When I tell you that Jakob is from another planet, I’m really not fooling. Whatever drum this kid marches to, it’s definitely off worldly. Take, for instance, the other day (as all these tales tend to start)…actually, it’s been the last few days. Jakob’s been walking around the house, exaggerating his “S’s”. Why? I have no idea. He’ll walk up to you and ask, completely straight faced, “Do you have a listhp?”
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It’s not like he asks once and he’s done. Like he’s moved onto whatever bit of randomness has entered his stream of consciousness. No. He asks everyone, multiple times, if they have a listhp. And no matter how you answer the kid, he’ll ask you again the next time he sees you. And the next time. And the next time. Which may have been funny at first, but after the 117th? Well…it’s mildly annoying.
If I consider myself the modern day Mark Twain, then this kid is Andy Kaufman reincarnate.
The crüe and I were breaking our evening bread, when I turned to Jakob and asked, “How was school today?”
“Fine.” His usual pat answer.
“Isn’t the book fair coming up?” I asked everyone at the table.
“Yesth. It isth.” Jakob answered.
“It stharted yesthterday.”
“So…” I paused looking at the other three for some sort of confirmation. “When were you gonna let me know?”
He shrugged, stuffing a handful of food into his face. The kid’s not crazy about forks much, either.
I rolled my eyes, looking over at Jethro. “How come you didn’t tell me?”
“I dunno.” He shrugged.
“You both go to the same school.” I said, incredulously, looking at them on either side of the table. Brothers, two years apart, are not good sitting next to each other at the dinner table. Or in the car. Or in the movie theater. Or an airplane. Or…
“The teacher was sthupposed to sthay sthomething on the…”
“Wait!” I interrupted.
“What?” Jakob replied, innocently enough.
“Are you…” I cocked my head to the left, giving Jakob a sideways glance. “Are you…lisping?”
“Yesth.” He nodded, matter of factly.
I looked at him for a long moment. He returned my stare, his face as blank as the day is long. I glanced around the table, hoping one of his other siblings would shed some light on this bizarre chain of events. They all just shrugged.
I closed my eyes, trying to make contact with the big guy upstairs. The only thing I got was laughter pinging around the inside of my skull. A “roll with it” eventually bubbled up through my consciousness. I took a deep breath and asked “Ok. Well, are there any booksth that you want?”
Images courtesy of:
Andy kaufman: sevensentinels.net