Monday, December 20, 2010

On Phlegm and Our Nightly Study Session

Exchange with Thomas

This happened last night. I was in the middle of some routine maintenance task -- we have four people in the upper level of this house, with five computers, one television and a total of eight screens here in this living room. In spite of that there is always a line up with severe competition for one of these screens. I am almost always fixing something that has gone wrong. Last night, for example, as often happens, I was awakened in the wee hours by my father's nocturnal activities in the kitchen; when he had gone, I came out of the bedroom and noticed that all of them had been left on. I noticed that it took me over an hour to finish up what was on each of the computers and to shut them all down. Anyway, I was pretty absorbed in what I was doing when eleven-year-old Tomaso interrupted, asking:

"If somebody were to give you a million dollars for it, would you take a bath in phlegm?"

"Yes, yes, I probably would."

"I would do it too, but only if it were my own phlegm. Not somebody else's."

I found his observation very funny and could hardly stop laughing. He asked, "Why are you laughing?" I could not explain at the time, but I suppose it was because I have spent some fifty-five years on this planet and the possibility of taking a bath in phlegm had never crossed my mind, much less the question as to whose phlegm I would be bathing in. Such are the rewards of living with a little guy like him.

Old Children's Class Report

A bit over a year ago I wrote the following mini-report on our occasional just-before-bedtime children's study class.

2 December, 2009

Our daily children's class has become nothing more than reading from Brilliant Star Magazine. I pick an article, Silvie picks one for herself, and Tommy picks one, and we read them together.

Today, for some reason they got the urge to draw while I read, so I picked all three articles this time. One of them was about the life of Baha'u'llah. I told them a few stories about His life, including the one about Mirza Yahya when the holy family were in Bagdad and Baha'u'llah had gone off for two years to the Sulaymaniyyih mountains. It is in God Passes By, as I recall, and tells of how Mirza Yahya would scoff the shoes from the pilgrims inside the shrine of Imam Hussain, and then try to fence them.

Tommy was so amused by this outrage that he drew a cartoon of Mr. Y setting up a kiosk selling the stolen shoes back to barefoot pilgrims coming out of the shrine.

For some reason, (perhaps my defective teaching) the kids find the Baha'i Judas more a figure of fun, rather than a betrayer like the Christian Judas...


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