Monday, July 24, 2006

Tip Off the Old Block

I did a nice job of slicing off the topmost tip of my pinky finger cutting up an heirloom tomato for our breakfast yesterday. A good dollp of blood, lots of swearing, and a more effective wake-up than the coffee I was drinking.

When I got myself all band-aided up and to table, Mimi eyed the plate of tomato slices suspiciously and asked, “Which one of these has your fingertip in it?” I assured her that neither body parts nor blood had gotten into the food, but she still gave the slice she picked a thorough once-over before laying it on her bagel.

The kid cracks me up; she takes virtually nothing I tell her on faith. I think she inherited my dad’s skeptical nature; she definitely got his curmudgeon gene.

She also got his penchant for scheming; my dad was famous for always playing the angles looking for an edge. We were in Value Village yesterday; orange tags were half off. Mimi found a toy that cost $1.99 with a green tag. “Hey Dad,” she said, “can you help me find an item with an orange tag that costs $1.99 so I can swap tags?”

My mom used to say that I would make her so mad she would chase me around the house threatening to kill me but then, just when she’d caught me, I’d say something that would make her laugh so hard, the murderous intent would go away. Mimi does that all the time to me.

The other day, I was trying to get her out of the house. She didn’t want to and expressed her resistance verbally and by dragging her feet more and more the more I tried to rush her.

“Listen,” I said, “just come on. I really don’t want to turn this into a contest of wills.”

“It’s not a contest of wills,” she said. “It’s a contest of won’ts.”

Who could be mad after a line like that?


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