Thursday, March 30, 2006

King Kong and the Alan Thicke Incident

di•dac•tic adj.

1. Inclined to teach or moralize excessively

I love to know stuff. I love knowing stuff so much that I went to school an extra four years just to know more stuff. I even have a special plaque on my wall just to let other people know I did go to school for those four extra years and because of that I have mad skillz when it comes to knowing stuff.

You better recognize.

My brother Roger has the same skills. Many times at parties, we’ve discussed and debated a subject for hours, each of us elaborately offering up bits of stuff we know, until someone points out that a) we’re both saying exactly the same thing, and b) the party is over and everyone else has gone home. That’s how important knowing stuff is to me.

At the moment, Bridget is recovering from surgery. Since she’s stuck on the couch, we decided it would be nice to make some snacks and watch the new King Kong movie with the kids. At about an hour into the movie, the cast of adventurers had just been captured by skull-wearing islanders when Gabriel asked me an unusual question:

“Dad, why do Canadians hate us?”

Wow, I thought. What an odd question from a six year-old. It certainly deserved a thoughtful answer.

“Gabriel, the Canadians don’t hate us. And we don’t hate them. In fact, Canada is one of our largest trading partners.”

Bridget spoke up. “Gabriel isn’t interested in hearing about Canada, Richard.”

Obviously, the pain medication was affecting her. Gabriel wouldn’t have asked about Canada if he wasn’t curious, so I continued.

“Canadians are just a bitter than we have both the NFL and the NBA, while they only have hockey. Plus, there’s the infamous Alan Thicke incident.”

“He doesn’t mean “Canadians”, Richard,” said Bridget. “He means “Cannibals.””

“Cannibals?” I looked at the television where skull-wearing natives were industriously killing off the cast members of King Kong.

“Oh,” I said and turned bright red. It seemed that the teacher had been taught a lesson. This was a turning point, a moment when I could re-evaluate my need to overwhelm people with facts.

Or not. Knowing stuff is always better than self-awareness.

“Cannibals don’t really hate us, Gabriel. Their dietary choices are often a result of limited food resources or superstition.”

Gabriel looked at me. “Are they mad about that Alan Thicke thing, too?”

“Who isn’t?”

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