Sunday, November 20, 2011

Elvis, Fast Turtles, and Hand Me That Mockingbird

It's time for another entry in a category I've decided to call Caleb Sez. One reason I like Caleb so much is he's not a conventional thinker. (Check my blog's title.) In the past week he's said stuff both nonsensical and remarkably insightful.

First the nonsense:

Caleb: Hey, Dad!

Me: What?

Caleb: Guess what!

Me: What?

Caleb: Ummm... [Long pause]

Me: Caleb?

Caleb: What?

Me: You were going to tell me something.

Caleb: Oh, yeah. I forgot. Guess what!

Me: What!?

Caleb: Some people call hammers Mockingbirds.

Me: Oh, really?

Caleb: Yeah. In the nineteen-seventies they did.

O-kaaayyyy... I'll just have to take his word for it. I was alive in the seventies. Granted, I was pretty young for most of the decade, but I don't recall ever hearing that. Maybe the less ornithologically-savvy* will confuse a Gray Catbird or a Phoebe with a Mockingbird in any decade, but a hammer?

Nope. I'm not seeing it.

He's said things that reflect a curious view of religious doctrine, but he clearly understands a lot about it. Consider what he told his mother a few days ago:

Caleb: Can turtles run fast if they have enough faith?

Celeste: Yes, they could.

Caleb: I thought so. They must not have faith.

Brilliant! When I heard about this, I said, "My boy is a GENIUS," because it shows not only a keen understanding of the concept of faith (as taught in the Judaeo-Christian tradition generally, and especially in the LDS church), but also perfect application of deductive reasoning.

I guess we could also say that Mockingbirds could drive nails with their beaks if only their faith were strong enough.**


Since I'm already writing about stuff at the intersection of silliness and profundity,*** here's another installment of Stuff George Carlin Said:

" I wonder if an Elvis impersonator could ever get famous enough so that someone who looked like him could become a celebrity lookalike. Is there room in this culture for an Elvis-impersonator lookalike? Probably."

I'm not sure there is. It's an interesting idea, but I think first-degree lookalikes are the limit. I'm absolutely certain we don't have room for a third degree lookalike (someone who looks like a famous lookalike of an Elvis impersonator).

It's like that stupid "Inception" movie about people who can go into someone's dream, and then they go into a dream within a dream. But when they try to go into a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream, everything gets fouled up, and we end up turning off the DVD to watch "King of the Hill" instead.


* "Ornithologically-savvy" is perhaps the best term used in my blog so far, and proof I have not mastered the art of brevity.

** The ball peen hammer shown above is not designed for driving nails. I couldn't find a carpenter's hammer for the picture, but you get the idea. The ball peen one is good for seating bearing races and pushing roll pins with a pin punch, more tasks that Mockingbirds cannot perform.

*** They really should put in a traffic light at that intersection. It's getting too busy, and I'm afraid there will be some bad accidents.


  1. Brief version "Ornithologically-savvy" would be "Bird-Knowing", I think, so probably best to stick with the technical term.

    And I think Carlin of all people would appreciate as many pileups as could be at that intersection!

  2. Thanks, guapo. Maybe I should have gone with bird-knowing. How would you like to be my editor?

  3. Stick with "ornithologically". Some people won't know what it means and won't care. They'll just smile and nod and pretend like they get it. Some people will know what it means and give you a gold star for the day. And still others will look it up and go, "Ohhhhh.... yep. That makes sense."

    And I have to say, "turtles don't run fast because their faith isn't strong enough" will be an analogy I use in the very near future.

  4. Thanks, Dana. You know what else is awesome? YOU!

    Theflameinside, I'd be interested in how you plan on using that analogy. (I'll keep watching your blog to see if it appears in a future entry.)

    I love the material Caleb provides for me, because I couldn't make up stuff that good if I tried.