Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bob Frapples, Dr. Pepper and Mr. Pibb

My son and I often engage in silly word play that (I think) is hilarious and quite clever, for a ten-year-old. On Sunday, for instance, he suddenly announced that when he grew up, he would change his name to Bob.

He said he wanted to change it because his first name, "Egbert," is too unusual. I suggested he could go by his middle name, "John," instead, but no--he would continue to use his given name for now, and change it to Bob at age 18. He asked if I knew any people named Bob, and I said I only knew bob for apples. "Who is Bob Frapples?" I explained the whole apple bobbing thing, and he decided that (a) he would change his name to Bob Frapples and (b) he wanted to bob for apples at his 11th birthday party. Which, he then said, ought really to be called his 12th birthday party, because, besides the 10 birthday parties he's had so far, there must have been one on the day he was born. He was a little peeved to learn that there hadn't been. Why wasn't there a party on the day of his birth? Wasn't it a joyous occasion? I didn't go into the whole cesarean-section-recovery thing, but explained that newborn babies don't like loud noises or crowds of people. And besides, they can't eat cake. --What? Why not? --Because they can't eat solid food. --Well, what do they eat, then? --Uh... what do you think they eat?

As he approaches puberty he's becoming more and more leery of anything potentially having even tangiential sexual content, so he wasn't going to go there. He thought for a minute and said, with an air of making a wild guess: "Pibb Extra?"

This sent us off (for some reason) onto a whole tangent about Dr. Pepper and Mr. Pibb. We decided they were the soda equivalent of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And therefore Pibb Extra was... the most hideous version of Mr. Hyde... er, Pibb?

Well, I guess you had to be there. The weird thing is that I don't know that Egbert has ever had any Mr. Pibb, and he's certainly never had Pibb Extra, whatever that might be. But, today, on the windowsill upon which I force (through guilt) my coworkers to place their aluminum cans that they are too lazy to recycle (I do it for them) I saw an empty Pibb Extra can. Coincidence?

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