My Butt Is In Las Vegas

by jkatejohnston

15 September 2013

Dear Max,

“My butt is in Las Vegas.”

“Where’s the rest of you?”

“Texas. My butt was bitten by a Russell’s viper. I mean a sidewinder. I made salsa out of the butt.”

“Whose butt?”

“A bull’s butt. In Texas.”

(Has he been reading Chilaquiles? It would be just like that Butt to run off to Vegas by itself. Shades of Gogol!)

A few weeks before the butt-in-Vegas conversation I was reading Enzo a book about coelacanths, the living fossil fishes. He was studying the strange fins that stand out from the fish’s body on a kind of stalk. “They would be very powerful.” And he jumped up and demonstrated by swinging his arm in slow motion. “Just like a baseball bat. The force moves the fish forward.”

Force? I thought the only Force he knew was from Star Wars. So just when I’m convinced that he’s a natural born classical physicist, he announces that his butt is in Vegas and all mixed up with a bull’s butt, so who knows?

But then last weekend we made crystals with a kit we got at the thrift store (and it worked, oh glory be). As we were getting set up, reading the directions, looking at the pictures, he put on the goggles that came with the kit and announced, “Chemistry, here I come!”


Teresa wants the record to reflect that she beat me in arm wrestling. After nineteen years, she is finally stronger. I’ve always been the one who can lift heavy things and open jars and stuff. But she does go to the gym, and I don’t, and here we are. She keeps working the conversation back to this marvelous fact.

Also, on Craigslist, Teresa scored Enzo a great cache of Bakugan in little carrying cases. Enzo loves Bakugan, and it’s out of fashion. Toys ‘R Us (when we finally got there) had almost nothing. So, this was a score. Enzo was showing them to me when I got home, and I said, “Who’s the greatest mom ever?”

“Mama Teresa. You both are.”

“Hey!” said Teresa, “Who got you the Bakugan?”