Sunday, October 07, 2012
Hey, You Never Know
A real friend sent along a dogeared Calvin and Hobbes collection. Just out of the blue, no explanation.
We have lots of books in the house; but many, if not most of them, are still in boxes and piled here and there in unsalubrious places. We even have some Calvin and Hobbes books in there somewhere, but none out and about. We were forced to go find them, because the little feller wants to read them all now that he's read one.
I love that illo by Gluyas Williams. It is an exact representation of little me, every day after school when I was young. There was a green jacquard chair in the corner of our tiny living room, with good light from the picture window, and a hassock before it to hold a heap of newspapers and books. My mother would take me to the library a couple of times a week, I'd max out the lending limit, and swim around the chair just as you see there. There was a mid-century modern fireplace surround hard by the chair, and I'd slowly walk my feet up the edge of the protruding bricks until I was upside down, and then I'd flop like a fish on the beach and start over. I'd never take my eyes off the page for any reason.
It's odd and wonderful to see the Spare Heir flopping around on a jacquard club chair and processing books like a little text shredder. My children do not love books like I did, but then again, there was no Intertunnel back then. They're reading all the time, one way or the other.
The vocabulary is quite challenging for a nine-year-old in C and H. We see him skip over to the computer and type a word into Google now and again when he's stumped. He gets it pronounced for him, too, which I was not aware you could do, but kids find what they need because they look everywhere for everything. You'd never find your car keys if they were on the roof of your house, because you'd never look there. You'd just look on top of your dresser over and over. A kid might start by looking on the roof. Hey, you never know is a great way to go through life, even if it drills a lot of dry holes.
I don't know what possessed my friend to say Hey, you never know and send my boy the Calvin and Hobbes book. Maybe he's very smart, or maybe he's just lucky. But such questions are circular, because, Hey, you never know.