Abu Ghraib, New Jersey

5-Year Old Daughter has a wild and vivid movie playing inside her head at all times. Often, I’ll hear her on her own in some corner of the house providing dialog for two inanimate objects. Not just dolls. She’ll pick up two pencils or a fork and a toy car and have them “talk” to one another. Whole conversations! It’s entertaining to watch from the shadows.

I heard her yammering upstairs in our bedroom so I crept up to see what kind of charming world she was creating this time. Was it princesses or a menagerie of friendly stuffed animals? I turned the corner and was stunned to see this scene unfolding on our bed. She had placed the cloth pouch used for game pieces over the head her doll!

Then, much to my horror, she cinched the bag closed around the doll’s neck! Oh, my God! What ghastly game is this she’s playing!? Next stop, the child psychologist.

* * *

I was walking down my driveway with 9-Year Old Daughter to get in the car. At the apron, we saw an empty, crushed pack of Marlboro’s. The wind blows all kinds of crap in from the roadway. She looked down and said the most wonderful, satisfying thing:

“Dad, what is that?”

Can you imagine! 9-years old and doesn’t recognize a pack of cigarettes! Perhaps next I’ll show her a typewriter, an 8-track cartridge and a black and white television.

* * *

Have you ever impulse purchased a CD from Amazon.com because it was really cheap and then, once it arrived and you go to tuck it into your CD rack, found that you ALREADY OWN A COPY?

No, of course you haven’t. Only someone with the attention span of a gnat would do that.

Would anybody like a free copy of Genius: Warren Zevon’s Greatest Hits? His songs are like really great short stories, mostly about broken, fucked up lives, all weaved with sometimes gentle, sometimes chugging, piano.

Well, I’m sittin’ here playing solitaire
With my pearl-handled deck
The county won’t give me no more methadone
And they cut off your welfare check.

Carmelita hold me tighter
I think I’m sinking down
And I’m all strung out on heroin
On the outskirts of town


Edit: The CD is gone. It’s going to Ireland! Thank you for playing.

18 thoughts on “Abu Ghraib, New Jersey

  1. I think it’s just wonderful that she doesn’t know what a pack of cigs is!You have my address, would you like something in return, a swap? I’ll just send something random maybe? :¬)

  2. Keep that imagination running wild!! And keep them away from technology as long as you can. That really screws up kids these days. They lose all imagination and all social skills, sadly.Not knowing what a pack of cigs is, is excellent! She’ll probably think you’re a loon for using 8-track tapes. 😉

  3. Pat: Or a budding criminal. We’ll see…map: It’s on it’s way. Yes, pick something random. I love surprises. Ponita: So far, so good. I hope they inherit all of my curiosities and none of my neurosis, although that’s not very realistic, is it?

  4. Doll – probably a posh spa treatment..I would never realise if I had 2 CDs the same as I file mine ‘chronologically’. ..unless I bought the same one on 2 consecutive days.I still remember with pride my 6 year old son asking why did that man have a ‘smoking stick’ in his mouth?

  5. Hem: I don’t know. I don’t want to know.IW: Welcome! I’m going to go with your line of reasoning. She was giving the doll pleasure; not pain. Yeah. That works.Ellie: I didn’t say anything. I quietly backed out of the room and tried to pretend I didn’t see it.

  6. No one ever asked me why I cut the fingers and toes off my fashion doll, either. I don’t remember anything except that I was extremely angry about something. I did not turn into a psychopath because I abused my doll. Don’t worry about it. It could be as simple as fantasizing about halloween disguises.I think it is wonderful that your daughter does not know what a package of cigarettes is. I wish people who used them did not think it was so appropriate to jettison the butts, packages, and used up lighters they produce all over the countryside. That is probably one of my hot buttons. . . cigarette butts on the ground.Furthermore, I went and read the article you linked to and I am drooling. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite stories, but it didn’t change my life — I already was a big reader by the time I was five. But it did affirm many of my attitudes and beliefs. How cool that you got a letter from Harper Lee!

  7. and tomorrow the lights in your house will flicker and she’ll be electrocuting it. and waterboarding. i generally hate kids but they rule when they get destructive.

  8. Hey pal, it arrived already! Haven’t had the chance to give it a spin yet but looking forward to it! Yours is probably in the air right now, ’twas a holiday weekend here so didn’t get to the post office ’til yesterday! Thanks again! :¬)

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