Friday, October 24, 2008

Getting the Off Out

So I’m taking my three-year-old granddaughter to buy a pair of shoes, because all girls need to learn to love shoes, and it’s their grandmothers’ job to teach them that, when a school bus stops in front of me and turns on its flashers.

As I’m waiting for the bus to discharge its passenger, a car shoots past both me and the school bus. So I’m yelling at the driver, because he’s an idiot, when a little voice from the back seat says, “Are you pissed out, Grandma?”

I stop in mid-rant. I blink. “What did you say?”

And the little voice elaborates: “Did that man piss you out?”

I’m now faced with a choice: do I simply correct her grammar, or go for the deeper life lesson?

“You know,” I say finally, “that’s really not a very pretty word. Let’s say ‘angry’ instead.”

“Did that man make you angry, Grandma?” she says.

“Yes, he did,” I say. “He went right past that school bus, and he could have run over a little child and hurt it.”

“Ooh,” was all she said.

But from the back seat, as clearly as if she’d spoken it aloud, I could hear what she was thinking:

“Yep, she’s pissed out all right.”

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