by jkatejohnston

4 April 2014

Dear Max,

“I won’t surrender to anything no matter what size it is. I won’t surrender to a twenty foot croc.”

To Teresa: “Do you think doing something like this would be within your interest?” (Showing her some animal paintings done on body parts.)

“By this time probably all the food they have left is bats and cannibalism.”

“Mom! Have you gone plum loco?”

“Now Duncan’s really smart since I’m reading to him.” (He doesn’t read, and he hasn’t memorized the book, which is about a Pteranodon, so this reading is a sort of narrative synopsis, imitating the portentous tone and showing Duncan the pictures along the way.)

“I’m a person who would rather talk with my fists.”

To me: “Are you a coward or a man?”

Addressing both of us at dinnertime: “Do you know any people who have gotten drunk and gambled?” We say sure, and it’s okay for grownups, just not too much. “I think I’ll end up turning into a great gambler.” A few minutes later. “I am going to start drinking and gambling in about two weeks.” Another pause and distraction, then, “I’m probably one of the best people at gambling in my class, which only grownups gamble anyway. I’m in training. Not for gambling. For catching monster crocs and catching fish over ten feet.”

“You know there’s something that every man has failed to find. Girls. Nobody can get girls.”

“In one of the corners of my mind, I heard of that.”

“If a croc gets you in a death roll, if you want to have any limbs left, you’d better roll with it. To survive. Trust me.”

Watching Brady Barr on TV measuring a lion’s bite force: “It’s a young male, my favorite.”

“Want to see some magic?” He shows us a small, unopened package of Kleenex and then puts it in the left pocket of his sweatpants. Then, from the right pocket, with a flourish he pulls—a plain white Kleenex!