Sunday, January 06, 2013

drunk [druhngk]. Not an entirely child-friendly dictionary word.

"Aunt Stacey, what does drunk mean?"

The Highline, featuring
drunk people railing.
It all started innocently enough. Jack and I, up on the Highline on a Saturday afternoon. He wanted me to unfold the kick scooter I had slung over my shoulder. I told him that the sign by the staircase clearly stated:
  1. No alcoholic beverages; and 
  2. No bikes, roller skates, skateboards or letting your nephew stand on the front of your kick scooter while you weave in and out of tourists at top speeds like it's a crosstown sidewalk.

So naturally the kid's next question is, "What is an alcoholic beverage?" 
"Beer," I answered.
"Why can't you drink beer on the Highline?"
"Because they don't want drunk people running around up here," I replied. (You can see where this is going.)

When Jack popped me with the grand finale "define drunk" query, I was flummoxed. I certainly did not want to see my face on the cover of Bad Aunt magazine, so I knew I had three options: 
  1. Resort to trickery and deceit (a mainstay of my non-existant child-management approach) 
  2. Pretend to fall flat on my face and whoop something like "A giant boogie is stuck in my nose!" (It is true I am known for my moments of comedic genius when it comes to distracting the under-ten set); or
  3. Say something really fast and hope the problem goes away.

Probably, I should have stuck with #2 in hindsight. After all, I was well prepared having spent the majority of Christmas week making up names for different kinds of farts with my father. In the spur of the moment, I went with #3. I declared, "Drunk means when a grownup has too much beer and gets all crazy in the head."

Not my finest work, I'll admit, but I knew if I didn't answer in T-minus three seconds the pregnant pause would advertise Drunkenness as a wonderful topic to bring up at Montessori school. I peered out of the corner of my eye to see how my explanation went over. Jack's brow was furrowed in thought. Not a good sign. 

I pointed out some pigeon poop, hoping to knock Jack off the drunk-talk with some wholesome feces conversation. Not likely. 

"I can see how the crazy drunk people might FALL RIGHT OVER THE RAILING!" Jack informed a ten foot radius, waving around his arms with tremendous vigor. We discussed the resulting mess. There would be splatter all over tenth avenue.

I glared right back at those two frowning women decked out in the finest sweatsuits money can buy. It is totally true that the falling crazy in the head drunk people would in fact make a crazy huge splat explosion if they went over the railing.

drunk  [druhngk] adjective
1) pertaining to or caused by intoxication or intoxicated persons.
2) being in a temporary state in which one's physical and mental faculties are impaired by an excess of alcoholic drink; intoxicated: The wine made him drunk.
Post a Comment