I was a precocious little kid. My mother says I was born able to read. I honestly can’t remember a time when I couldn’t read. The only bad thing about being able to read at an early age is that you can read words that you don’t know the meaning of. You can pronounce the words, but you lack the ability to discern whether or not you should say them. Out loud. In public.
Case in point: I was three-years-old. My mom stopped the car at a gas station because I had to go to the bathroom. She walked me into the restroom and I went into the stall by myself. To pass the time, I read the writing on the walls. When I came out of the stall, I had a whole new arsenal of words. Top this off with the fact that I loved to embarrass my mother. So, every time a friend of hers would say, “Oh, you have the prettiest little girl,” I would respond, “Fuck you.”
Mom would turn three different shades of red while I recited from memory: “Here I sit, brokenhearted, came to shit, but only farted.”
But the time I embarrassed her the most was at a family dinner. A lot of our extended family was going to be there. All the relatives that we saw only every five years or so.
I used to love watching Mom put on her make-up and get ready to go places. I was four-years-old and sat on the toilet lid while Mom poofed her hair up into a big beehive. I coughed and sputtered from all the AquaNet filling the small bathroom. Then I saw a box I had never seen before. I read out loud the big word on the box.
“Ssshhh,” Mom scolded, “Don’t ever say that word. It’s not polite to say in front of people.”
Flash forward to the dinner. I am sitting between my mother and my grandfather. There are about twelve other people sitting at the table, all uncles and aunts and cousins. My grandfather looked at me and asked, “So, Layce, how have you been lately?”
“I’m good,” I said. I puffed up my chest and added, “I learned a new word today.”
I could feel Mom stiffen in her seat beside me.
“Oh?” my grandfather asked. “What word?”
“KO-TEX,” I said loudly, being sure to enunciate both syllables plainly.
There was a long silence. Mom threw down her fork, got up, and left the room.
It was my mother’s fault. She should’ve known better than to tell me NOT to do something. Did she learn nothing from the time she told me NOT to put peanut butter in my hair?
Need a good laugh?
Look no further!