Me: "So kids, did anything different happen at school today?"
Betty and Boo (both age 7): "No."
Me: "Hmm. Did President Obama talk to your class, maybe, perhaps on the TV?"
Both kids nod. "Hey, how did you know about that?"
Me: "Oh, I think I heard something about it. He was talking to every single kid in school today."
The Dean: "That's pretty cool. What did he say?"
Betty, rolling her eyes: "Can we puh-leeeese talk about something else? This is boorrrrrrrrrrrrr-rinnnnnnnnggggggg."
Me: "I'm interested to hear what President Obama said. What was the best part of his speech?"
This gets Betty's attention. With eyes wide and in full dramatic fashion, she whispers conspiratorially to give us the inside scoop: "Well, President Obama said a bad word. A really, really bad word."
(And after the week the poor guy has had, who the hell could blame him if he let loose an f-bomb or something? Given how a simple speech to schoolchildren has caused a frickin' brou-ha-ha, it would be almost understandable.)Me, trying not to laugh: "What kind of a bad word?" (and why isn't this the trending topic on Twitter? I wondered.)
Betty, in a conspiratorial whisper: "He said ... he said ... stoooo-pid."
Boo: "Here's what he said. He said, 'if you're in trouble, you're not stupid.' "
(A check of the speech transcript on the White House blog reveals that Boo is slightly paraphrasing Obama's line "so if you get into trouble, that doesn't mean you're a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to act right. If you get a bad grade, that doesn't mean you're stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.")
The Dean: "What else did he say?"
Me: "What are goals?"
Boo: "I don't know. He was there with his friends. His friends are named Timothy Spicer and Arne Duncan."
(I had to look up who Timothy Spicer was. Turns out, he's the 17-year old senior class president of the school where Obama spoke. And here I am thinking he's a new Cabinet member.)
Boo: "And he said ... he said ... he said grades K to twelve. And Michelle Obama. And he said never give up."
Me: "Did he talk about anything else?"
Boo: "He talked about his parents. They flew away. Did his father die?"
Me: "I think so."
Boo: "May I be excused from the table?"
Yes, our kids really do ask to be excused from the table. Just like Wally and the The Beav.
Spoken just like true socialists.