Yesterday, while trapping Chihuahuas for snake food, I was bitten on my right bird finger. While Chihuahuas appear to be no more than harmless, miserable wretches, they are actually one of the few creatures engineered by Satan himself, and as such possess a venomous bite. While I do appreciate the general enlargement and discoloring of my favorite finger, I did suffer other complications from the wound: I scared the angel filling out of my youngest son.
I brought both sons along on this particular expedition, as both have shown a keen interest in and natural ability for raising champion rattlesnakes for fighting. Naturally, I only wanted them to observe the Chihuahua hunting (a rattlesnake’s favorite food, by the way) due to the danger involved, so they remained in the truck and paid no attention to me. After limited success, I returned to the vehicle and expressed my anger at having been dumb enough to receive a bite from such an inefficient organism.
Now, I am in the habit of telling my kids the truth (except they believe there is a Santa Claus and that caramel comes from the humps of camels), so I launched into an explanation of why puncture wounds should be treated in the opposite manner in which I treated mine, and told them I hoped it wouldn’t get infected. As a helpful note, I added that an untreated puncture wound could kill a person. A kind staph infection from a splinter buried in my hand once allowed me to experience this directly. Well, I didn’t die, clearly, but you get the idea.
Have you ever said something and then wished you could give a piece of your ear to unsay it? My youngest son immediately began fretting over my imminent death. Despite my attempts to explain the wonders and availability of antibiotics, he grew increasingly distraught. Great, I thought, now on top of being poisoned by the devil’s best friend, I have let slip too much reality into the innocent realm of my son’s mind—where magic protects you from nightmares and Daddy is some kind of perfect demi-god. The world will kick him in the balls soon enough; is there any reason I should do it first?
I arrived home and attempted to put two children to bed, one crabby because it was late, and the other wailing because he’s going to lose a parent. For a moment I wondered if there wasn’t a touch of manipulation involved, but if there was, then I will be able to retire in the near future on his acting scraps. I told bad jokes in worse voices, pretended to eat his brains, tickled him—the usual tricks—but to no avail. At last I resigned to letting him stay up late and watch some beloved Lego movie. Television is a fantastic brain number, so he was able to relax and fall asleep, allowing me to enjoy the high part of that day: feeding time.