18 May 2012 – 10:15 PM – bickering with Rhiannon on Eglinton Avenue after picking her up at Union Station
Me: What do you know, you know-nothing know-it-all?!
Rhiannon [retorting]: What do YOU know?! You’re girlfriendless.
Me: “Girlfriendless”?! What the hell is that supposed to mean?!
Rhiannon [rolling her eyes]: It means you don’t have a girlfriend, dufus!
Me [rolling my eyes]: Duh! I think I can figure that much out!
Rhiannon: Then why did you say “what the hell is that supposed to mean?” DUFUS!!!
Me [confused]: I… well… I’m pretty sure that “girlfriendless” is NOT a real word… and besides, what does that have to do with anything?
Rhiannon: It means there’s no girl around to call you on all the insane things you say to me.
Me [resentfully]: Are you characterizing my ‘pearls of wisdom’ as ‘insane’, young lady?
Rhiannon: You just told me that you recently presided over a mediation between Morgan’s cat and your stupid fish!
Me: But I did!!!
Rhiannon: See?! If you had a girlfriend, she’d tell you to shut up or no sex for a month!
Rhiannon: You heard me, Mr. Girlfriendless!
Me: Listen Rhiannon, girlfriends are highly overrated. You see, the female mind is an untameable beast – a sloppy wreck of irrational inklings shot through with random emotion. Trust me, honey, you don’t ever want to get inside the mind of a girl as you’d be better off hopelessly lost in an oasisless desert. As Plato would say –
Rhiannon: Um, Daddy?
Rhiannon [raising her voice]: I AM A GIRL!!!
Me [sheepishly]: Oh, yes – so you are. I had forgotten for a moment. Anyway, I’m getting the impression that you’re going to ignore everything I say until I have a girlfriend to police me!
Me [aghast]: Man, you really suck!
Rhiannon [shrugging]: I’m going to ignore that comment too. Oh, and by the way – you can put your compass away – I can actually remember the way to Granddad’s place. Also, “oasisless” is definitely NOT a word…
19 May 2012 – 1:35 PM – bickering with Rhiannon on Eglinton Avenue
Rhiannon: So what exactly does “friends with benefits” mean?
Me: Whaaaaat?!! Where did you hear that?!
Rhiannon [smacking her forehead]: Daddy, I’m 11-years-old!!!
Me [grumpily]: Fine, then you already know. Why are you harassing me about it?
Rhiannon: Well, I wanted to know exactly what it means. Seeing as you’re girlfriendless – I was wondering if you have a “friend with benefits”.
Me [even more grumpily]: If clawing, biting, kicking, punching, shattering pelvises with the rusted teeth of otherwise-unused hammers and general relieving of one’s manhood amounts to “friends with benefits” then I have an army of companionship.
Rhiannon [after a moment of dazed confusion]: That doesn’t mean anything?!!
Me [bitterly]: Honey, “friends with benefits” are the legends of days long past that we continue to yearn for: awesome, all-night sex without the unnerving hassle of being in a relationship the next day. Besides, “friends with benefits” all died off with the mermaids and unicorns decades ago… even before the time when our memories were black-and-white photographs that you could touch with your hands.
Rhiannon[exasperated] :What are you talking about?!
Me: That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is: no.
Rhiannon: See?! How hard was that?! Speak English!!!
Me: Я не говорю по английски!
Rhiannon [clawing me]: Ugh!!!!!
20 May 2012 – 9:45 PM – bickering with Rhiannon on Eglinton Avenue
Rhiannon: Ha! I just got a text message from Mummy. She says you’re crazy for telling me that the king of Scotland is a dead African dictator.
Me [muttering]: Yes, well she should brush up on her world history.
Rhiannon: Why are the squirrels in Toronto black and the ones in Montreal gray?
Me: By municipal decree, the Toronto squirrels were ordered to bear the colour of the souls of their human inhabitants.
Me: I have no idea. Interestingly, the squirrels in Kingston, half way between Montreal and Toronto, are both black and gray.
Rhiannon [after scratching her head pensively]: Shouldn’t some of them be a combination of black and gray?
Me: No, no – when the gray ones hitchhike to Kingston (because Via Rail is so unreliable) they bring suitcases full of prophylactics.
Me: Because the black ones are only “friends with benefits”. If the gray ones returned to their mates in Montreal with a litter of mulatto babies – the courts would be clogged up for years with divorce filings.
Rhiannon [with a wary sidelong glance and pulling out her phone]: I’m texting Mummy…