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December 7th, 2008


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05:31 pm - Karma Reacts in Interesting Ways: The Stunning Conclusion
(Continued from here.)

The Deluxe Stick Horse, found, strangely enough, in a rack at a 7-11 many years ago, is a work of art. Really it is. It is a fuzzy, completely upholstered version of the traditional stick horse: a fluffy, cute, horse's head at the top of a stick. The idea is, the child straddles the stick like a witch on a broomstick, and gallops around the house, yard, or other space shrieking with glee and yelling, "Giddyup!" or "Hi ho, Silver!" or simply, "WheeeEEEEeeeeeEEE!" in some upper register guaranteed to shatter eardrums at a hundred paces and invoke the envy of many a coloratura soprano.

The stick horse has provided hours of fun for children for generations, and is the closest thing that most kids ever get to an actual pony.

As a side note, a girl named Kim in my elementary school had a pony. At least, she had a pony at her birthday party one year. She also had really long hair that she wore in a French braid. I'm not sure which I was the most jealous over: the hair, the French braid, or the pony, but I still have not forgiven her to this day. Well, okay, my hair is longer than hers was, so I forgive her the hair. And I learned to French braid in Basic Training, so I think I can let that slide. However, Kim, if you're out there, I have this to say: "Hmph. You and your pony. You think you're so big. I know you invited all the rest of us six-year-olds over just to GLOAT. Well, fine then. Check out my HAIR! Nyah!"

So. The stick horse. Hours of fun, and so forth, right? Except this is the 21st century, man. You can't just hand some kid a stick with a horse head on it and expect them to get any fun out of that! We need interactive, dude. We need effects! We need massive cool and, if I may say so, something noisy.

And noisy is, indeed, what we got.


Enter the creators of the Deluxe Stick Horse. This little guy has a hidden button located in one of the horse's ears. When squeezed, the horse begins A) whinnying loudly and B) playing the William Tell Overture. (That's the Lone Ranger theme song, for those of you old enough to remember that stuff, which I'm certainly not, but my dad was and told me about it one day when I was a child and we were practicing carving our runes on stone tablets for school.)

So now, instead of a child shrieking with glee and galloping about the house, you can have a child shrieking with glee and galloping about the house whilst a stick horse makes whinnying noises accompanied by a full orchestra.

Well. You can see the improvement here.

Unless you're a parent, in which case, you're probably cringing in sympathy, or possibly have already run screaming from the room. Or a coloratura soprano, in which case you left awhile ago, weeping over the thought that you can't go "WheeeEEEeeeeEEEE" like a three-year-old with a stick horse. Sorry about that.

I walked out of my office an hour or so later to catch the tail end of Leilani's excited cry, "...e..gin...ning!"

"What's that, Leilani?" I asked her.

Suddenly, from the next room, I heard the strains of the singing frog. Oh, great, here we go again, I thought with a sense of wry amusement. But then, I thought I heard the saxophone intro to "How Sweet it is to be Loved by You."

No, I thought, it couldn't be!

But it could be. Oh yes. It could indeed be. The saxophone was shortly joined by the William Tell Overture and the sounds of an overexcited equine. I stared at Leilani in horror.

"I said," she repeated, raising her arms to the sky like a conductor about to begin, "The Concert is Now Be.....gin....ning!"

And she bowed theatrically while behind us, her brother Albert grinned in satisfaction after having activated all three of the musical toys at the same time.

The children smiled delightedly at me. I stared at them, unable to speak, as the clashing discord of the ... music ... washed over me like a gentle rain of battleaxes.

Let me repeat this in case anyone has forgotten. We had a frog singing Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler," two gorillas and a saxophone singing "How Sweet it is to be Loved by You," and a horse whinnying and playing the "William Tell Overture."

All at the same time.

"Um," I managed, "Why are you playing all the different songs at the same time?"

Leilani looked at me with the pity reserved for grownups and the very stupid and said, "It's a concert!"

(Except she can't really say "r" so it was more like "consoot." Nevertheless, I got the picture.)

I looked at Albert who nodded soberly in agreement. "A concert," he repeated, in case I hadn't caught it the first time.

"Yes," I said after a few more seconds of staring at the children. "I can ... see that. A concert. Well well."

And then I did what anyone would do: I went back to my office, shut the door, and prayed for forgiveness from whoever might be listening (particularly whoever might be in charge of Karma) in the universe. I prayed for forgiveness ... for giving out kazoos to kids that Halloween years ago.

Outside the door, the music stopped temporarily, and I heard, very faintly, "The consoot is now be...gin...ning!"

I shuddered and, I must admit, whimpered a little.

Karma, my friends, is nothing to be trifled with. You have been warned.


The End
Current Mood: gigglygiggly

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:ladyfox7oaks
Date:December 8th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
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How long did the *Ahem* .. "Consoot" begin ? And if you haven't paid back that Karma- WITH Interest!- by living through THAT...
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:December 8th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
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They were doing it for about an hour and then their mom came out and laid down the law: ONE at a time.

"But mom, the CONSOOT!"

"ONE. At a time, Leilani. I mean it."

"Awww!" *stomps around in a circle*

I'd say the children were very disappointed in their mom's astonishing lack of cultural appreciation for their brilliant consoots.
[User Picture]
From:ladyfox7oaks
Date:December 8th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
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SO this would NOY be the time to find something that plays a truly classical Concert piece like,,, say... the 1812 Overture?
(Ducks and RUNS!)
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:December 8th, 2008 04:16 am (UTC)
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I have weapons.

Just sayin'.

:-P
[User Picture]
From:summerkins
Date:December 8th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
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....Oh my dear god.

I think my 5 yr old niece has that same stick horse O_O
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:December 8th, 2008 04:58 am (UTC)
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Wanna buy a singing frog?

I can give it to you cheap!
[User Picture]
From:summerkins
Date:December 8th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
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Uh, no. I'm good. Plus, i think my parentals would kill me XD
[User Picture]
From:starwatcher307
Date:December 8th, 2008 06:14 am (UTC)
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.
*gasp* - *choke* - *wheeze* - *clutches tummy pained from uncontrollable laughter*

Oh, God! As soon as I think she's awake, I'm calling my friend to read this to her tomorrow.

Thanks for the great laugh before I go to bed. (But I don't know if I'll have sweet dreams or nightmares.)
.
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:December 8th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
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Hehe! Thanks! That's the best compliment I could get. :-)

And you're very welcome.
[User Picture]
From:diachrony
Date:December 8th, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC)
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"A gentle rain of battleaxes." Heh heh.

My sister always puts in foam earplugs when the niblings are over for Friday night dinner. And we don't even have a full orchestra!
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:December 8th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
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There are times you should be glad you can't hear it. This would be one of those times.

Trust me on that one, babe.
From:jasonsacks
Date:December 8th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)

Beautiful music

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What a great story! Who knows, you may have changed Leilani's life. One day this child may be deeply involved in experimental music in which the clashing songs represent a complex, nontraditional and postmodern approach to songwriting. Much like Lou Reed's famous "Metal Machine Music", the fact that the music is painful and annoying is the point of the whole exercise.

And you helped start this child out! I only hope she gives you tickets when she plays the Kennedy Center, or at least the UNR basketball arena.
From:jmcg
Date:December 9th, 2008 05:25 am (UTC)
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Its obvious that the education of these precocious cherubs has been sadly neglected and that they should be introduced to Mr. Coat Hanger and Mr. Wall Socket post haste. Their inability to pick anything up let alone stand up again for a few days or weeks will be inconsequential when compared to the valuable lesson of learning to leave your shit alone.
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:December 9th, 2008 03:30 pm (UTC)
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Sadly, I did point out the toys to them in the first place.

How was I to KNOW????
From:jmcg
Date:December 9th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
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I'm sure that was just your subconscious mind sensing the need for the lesson and using dramatic foreshadowing to increase its relevance.

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