Dream Hotel

by jkatejohnston

8 October 2013

Dear Max,

Starting Enzo’s Scooby Doo CD, I saw that you can watch it in several languages. “Want to see what it sounds like in Spanish?” (They do a bit of Spanish in school.)

“How do you even say ‘Zoinks’ in Spanish?”


We’ve gotten into an air quotes arms race. The sarcastic implication totally escapes Enzo. He just uses them to say, “I’m talking.” So, Enzo, sitting with Teresa as she reads to him addressed me (air quotes): “Can I please have some milk?”

Me (air quotes): “Okay.”

I get him the milk and say (air quotes): “You’re welcome.”

Teresa: “Mom has a big (air quotes) butt.”


Reading over some of what I’ve written lately, I don’t want to give the impression that Enzo is entertaining and articulate at all times. Those parts are just easy to write. But a lot of what he says is just sound effects—explosions, machine gun fire and roars. And his pronunciation is kid-like, sometimes very hard to understand, and I don’t try to reproduce that part in writing. It would over-emphasize it and sound babyish. And when you do understand him, he says a lot of things that make no sense, and it’s hard to hold these bits in my mind even for a short time to write a note. To remember it, I can’t help trying to make sense of it, and then it ends up plain wrong.

So with all the above disclaimers—yesterday Enzo and I were eating dinner alone because Teresa had to go to a parent meeting. (I’m sure everyone at the school thinks she’s a heroic single mom since she’s there all the time dropping off, volunteering, picking up, and I never am. Oh well.)

Anyway, Enzo and I were eating hamburgers and talking about our dream hotels. Mine started with an elaborate description of room service and a beautiful view of Lake Tahoe. Then it was his turn. “Mine’s in Las Vegas. Like a cruise ship ice breaker in Texas, Nevada.”

“Ice in Texas?” (Not to mention landlocked Nevada.)

“It’s also a rock breaker. It works on lakes, ponds, you can even use it in Loch Ness to find out if the Loch Ness monster is real. This is how it works: 5-10-15-20—it’s just a cool code. That’s it. The code. Relaxful beach parties every night and lime-pomegranate lemonade, Lime-eo, or go for some classic flavors like Lime Ultimate, pink lemonade, mango lemonade, whatever, the server will bring it to you. Plus thousands of spikes, electric net-throwers, blaster guns and missiles and a movie show and a video arcade like samurai and ninjas, anything you want. You think of it, and it will come up and you can blast it.”