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If you had to choose between producing a Moby-Dick-sized report for your latest project or distilling your main points into a couple tightly-written paragraphs, you’d probably choose the latter, right? Less is more, in most circumstances. Plus, I think your …...

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Filed Under on February 11th, 2012

Kid Crack

By Seth Kabala

If you had to choose between producing a Moby-Dick-sized report for your latest project or distilling your main points into a couple tightly-written paragraphs, you’d probably choose the latter, right?

Less is more, in most circumstances. Plus, I think your life insurance agent would have something to say about the dangers of harpoons and whaling, and going mad and all that.

But sometimes less is confusing, offensive. Funny? Yes. But probably not something you’d want your kids repeating in front of your boss.

Unless, that is, you look forward to having a reason to get numerous scripts for anti-depressant meds, a scenario sure to play out after your kid, tired of the take-your-kid-to-work day hijinks (hey, Dad. I thought only dogs did that), on the verge of starvation from being forced to abandon the cause of their Hobbit brothers, resulting from the denial of second breakfast (what! Are you smoking weed? No? Well, that’s amazing, ’cause that’s the only logical explanation for this enormous appetite. … What? How do I know that? … Never mind. Just go watch tv), decides to ask your boss for a snack–of the illegal narcotic variety.

This is real danger, folks. If my kids can do it, yours can, too. Beware the shortened phrase, such as when my four-year-old, Anna (notice: the preceding paragraph is about to make sense), asked if she could have some crackers.

My wife, Amy, who fielded the request, knew what she wanted (if for no other reason than because 99% of all requests our kids make pertain to food (weed or youth humanitarian mission? Hmmm. Where does all that food go?), but she still did a double-take when Anna said, “Can I have some crack?”

If we were the type of parents that cared about giving our kids everything they asked for, without an investigation of need, we would have jumped in the car, driven downtown, searched for a dark street-corner, and made a cash deal. After all, we wouldn’t want to be seen as depriving our sweet girl something she needs, so that’s exactly what we did, and the reason why I’m writing this post from a jail cell.

If you believed that, there’s a country song you should listen to and a real-estate deal in Arizona you should check out. Now. I mean, like, RIGHT NOW. Oh, but make sure to let me handle the money transfer.

(Barney Stinson) Whaaaat?! Of course we didn’t do that. Amy found out Anna wanted crackers and responded appropriately, with a prodigious denial of access to food for an in-between-meals-and-snacks food request, capped off with a megaphone and a visit from the police, who were investigating a noise complaint.

The improper word-shortening goes further. More examples:

1. Anna: I didn’t finish my cottage.

Me: What? You’ve started eating small houses?

Anna: What?

Me: You mean cottage cheese?

I plan to lecture her on the dangers of this shortening. I mean, let’s face it. People are paranoid enough about the bank foreclosing on their home without having to worry about some super-hungry kid making off with it for an unauthorized snack.

2. Mac ‘n cheese has become “Mac.” If my daughter says she wants some Mac, I hope she’s never talking about a burly trucker, but I’m a father, and my protective thoughts run wild.

3. Tic Tacs have become “Tics.” Modern medicine being what it is, I think it’s unnecessary to use a blood-sucking parasite to pull toxins from the body, especially when they’re likely injecting as many as they would remove.

If, by chance, she wasn’t talking about the insect but instead the short-lived TV series, I think the parasitic discussion is still appropriate.

So, parents, beware word shortenings, or you, too, might find yourself with a large grocery bill and no funds with which to satisfy it.


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Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, and musician. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

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