Sunday mornings are usually very sedate in our house. Today is no different. I have woken up a full hour before the rest of the house, unlike the others who are sleeping in late. One reason for this is that I have a finely tuned body clock. The other reason is that if I do not get out of bed at 6, I'm going to have to poop in it, thanks to the afore mentioned body clock. The missus finds this very irritating, because I am forever slamming doors, stumbling over randomly scattered soccer balls and wandering around like a blind bat looking for my spectacles, without which, optically disadvantaged as I am, I would probably go in the broom closet. She mumbles some words of recrimination and goes back to sleep mid sentence. What the hell, it is a Sunday morning!
A few hours later, when the household is up and awake, and humming with action, I am accosted by my children. The elder one makes an observation about Eminem. Perhaps a word of explanation is in order here. The kids are inordinately fond of rap music and its practitioners. People like Eminem, Fifty Cent, a gentleman named- I kid you not- T-Pain, and many other worthies who wish to influence the world through their hair and tattoos, instead of mundane things like wisdom, courage and intellect. As I was saying, the elder one makes the observation that, should Eminem convert to Islam, he could call himself Muslim Shady. I go "huh?" at him in the way only a doofus father can. He explains that Eminem, for reasons best known to him, calls himself "Slim Shady". Muslim Shady was a play on Slim shady. "It was a joke, Annie!" he tells me, with a sad look in his eyes which clearly reveal his estimation of the hopelessness of the older generation.
Younger son is studying. I'm pottering about in the living room, trying to get the TV started with the remote. Missus watches in serene amusement for about 5 minutes and then points out that I am using the cordless phone. "Try using the remote. It works really well with the TV, though I don't know why that should be so". She revels in these kind of shots. I give her my coldest "Dignified Silence" look, completely wasted on her because her mom has called up from Mysore and they are exchanging very sotto voce remarks about something. This means
a. Someone is getting divorced
b. Someone is getting married
c. Someone is having a child
d. They are discussing the latest Chinese GDP numbers.
Ok, perhaps not 'd.'
Anyway, I digress. I was talking about the younger son. With his mom in a long conversation over the phone, he is like a political activist just released from prison. Brimming with things to say, if you know what I mean.
"Annie" he goes, "is reproduction a bad thing?"
"Ask your mother. She'll be happy to tell you." I try to slink away, but he's not having any of it.
"I'm asking YOU"
"I, er, no, not really. I mean, reproduction is, like, very necessary for life. But of course, we don't discuss it very openly er.. er.. "
"I beg your pardon?"
"Why don't we discuss it openly?"
"Well, I think... that is... I think your mother would be better placed to answer that."
"She's going to be on the phone for an hour, you know. That's grandma on the line."
"I know." Sigh. "Ok, why are you asking me this NOW?"
"Well it says here, in this textbook that I'm reading that 'reproduction in any form is expressly prohibited' "
Rascal.! He was stringing me along. I try to clout him one on the side of the head but he's like Muhammed Ali, dodging and weaving around while I get shorter of breath.