Imagined conversations, daily. Stories on Sunday.
“I don’t get Fire and Ice,” he said.
We were riding in my car on the way to school. My son, Ajax, was starting sixth grade and did not have a lot of time to talk to me in the car. There were more important things to do. Play on my iPhone. Text the girl who was not his girlfriend. But today there was a little time left before we reached his school and Ajax was actually talking.
“What about fire and ice?” I said.
“I don’t get why they have Fire and Ice commercials on shows watched by kids.”
“What’s fire and ice?”
“Dad, you really don’t know? They say three things about Fire and Ice. One, it tingles; two, it grows back your hair; and three, you can’t wait to put it on.”
“I don’t get it. Grows back your hair? Is it something for baldness?”
“Wow, Dad,” he said, shaking his head at my hopelessness, ‘it blows back your hair.’” He paused and gave me a look of utter incredulity, “Do you really mean you have never heard of Fire and Ice?”
“No. What is it?”
“Dad, it is a condom, everybody knows that.”
“Well how does it blow back your hair?”
“Dad I said it grows back your hair.”
“Trust me Ajax, if a condom grew back your hair, people would have condoms hanging off them like they were a Christmas tree.”
“Dad, do you remember that time when I was in fourth grade and all the kids were standing outside after our service learning and we were talking with our teacher and right on the ground in front of us there was a used condom lying on the ground and the teachers were really grossed out?”
“No, somehow that didn’t make the class newsletter.”
“Yeah. The teachers were really freaked out.”
“I am not surprised.”
“So dad”, he paused for a moment, “what kind of condom do you use?”
“Ajax I think you are asking a little too much information there.”
“Do you use an orthopedic condom?”
“You know like an old dentist.”
“‘Orthopedic’ doesn’t have anything to do with dentists, it has to do with your bones.”
“Oh, I know, I was just looking for a long word. What kind of condom would an orthopedic dentist use?”
“I really don’t know. Ajax, you are one your own on this one.”
He continued along happily, composing a jingle: “Yeah, it tingles, it blows back your hair, you can’t wait to put one on. It’s the condom of an orthopedic dentist.”