Life, act one



The trap was laid thusly…

(7 year old)Boy: Why do fish die out of water?

Father: They can’t breath.

Boy: Why?

Father: Their bodies aren’t made to take oxygen from air.

Boy: But they can from water? Why?

Father: They evolved that way.

Boy: Oh… (father holds breath boy won’t ask him to explain evolution before bed)… well, what if fish eggs were out of water?

Father: They’d probly dry up.

Boy: And not become fish?

Father: Right. Anyway, they wouldn’t be fertilized. (Oh crap, why’d I add that?)


Father: Yup. (Giving away nothing.)

Boy: What’s fertilized?

Father: (Shit.) Female fish drop eggs. Male fish have something eggs need to turn to little fish.

Boy: Really?!

Father: Yup.

Boy: (Moment of quiet reflection)

Father: (how about a red herring?) But some creatures don’t do it like that. Some don’t even need two.

Boy: Like people…

Father: (Shit.) No.

Boy: (sitting up) You have something eggs need?!

Father: (sigh) Yes.

Boy:(confident expression)…you give it to girls by kissing…

Father: (Ah shit.) No.

Boy: Then what?

(squirmy silence)

Father: I’ll tell you… I’ll tell you later.

Boy: (hurt expression) Tell me now.

Father: (Fuck it.) It’s called sex and I know you’ve heard of it because I saw your little buddies saying “success sounds like…” and giggling when I got you from school one day.

Boy: (broad, satisfied -even gloating- grin)

Father: Goodnight! (Kisses son’s head and exits before any further questions can be advanced. Immediately finds mother to debrief [not that kind of debriefing, dear dirty audience.] Heads out for some fresh air.)


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