Just because we have no demonstrable knitting right now doesn’t mean we can’t be helpful to people. We both have 8-year-old boys (happy birthday Clif! belated!). Not everybody has our knowledge of the natural history of the 8-year-old boy, his habits, his environment, his peculiar (oh yeah) identifying characteristics. They may suddenly find themselves in the presence of a boy approximately 7-9 years of age, and wonder, “How can I know if this boy is 8? Does anybody have any tips for me?”
We can help. Tonight I observed what I think is the hallmark of the true 8-year-old boy. If you find yourself with a boy, Dear Reader, perform the following test:
1. Put the boy to sleep in the car for approximately 90 minutes.
2. Wake him up in the dark. Don’t give him a chance to think.
3. Watch carefully as he shuffles to the sidewalk, with slits for eyes and slobber on his cheek.
Now is the time: does he make a lightning-fast move of his hand under his shirt, and crack a THUNDERING armpit fart? Are you truly impressed with the decibel level? Do you find yourself laughing on the street, even though as a general rule you do not approve of this sort of thing?
If the answer is yes, you can be fairly confident–smug, even–that you are dealing with an 8-year-old boy. At 7, they are trying hard, but only the most precocious–a Mozart of underarm acoustics–can produce much sound when wide awake, let alone half asleep. By 9, they are mostly past caring, except to guide 7 and 8-year-olds on the path to enlightenment. At 8 they are every one a virtuoso.
Eight is a real sweet spot.
That’s all I’ve got. See you tomorrow for supper. I have to drive to a mountaintop in Tennessee, the greenest state in the land of the free, with a couple of girls from Connecticut as my only companions. Here’s the soundtrack:
Oh just KIDDING. Calm DOWN.
(But seriously, can we sing Rocky Top while we’re there?)
(You can’t argue with this version.)
I want to thank y’all for coming out tonight!
P.S. One more thing I have to share. It is high group-tour season in New York City. There are gangs of grown men and women wearing matching yellow t-shirts wandering the streets with cameras. On Friday near Radio City I saw the BEST t-shirt I have seen in a long time (unfortunately not a multiple). It was worn by a teen-age boy, and it said: “I AM A LEGEND IN JAPAN.”