Like Like

John John just finished 3rd grade but was home sick from summer camp today. Not “sick” sick, but, like, taking-antibiotics-for-a-rash sick. 

So at the lunch hour,  I took him with me to the little deli where John and I have been getting sandwiches on the regular. It’s in a strip mall convenience store run by the cutest couple. I’ve seen their kid there before and she seemed around John John’s age so had no hesitation to take him with me. 

We ordered. We waited for our sandwiches to be made. The wife made them and eventually brought them to the counter to ring us up. “He looks just like you!” She commented. He and I were both wearing masks but even with the limited exposure it was clear to her. “Yeah, people tell me all the time that he’s my mini-me.”

She showed him his sandwich to let him know that that one was his. It said “BLT” in sharpie and had a smiley face drawn next to it. The other sandwiches were unmarked, so smiley was special for the kid. So sweet. 

Back at the house, we were eating our lunch and telling John about the excursion. “What did you think?” John asked. “It was fine,” John John answered with almost-nine-years-old nonchalance. 

“The wife made our sandwiches,” I told John. Then, remembering how nice she had been, I asked John John, “Did you like her?” 

“NO!!!” he erupted. 

His tone was that saved for only the most onerous of offenses.  Like when his honor is being challenged by the accusation of ‘Liar’ from someone of dire import, like his sister. 

I was stunned to silence. 

“No, I didn’t “like her”!” he emphasized with a touch of sarcasm. 

I began to unravel. And as I realized I was unraveling, I caught John’s eye. There was a glint. I lost composure. 

The idea that he thought I was asking if he “liked” liked this lovely sandwich lady was just too, too much. I was slain. 

But now that I’ve regained composure, the question is, in light of the illumination above, what the hell meaning did he read into that smiley face?! 

I can’t ask, I won’t ask. But, I’m not sure if we can go back to that place en famille again…

Two Things John John

Item One:

John John is a bit of a fraidy cat. Example: He’s been sending his little sister to go turn on lights in dark rooms since she was about 2 1/2. When I say ‘boo,’ his screams echo far longer than Koko’s. There are no two ways about it – brave in that way, he is not.

Recently at dinner, he was recounting some scary experience he had had recently, nay, shared with Koko recently. Maybe it was something on TV that he thought was scary. The actual item is unimportant.

“Koko and I are both scardey-cats, right Papa?” He asks John for confirmation and reassurance.

“Well, yes,” says John, it seems the ever obliging dad. But no.

“Except Koko’s is a function of her age.”

Stated so matter-of-factly that the meaning is totally lost on John John, who just agrees, “yeah.”

Meanwhile, I’m busting a gut over in the corner by myself trying not to draw any attention.

Item Two:

John John has requested some fruit after finishing his meal, and he is allowed. He departs to the kitchen to choose said fruit, and wash and clean it for consumption. This latter period is taking some time.

“Is everything OK back there?” I ask worriedly.

“Yes, and you will all be so amazed at what I am making to share with you,” he lets me know.

The time finally comes, and he bring out a bowl of nectarines and peaches which he has cut up for everyone in our familiy’s consumption. They are, certainly, delicious.

“Aren’t you happy that I’m sharing so well?” he asks me in a weird reverse humble moment. Just as I am busy eye-rolling John across the table, John John pipes in with his other wisdom:

“Peaches are mammals.”

A better parent than I would not have laughed as hard. I did try to keep it in, long enough for him to eek out, “I know, because of their fuzzy hair.”

I either aged 10 years, or got back the same. Not sure which, not sure that it matters.

Ian Brennan recording the voiceless Mayhem special on kfjc

Tanzanian albinism project guitarist
Recording the Voiceless

Month of mayhem special

The month of Mayhem is the time when DJs make special programming. I didn’t know what I would do until just a week ago today I recorded the interviews that will Air on the special. Interviewing is not easy, but I learned some things and I’m sure the audience can do the same. I hope I can edit it into a good interview.

KFJC MAYHEM 24 NOON-2PM
RECORDING THE VOICELESS
PRODUCER IAN BRENNAN
IN CONVERSATION WITH
HEMROID THE LEADER
“WHITE AFRICAN POWER”
“THEY WILL KILL YOU, IF YOU CRY”
“I HAVE NO EVERYTHING HERE”
___

PRODUCER IAN BRENNAN TRAVELS THE GLOBE
RECORDING ALBINOS, PRISONERS, SURVIVORS OF GENOCIDE, POVERTY,
AND WAR
JOIN US AS WE DIVE DEEPER INTO THE BACK CATALOG
THURSDAY MAYHEM 24TH FROM NOON-2PM ON KFJC