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#6133My ritual differs slightly. What I do, first thing [in the morning], is I
hop into the shower stall. Then I hop right back out, because when I hopped
in I landed barefoot right on top of See Threepio, a little plastic robot
character from "Star Wars" whom my son, Robert, likes to pull the legs off
of while he showers. Then I hop right back into the stall because our dog,
Earnest, who has been alone in the basement all night building up powerful
dog emotions, has come bounding and quivering into the bathroom and wants
to greet me with 60 or 70 thousand playful nips, any one of which -- bear
in mind that I am naked and, without my contact lenses, essentially blind
-- could result in the kind of injury where you have to learn a whole new
part if you want to sing the "Messiah," if you get my drift. Then I hop
right back out, because Robert, with that uncanny sixth sense some children
have -- you cannot teach it; they either have it or they don't -- has chosen
exactly that moment to flush one of the toilets. Perhaps several of them.
-- Dave Barry
#6134Nature makes boys and girls lovely to look upon so they can be
tolerated until they acquire some sense.
-- William Phelps
#6135Never have children, only grandchildren.
-- Gore Vidal
#6136Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.
-- Erma Bombeck
#6137Never raise your hand to your children -- it leaves your midsection
-- Robert Orben
#6138Never trust a child farther than you can throw it.
#6139No house is childproofed unless the little darlings are in straitjackets.
#6140No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for
signs of improvement.
-- Florida Scott-Maxwell
#6141Nobody suffers the pain of birth or the anguish of loving a child in order
for presidents to make wars, for governments to feed on the substance of
their people, for insurance companies to cheat the young and rob the old.
-- Lewis Lapham
#6142 On this morning in August when I was 13, my mother sent us out pick
tomatoes. Back in April I'd have killed for a fresh tomato, but in August
they are no more rare or wonderful than rocks. So I picked up one and threw
it at a crab apple tree, where it made a good *splat*, and then threw a tomato
at my brother. He whipped one back at me. We ducked down by the vines,
heaving tomatoes at each other. My sister, who was a good person, said,
"You're going to get it." She bent over and kept on picking.
What a target! She was 17, a girl with big hips, and bending over,
she looked like the side of a barn.
I picked up a tomato so big it sat on the ground. It looked like it
had sat there a week. The underside was brown, small white worms lived in it,
and it was very juicy. I stood up and took aim, and went into the windup,
when my mother at the kitchen window called my name in a sharp voice. I had
to decide quickly. I decided.
A rotten Big Boy hitting the target is a memorable sound, like a fat
man doing a belly-flop. With a whoop and a yell the tomatoee came after
faster than I knew she could run, and grabbed my shirt and was about to brain
me when Mother called her name in a sharp voice. And my sister, who was a
good person, obeyed and let go -- and burst into tears. I guess she knew that
the pleasure of obedience is pretty thin compared with the pleasure of hearing
a rotten tomato hit someone in the rear end.
-- Garrison Keillor, "Lake Wobegon Days"
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