Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My Solomonic Wisdom...

Solomon reigning in his wisdom...
...and me, reining in mine.
(Image from Wikipedia)

On Tuesday, my two kids were arguing loudly enough in Korean about a tokki that the noise was getting on even my nerves. Now, tokki is the word for "rabbit," and we don't have a rabbit although my 8-year-old son, En-Uk, has been petitioning for one, even calling my wife at her university office to plead his case. So, I wondered why a rabbit that we don't have was causing strife between my kids.

As En-Uk began to scream in nearly uncontrolled anger at Sa-Rah, who -- at a more mature 10 years of age -- sat calmly observing him, I intervened.

"Quiet!" I ordered, then inquired, "Now, what's the problem?"

"I wanted a rabbit, so Sa-Rah gave me one in my mind," explained En-Uk, slightly calmer, but still visibly upset.

"But," Sa-Rah interjected, "En-Uk wouldn't clean up the mess he made in my room!"

"And," En-Uk quickly added, "she took my rabbit away!"

"Because I gave it to you," Sa-Rah reasoned, "I can take it back!"

In some cultures, this might be true -- the gift-giver retaining proprietary rights -- but I'm trying to raise my kids to fit in with Americans, so I told Sa-Rah, "Hey, if you gave the rabbit to him, then it's his. You can't just take it back."

"But he didn't clean up his mess!" she complained.

"Fine, but that doesn't change the fact that you gave him the rabbit," I pointed out. "It's his rabbit now."

At which point, I wondered, Am I crazy, too? It's an imaginary rabbit!

"Look," I pointed out as I returned to the realm of adult sanity, "the rabbit is imaginary. Maybe Sa-Rah could give you an imaginary rabbit, En-Uk, but once it's in your mind, how can she possibly take it away? It's still in your mind, isn't it?"

En-Uk considered this perspective for a bit longer than truly necessary, perhaps reflecting that there might be a downside if he agreed, but he finally accepted my reasoning and kept the imaginary rabbit that Sa-Rah had put into in his mind.

"Just be sure," I added, "not to let it out, or the cats might get it."

Labels:

13 Comments:

At 9:46 AM, Anonymous kapok said...

Hey Harve, come out.

Hey Harve?

Louis?

Harvey?

JK

 
At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harveeeyyyy !!!

 
At 10:36 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, that took me a moment, but I finally caught the allusion to Harvey.

I've never seen the film but have always wanted to.

I presume that Anonymous responded correctly on cue. I wouldn't have known to yell "Harveeyyyy!!!"

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

 
At 11:09 AM, Anonymous kapok said...

There are two versions. See the Jimmy Stewart.

I think anonymous was echoing the doctors' plaintive cry, after he and Harvey had tippled. But your guess is as good as your site meter.

JK

 
At 12:45 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, I haven't a clue where this Anonymous logged on. Clearly, though, he knew his Harvey and what to say.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

 
At 1:25 PM, Anonymous kapok said...

He/she might've yelled out,

Mr Carroll, Please!

Or maybe, "just where did I leave that looking glass?"

Or maybe, "that doggone rabbit,when I get older I'm gonna get my sister but good!"

These would be the better options. Harvey has a habit of inserting himself in reference books and worse. And he's fond of martinis. Think of it: an invisible rabbit leaning on a lamp post begging a passerby to buy him a martini. I don't know that Harvey asks for shaken or stirred but I can see that a hillbilly would go antigoggling in a whippersnash.

JK

 
At 1:31 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Dangnabbit! That wascally wabbit!

Jeffery E.F. Hodges

* * *

 
At 2:39 PM, Anonymous kapok said...

ICU > - ELMR 2

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0 0 /
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{
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"EH - WASSUP DUK" ken?

JK

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I ken
begin-
ning
and end...

But the
cryp-
tic
trick
schtick?

I meet
defeat.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

 
At 3:37 AM, Anonymous lexiphanic said...

Did I ever mention that I used to be a nanny?

I once spent an entire windy fall afternoon with two charming young boys making the leaves dance with our Jedi Mind powers.

I scoff at adult world of "sanity".

 
At 5:27 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Dang, Lexi! I wish I could do that!

Not the cradle-robbing, of course, just the Jedi stuff...

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

 
At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Nathan B. said...

Capital humor, Jeffery, in both the post and the comments!

 
At 8:54 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Nathan.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

 

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