thinking this little debate is over; no way little-man comes back from that one.
“Yeah, I guess that’s possible,” he says to me.
My head exploded.
“Maybe it was the dogs or the cats,” he says nonchalantly.
My head exploded again.
“Get outside and clean the dog’s yard,” I say through clenched teeth.
Seen those recent commercials for the new Shrek movie where the cat’s eyes keep getting bigger and bigger? That’s what he did, tears exploding down his cheeks.
“But dad, why?” he cries out as if every fiber in his being was personally offended at the command.
“Just go,” I reply.
Sulking he heads out back, rake in one hand, trash bag in the other. He’s going for the Oscar with this performance, tossing the rake around, dramatically throwing the trash bag open, kicking rocks.
Watching him from my office window, I call up my mom, detail her the situation and am met with a long, hard laugh.
“Oh my word, he’s just like you.”