While talking to a friend this week, I revealed three different, yet related tales from my childhood that illustrate what a literal-minded little phonics whore I was as a lad. And, since I think they’re pretty funny, I thought I’d share them:
1. There was period when I was a kid, when my mom used the word liaison quite a bit. She was involved in the PTA and the local community board, so it makes sense in retrospect. However, at the time, I’d never heard the word before and, based on the ways my mom would use it, I always assumed it was a person’s name: Lee Ayson.
2. While waiting to pick up my sister after school, I pointed to the writing on the door to the Principal’s Office and asked my mom what the words Off Ice meant?
3. My all-time favorite story…still told around the Christmas goose ’til this very day. When I was six or so, I was sitting at the kitchen table drawing a picture of ants, bees, and various other bugs (remember this part, it’s important). My mom was in the kitchen making dinner. All of a sudden, innocent as you please, I ask “Mom, how do you spell sex?” Now, as you can expect, my mom was a tad taken aback that her six year old son would ask her how to spell sex (especially since this was in the days before cable TV and the internets, when you had to learn about such things in the schoolyard). “Six?” she asks. “No, sex,” I reply. Understandably concerned, she comes over to look at what I’m drawing and sees the page filled with bugs, spiders and other creepy crawlies. At the top of the page, the letters I and N patiently await the remaining letters needed to spell (wait for it) IN-SECTS.