A blog about a kid. I like her.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Legend of Uncle Kasey and Captain Stupendous

There's a lot of downtime with Aletheia so far--she doesn't cry unless she really needs something, or someone misses an easy question on Jeopardy. She's content to look around the room, listen to music, and practice making interesting-looking stains with her voluminous spit-up. (There are certain pictures we are unable to post, for the emotional well-being of our visitors.) So we have plenty of time to sing songs, begin Greek lessons, and tell stories. One ongoing story we tell is the Legend of Uncle Kasey.

Uncle Kasey is my brother, a cop, and probably looks a lot like I would if I had another three inches of height, fifty-two pounds of muscle, and a habit of carrying a pistol anywhere I went. And a couple more tattoos. He's is the Paul Bunyan of our home--stories are based on the real person, but tend to grow some in the telling. They're pretty formulaic, beginning with an attention-getting introduction: "When Uncle Kasey goes to the beach, he stays cool and tan, but after an hour the Sun gets a Kaseyburn." Or, "Uncle Kasey once moved a barn with his bare hands, just to get a better view of the mountains." Then we tell an exciting story through to the climactic conclusion, "So the West Wing was in shambles by then, but the President was safe and Uncle Kasey had tied all the ninjas together with their own belts." Because this is a children's story, there is always a moral, usually beginning with: "If any boy ever treats you disrespectfully, you just call Uncle Kasey and he'll: (1) speak to him very sternly, (2) present him with one all-expenses paid trip to the local slammer, or (3) surgically remove certain well-attached but not technically vital body parts using a rusty spoon."

Along these lines, when Sandy's sister was pregnant with our nephew, Drew, she asked how I wanted Drew to refer to me when he started talking, and, making a joke, I replied, "I've always wanted to be called Captain Stupendous." It took until he was almost four to be able to say it, but now when we visit them, I enjoy hearing a clear little voice calling, "Captain Stupendous, come help me!" I don't know what my superpowers are, unless they are things like: "Able to name any Star Trek episode within ten seconds," or "Able to deliver an impromptu speech extolling the value of the serial comma and decrying the forced Latinization of English grammar." If anyone in our family could think of situations wherein those skills might save someone, there would probably be a collection of Captain Stupendous stories, too. But the best I can realistically hope for is sidekick status in the burgeoning Uncle Kasey corpus.

The candy factory was a mess, but the machinery still worked. Halloween had been saved. Uncle Kasey uprooted a pine tree and used it to wipe the last of the taffy off of his boots. He then tried to turn on the laptop, but the battery had died and the AC cord had been used to provide energy to the chocolate chip chopper. Uncle Kasey thought for a second, and then made a rapid, intricate swirling motion with his arms. It was a secret movement he had been taught by an isolated group of monks after an unusually powerful sneeze had propelled him to Nepal, and it temporarily changed the laws of physics within the vicinity of the computer. It now booted up with ease and operated normally, although the air around it had a slightly greenish tinge, and instead of "Start" the computer screen now said "Revisit the initial phase of your journey." Uncle Kasey handed the laptop to Captain Stupendous. "You mind typing up the report? My hand is cramping and I never can remember how to spell ribulosebisphosphatecarboxylase- oxygenase."

"I'm on it!" cried Captain Stupendous!


pat said...

Loved the beginning of the legend of Captain Studendous and Uncle Kasey. Of course it stars, my two favorite sons. Can't wait for more.


Laurie said...

I loved the story as well.
Greek lessons?....

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I'm a guy with a small daughter and a big bookcase. You can reach me at gate42b(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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