I rarely answer my phone when I'm glazing, but a call came from the kids' daycare today. With a knot in my stomach, I rushed to pick it up. It was Jane. "Jack Peter let the lid of the toilet fall down on his penis, and it's pretty bruised. I think it might be uncomfortable for him to pee; Ivan did it last week, but it just hit the side. Those boys have to be macho and stand up to pee, so it happens from time to time. The whole tip of Jack Peter's penis is purple. We're putting ice on it, but maybe you should call his doctor to see if there's something else we should do. "
"Is he still crying? I think you're the first person who's ever used the word 'macho' to describe Jack Peter." I didn't mean anything by it, but I think she thought I was calling him a pansy. "Well sure he's macho on the days he's not wearing a dress! It's all in the clothes. Steel's pretty macho too!" No kidding...she wore boy clothes and would only respond to 'Andy' this morning.
I texted Hans, our pediatrician. He suggested that ice on the penis might not be a good idea, but he wasn't worried about it unless Jack Peter couldn't pee. I called the school back to relay this, and I got Chris, another teacher. "Hi Chris, it's Liz, Jack Peter's mom, I'm calling about his penis." "His what?" Jack Peter is not one to suffer in silence, so knowing that his shrieks of agony hadn't reached every ear at the daycare was a good sign. In the meantime I alerted Tim of the catastrophe, and he responded with a gleeful swagger in front of his staff, "Of course it hit him; it couldn't miss!"
Final text to Hans:
"Purple penis is fully functional and a source of pride, so all is well..."
Will a time come when Jack Peter will be embarrassed that he offered to show our neighbor his purple penis in the middle of the sidewalk? Will we not be able to fart in the kitchen and blame it on the ducks in our butts? Farting is our family's main source of humor. It's not a Philly thing because I know a married couple here who have been together for 12 years, and they still don't fart in front of each other.
I understand that impulse. There are times when I'm in the studio and I'm so glad I work alone. Did I become a potter, so I don't have to fart in front of anyone? 'Black eggs' are the term a friend used for his wife's dreadful pregnancy farts. I think about that more often than I'd care to admit. Driving back from Virginia yesterday, Tim offered me a mint in the car. I mumbled, "Can I put it in my ass?" Someone should come up with ass mints. Maybe I would have become a surgeon.